Five of My Biggest Video Game Regrets


When it comes to looking back on my life in sixty years or so, chances are various video game-related occurrences won’t be on my list of regrets. Or maybe, if I’m lucky, they’ll be the ONLY things on the list, as I’ve lived a proper life otherwise.

In any case, if I were making that list today, there are five things that come to mind that I regret when it comes to my gaming career. This isn’t like my “Bad guys I felt bad about killing” post from the other week, it’s something a bit different.

You’ll see what I mean, and you can start reading below. I’d love to hear your own in the comments.

I Never Explored the Wasteland with Dogmeat

2-19-2013 10-21-09 AM

Dogmeat is a pretty central character in Fallout 3, so much so that he’s used in a huge amount of the promotional screenshots for the game. Your character is usually shooting some sort of deformed mutant, and there’s Dogmeat right alongside you.

“That’s cool,” I thought as I popped in the game. “I wonder when you meet him.”

Hours passed. Then days. Dogmeat was nowhere to be found. I kept waiting for the next quest to introduce me to him, but that day never came. I beat the entire game, eventually taking on Fawkes as my companion, without ever encountering the little mutt.

It wasn’t until I looked it up on the internet that I realized I just had extraordinarily bad luck. Dogmeat was being kept at a location insanely close to where you start the game. But it all my exploring, it’s just a place that I never ended up going to, despite its proximity. I imagine his presence would have changed the dynamic of the game somewhat, but picking him up after it was all over didn’t quite have the same impact.

I Never Got to Hear Jose Gonzales’s ‘Far Away’ When I Rode to Mexico in Red Dead Redemption

far away

I loved Red Dead Redemption, and even more than the story and gameplay, I relished the music. One of my favorite parts of the game is when you ride home after “beating” the game (so you think) to meet your family. In the background, the game plays “Compass” by Jamie Lidell and it’s absolutely fantastic.

Well, after I beat the game, I starting reading reviews and hearing that other people’s favorite musical moment that made the most impact for them was one I didn’t experience at all. Apparently, when you first cross the Rio Grande into Mexico, there’s an even more memorable song that plays, “Far Away” by Jose Gonzales.

It took me a very, very long time to figure out this one, but I finally learned that if you don’t mount the horse the game specifically gives you to make the journey, the song won’t play. I must have called my own steed to pick me up, and so the moment was lost, forever.

I Never Fought Alongside Zaeed in Mass Effect


Mass Effect has been one of my favorite series for years now, and it’s one of the only games that I always bought ALL the DLC for no matter what. Not only that, but in-game, if there was time between missions, I would go to every deck and talk to every crew member just to see  if there was any scrap of conversation I missed.

It was therefore very strange to learn months after the fact that I’d missed the addition of an entire character into the game. “Who the hell is that guy?” I said as I stared at the scar-faced soldier in a promotional shot of the game online.

It took some time to uncover that somehow, I’d missed out on adding Zaeed to my crew. How? Well, it turns out I paid the price for ignoring those little codes that appear inside of your game box. Zaeed was supposed to be a reward for players who bought the game new, which I did, but I didn’t realize he existed, and so never bothered to punch in the code.

Now, I don’t want to know anything about him. I’ve stayed away from Wikis and what not. Zaeed is simply not a part of my cannon. But I wish he could have been… YOU WERE REALLY BORING KASUMI.

I Never Beat Shao Kahn


I’m secure enough if my nerdity to admit that I’m not a fan of ridiculously challenging games. I don’t beat things on insane, apocalypse or god level difficulty. I quit Demon’s Souls about two hours in. But Shao freaking Kahn still haunts me to this day.

He was the final boss in the new Mortal Kombat, simply called ‘Mortal Kombat,’ but in reality, it was Mortal Kombat 9. I actually quite enjoyed the story campaign, and had fun working my way through various opponents until I finally reached him.

The man was a wall. I’ve never seen a steeper difficulty curve in a game. MK went from challenging yet fun to impossible in an instant. Some of this was surely meant to echo how hard the character was in past games, but it was just so. damn. frustrating.

How many times did I try? I don’t, close to a hundred by the end of it probably. You’re only allowed to use Raiden, and you can literally do only one move to dodge his attacks, and one move to hit him. If you fail one dodge, you’ll probably lose 2/3rds of your life due to an unstoppable combo. if you manage to hit him, you have to do it about 20 more times before he even gets close to death. And you have to do it enough to beat him in two out of three rounds.

