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GAF, what is the hardest challenge in a game you felt a huge sense of pride beating it ?


Jan 11, 2019
the Underground

Today's discussion thread is all about your personal achievements over hard challenges in videogames you managed to beat. Feel free to share your greatest gaming achievements ever experienced during all the time spent as a gamer. Let's start this thread by explaining my personal choices to begin with.

As you've probably guessed it since I've joined NeoGAF, I've said this several times now, but the Super Mario Galaxy games are my favorite Mario games of all time. Not only because of the awesome music and gameplay and all that, but also because of the scale of challenge these games had to offer at the time. But today, I'm going to talk more specifically about Super Mario Galaxy 2 which not only outshines ( in my very opinion, or maybe it's just because I first played the sequel before the original ) in every aspect the first game, but also surpassed it in terms of global difficulty.

Sure enough, once you beat the game the first time, you will have to beat again the final boss level this time playing with Luigi, and this is how you unlock Green Stars. Green Stars, unlike Normal Stars, are stars that are hidden in a very specific location throughout every single galaxy you visited. While some of them can quite be mind-numming to catch, the last stars can quickly turn out to be a pain in the ass. For these last stars, you have to be stupidly accurate into getting them, like that one star in that galaxy located in the final world where you have to use the Rock power-up to get through a maze and try not to fall off it, except that for this time you HAD to be so precise in where you eject from it in order to grab it.

After getting all the hidden 120 Green Stars, you thought this would be over and that you managed to beat the game. Well, since Nintendo didn't seem to appreciate that, they were probably like " nope ", this is where the second step to platinum the game comes in : you have to have 9999 Star Bits ( you read that right ) and deposit them to the Bank Toad in order to unlock the very last level in the entire game, the freaking Grandmaster Galaxy.

Trying to get the first star in the galaxy actually turns out to be OK, considering you have your life bar set as normal, but when you made sure to grab on your way the Comet Medal, this is when you'll unlock the very last star that is possible to obtain in the whole game, dubbed “ The Perfect Run “.

And obviously, this is when the name " Grandmaster Galaxy " starts to make total sense, you really have to be such ace into trying to beat the " Perfect Run " star by avoiding bombs, electric fences, lasers, and dozens of Hammer Bros, all this without taking one single hit or else you have to start until the beginning of the level.

I spent countless hours and attempts trying to nail my run through this ongoing batshit-painful level desperately going through all those annoying obstacles all without taking one hit, and holy shit this sure was some next level shit. At one point though, I managed to beat the whole level, and when I arrived on the galaxy where Rosalina was waiting for me to give me the final star, I made the biggest mistake you could possibly imagine... I went to see if there was anything under the platform, as I really wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing on anything there.

[ insert * it was at that moment, he knew, he fucked up * meme ]

So... I had to do the whole thing all over again. And finally, ( Spongebob narrator voice ) hours later, I finally beated the whole level again and grabbed once and for all the final star in the entire game. It was so epic and dragged on for hours and hours, but I did it. I was part of the very few percentage of people that platinum-ed 100% of the game. Even better, after I completed the final level, I received a letter with a photo offered with it from the actual developers on my Wii Message Board congratulating me for having completed the game, I was very happy about it.

Seriously, if ever Nintendo decides to port Super Mario Galaxy 1 & 2 over to Switch at some point ( this needs to happen as soon as possible ), I would gladly be up again for a challenge and try to see if after the last time I’ve played this game ( must have been like 3 years ago ), I paved room for any improvement and eventually end up surpassing my original performance.

Say whatever you want about it, but I honestly enjoyed a lot playing the crap out of Sonic Unleashed back on the Wii. Once again, I could spent countless hours talking about the other qualities of the game such as its fantastic soundtrack and cheesy good plot, but for now, I'm going to focus on the hardest aspect of the entire game I had to deal with during my past playthroughs with the game. And I'm talking about the final world inthe game, Eggmanland, and its final boss Dark Gaia.

( Keep in mind that I am talking about the Wii version of the game, as there are two completely different builds of the game that only share themes in common, I have yet to try the Xbox 360/PS3 version )

While most of the game overall offers a pretty balanced difficulty where it's neither hard or easy, the last world you have to go through to beat the game, Eggmanland, manages to offer a heavy break in tone regarding the challenge the game has to offer.