Out of the hundred times I tried, I maybe beat him in one round 5-8 times .Two rounds was asking the impossible, and I simply threw in the towel after beating my head against a brick wall for days. I regret that bastard got the best of me. He’ll pay, someday.

I Never Got My Mind Blown by KOTOR


(spoilers follow)

Across all media, there’s one feeling I love to experience more than any other: Surprise. Whether it’s a big twist in a film or a dramatic development in a TV show, there’s nothing quite like not knowing what’s coming.

Story wasn’t all that big in video games until about a decade ago when it starting being more integrated. Leading the charge was Bioware, who made the most interesting Star Wars story in years for Knights of the Old Republic.

But alas, it was a game I simply did not play. For some reason, its legendary status was never fully explained to me in my youth. In 2004, I was busy graduating high school and managing to date the first girl I actually liked (yay for late bloomers). There was less time for video games.

And so it slipped away, and over the years the moratorium on spoilers ran out. I knew that in fact YOU were secretly a Sith Lord in the game, which is supposed to be one of the biggest shocks in video game history. And I’ll never get to experience it.

I’ve tried to play through KOTOR nearly a decade after the fact, but battling the clunky controls and bad graphics is hard when you don’t have nostalgia going for you. And as I know what happens, I couldn’t even get into the story. I feel like a bad gamer every time I think about not playing through either that game or its sequel, but oh well, can’t win them all.


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  1. Good list. Here are a couple of mine that at first thought.

    1.Beating Jafar in Sega Alladin as a kid.
    I actually went back a month ago and knocked this off the bucket list 🙂

    2. Not re-beating ME1 and ME2 so that my choices carried over when I converted to PS3 for ME3. I hate that the default choice was that you killed the Rachni. My Shepperd would have never slaughtered them……NEVER.

  2. 1) Found Dogmeat. Made the mistake of leaving him at home before a dangerous mission where he’d died previously (had to reload). Hours of gameplay and several saves later, returned home to find he had glitched out of existence. Thanks, Bethesda.

    2) Sucks. That was a killer song.

    3) So many kinds of fail for an alleged fan.

    4) Shao Kahn shall ever be my bitch. I beat him all the time in MK2 and that is how I shall remember him since I haven’t played the new one. Stop making those chicken noises.

    5) One of the main reasons I bought an Xbox instead of the PS2. Life-changingly awesome game for that gen, but Mass Effect is better (yeah, I said it).

  3. I thought I was the only one who missed Dogmeat throughout Fallout 3. I only found him after I got that perk that opens up all the unexplored locations of the map. I already had Fawkes by then. That sucked.

  4. I’m in the same boat as you in regards to Fallout 3. I practically maxed out my character before I even realized that I could get a companion. Even to this day I haven’t bothered traveling to the junkyard because it feels like arriving at a concert and the band has already left the stage. I’ve been better about New Vegas but I’ve hit that point again where I feel like I need to get all the companions and do their quests before finishing the final mission.

    I did get KotOR when it came out, great twist, sorry you missed out on it. I feel this way whenever a new game or movie comes out that I don’t get to experience in the first month. Makes it harder to want to go back and play said games.

  5. I NEVER GOT TO FINISH OF GANON!!! in the legend of zelda:a link to the past. i played it when i was 17 and that is 11 years ago. a friend lent it and lost it but i have it on the wii virtual console and i still have not played it. it haunts me till this day

  6. I found Dogmeat on my second play through of Fallout 3. The first group of enemies we faced together was a pair of raiders. I tossed a grenade at them and watched in horror as Dogmeat charged in to attack the raiders. All three died in the grenade blast.

  7. I missed dogmeat in my playthrough too, and was so upset I replayed and deliberately looked for him in the junkyard. Cue ten hours later when I discovered keeping him alive was a constant, grueling chore, and letting him die made me feel like shit. Trust me, you were better off.

  8. I forget the specifics, but my experience was something like this:

    1) Get on horse after crossing into Mexico.

    2) Listen to awesome song for 15 seco–HEY! 3) Is that one of those special horses I have to ride for the achievement?

    4) Dismount to investigate (song stops)

    5) Read on the internet about how awesome the moment is that I’ve just cut short.

    And probably my biggest regret:
    Getting suckered as a 10 year old by “Blast Processing” commercials and asking my parents for a Sega Genesis instead of a Super Nintendo. (I’m sorry, Super Mario World!)

  9. The very same thing happened to me with Red Dead Redemption only with the bit where you go to meet your family.

    I was walking away from the mountains as the music started and I thought “This is awesome, its just like that bit when I entered Mexico, which was awesome, this is gonna be even cooler”, then outta nowhere, a fucking bear mauls me dead in about a second. When I respawned the song was nowhere to be heard and i had to make the journey to my family without an emotional song to back it up.

    I also missed out on Zaeed. It was the only DLC that didn’t come with the PS3 version as standard (at the time of release) and not having wireless broadband at home I could never get access to him. I too know nothing about him, but I know he would have been an awesome addition to my Shepards squad.

    My biggest regret was killing Niko’s old comrade in GTA IV. After I killed him I felt like i had done what i had wanted to do the whole game, everything niko had gone through was for that, yet it felt like i had made a mistake.

  10. My biggest regret is that I never played an RPG. Only after I was over 20 did I try playing one, and realized I would’ve liked them when I was younger and had the time. I’m currently looking for a “light” RPG, one that’s simpler and not as time-consuming as, say, Skyrim.

  11. I’m ashamed to say I never beat Bowser in the first Super Mario game on the NES. He just kept throwing hammers like a machine gun so I could never get around him. It’s such a classic game and it seems like everyone except myself finished it.

    I also never completed Beyond Good & Evil for the Nintendo Gamecube. It was such an epic game with an amazing looking futuristic world, but I was a busy college student back then, and I had moved on to newer games and more modern consoles by the time I had the chance to play video games more often. I bought the HD version on Xbox Live recently, but I was disappointed you can’t invert the camera’s Y axis which is a very common option today, so the controls feel weird and take time to get used to.

  12. I never finished the main quest in Oblivion. I beat every other questline, finished everything in every city/town/location etc. then the main one was so boring/easy/tedious i just got over it. Then when i play skyrim, I missed a bunch of the storyline.

    also, i never finished all 3 years in Harvest Moon:Back to Nature. I pretty much befriended everyone and maxed my farm by year 2 and it felt like a waste of time just dragging it out. I never got to see the ending…

  13. “Story wasn’t all that big in video games until about a decade ago
    when it started being more integrated. Leading the charge was

    Wait. What? Had you never played an RPG before KotOR?

    The RPG genre is chalk full of games that had big, fantastic stories. All
    well before BioWare was even in existence, and certainly well before
    KotOR. BioWare did make a name fore themselves with hit games like
    KotOR, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age (not to exclude Baulder’s Gate or Neverwinter Nights) and their many sequels. BioWare certainly brought more attention to the genre perhaps, but the quoted part of your article is anything but correct.

    Long before BioWare, there was this little company known as SquareSoft (now, SquareEnix) that had already many fantastic RPG stories under their belts. Sure their earlier RPGs were pretty basic concepts (Dragon Warrior I and Final Fantasy I) but as the years came we saw sequels that greatly expanded, developed and created fantastic stories with characters you couldn’t help but feel connected with as you played. Each one was a completely new story in a completely different setting, with only minor elements to tie in the similarities between sequels (combat, monster types, specific actions and abilities, etc.). The stories however, were all unique and quite different. From the NES classics even through the Playstation 1 era, SquareSoft was the foremost go-to company if you were looking for a great story and RPG.

    Now, of course, they weren’t the only ones. There are many notably great RPGs out there with amazingly well told stories that many other companies produced. I’m merely using Square mainly because they were, for the longest time, the most popular and well respected/well known producer of RPGs (and rightfully so!).

    But come on Paul. When you make a statement like that, it just makes a reader like me think “Did this guy ever even play RPGs before the XBox?”

    And, if the answer to that question is infact “No.” Then do yourself a favor, find an SNES, Sega Genesis and PS1 emulator, take a nice long vacation and enjoy some amazing stories in some amazing RPGs.

    Here’s a bunch to get you started:

    Final Fantasy IV (originally FF2 in NA launch) – SNES
    Final Fantasy VI (originally FF3 in NA launch) – SNES
    Chrono Trigger – SNES
    Earthbound – SNES
    Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete – PS1 (originally on Sega Saturn)
    Grandia – PS1
    Phantasy Star III – Sega Genesis
    Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals – SNES
    Legend of Dragoon – PS1

    I could list RPGs with great stories all day, but the ones I listed all came out many years before KotOR, and by companies that existed well before BioWare was even formed.

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