The first world level, where you play as normal Sonic, is one such example. As you thought that beating the level wasn’t hard enough, getting the S-rank takes the challenge a mile further as you have to complete the level under 4 minutes and 30 seconds in order to get the S-rank, all you have to do really is just try and not fall into the lava at the start, grab the bars from the giant wheel at the right time, not let the mini-boss beat you up while you are running on the walls, and avoid falling off curvy paths while running full speed ahead by nailing your drifts ( acing your drifts takes a ridiculous amount of practice to be honest )... that’s one heck of a program, for sure !

But you think we are done here ? Think again, because I’ve kept the best for the end... the part where you have to beat Dark Gaia and its final form, Perfect Dark Gaia, while getting a S-rank.

My god this game went on a whole over level of hardness on this one, and playing with the Wii Remote didn’t help that much to be honest. The first part of the boss battle felt like playing Punch-Out !!, the second part you had to beat several time his main weakness ( his huge eyes ) by going through paths that are partly blocked by his arms, you had to be once again stupidly accurate while dodging, jumping, and drifting in order to get over the obstacles, especially when getting the S-rank, because the game never forgives you when you get hit or slowed down by Dark Gaia.

And the final part is arguably the worst one in the whole fight. At this moment, he evolves into his final form Perfect Dark Gaia, while Sonic goes Super Saiyan by transforming into Super Sonic. Like I said before, this paragraph will be about how the final part plays in the Wii/PS2 version, the final boss fight in the Xbox 360/PS3 versions differs greatly from the “ lower builds “ in terms of level structure.

To be able to give him hits, you have to collect enough rings in order to engage a boost and aim at one of his several eyes in order to make him more and more vulnerable. However, while collecting rings you have to avoid the boss’s claw attacks and go either endlessly going in the left or right direction in order to find a line of rings waiting to be collected. Obviously when you get hit, you lose rings, and therefore the chances of engaging a boost are suddenly decreasing. You really have to pay attention and keep into account his attack scheme if you count on beating this guy, rushing to get the S-rank makes it even more harder as you have little time to think and just act straightforward.

And when you finally boost forward one of his eyes, it doesn’t end here as you have to avoid at the same time while aiming for his eye huge meteorites that come from all directions in order to block you and send you right back to the normal section of the fight. No surprise here, the more eyes you end up beating, the more dangerous his claw attacks and meteorite projectiles starts to become, establishing a progressing scale of stress as you kill one eye after the other.

Finally, after you killed all his eyes, this is where the last one will start appear, and this is where the attack, if proven to be successful, will terminate for good the final boss. Dodging all the meteorites as there are more and more appearing on your way makes it so stressful you literally aren’t tolerated any form of mistake from your part, or else well... if you plan on just beating him, that’s not really that bad of a deal but if you planned on getting the S-rank... gotta have to restart from the very beginning, I’m afraid.

Fortunately though, I was lucky enough to beat the boss with an S-rank on my latest playthrough, damn this one was surely a tough nut to crack but it was worth it. However, regarding the actual game itself, I’ve never been able to 100%-complete the game as I didn’t have time to collect all the Sun and Moon medals before selling the game and the Wii U ( since it was backwards compatible, I’ve kept all my old Wii games to play on it ) to buy myself a Switch. If Sega does end up porting the game to Switch one day ( Very unlikely at this point but let me dream ! ), I hope this time to be able to platinum the whole game.

Before I end here, I would also like to deliver an honorable mention to one of the only games where I haven’t felt any satisfying sense of pride or whatsoever beating the hardest challenge out there : Super Smash Bros Brawl, and more specifically the story mode, the Subspace Emissary mode. Sure, playing through this mode isn't really that hard as most of the levels are kind of easy, but when it comes to get past through the final level of the mode, the Great Maze, man this turned out to be such a chore.

To be fair, this is the only part of the whole game I hated going through. I can't remember how long I've spent trying to get to the final boss Tabuu by having to work my way through the 40 rooms and battle all of the characters and bosses. But finding them can also be a chore, considering the map you have in-game only shows where you've been, and doesn't reveal where the character/boss battles are located until you've found all four Staging Areas. In the end, while I've managed to overcome the Great Maze and finally beat Tabuu, I've felt like this was the only thing I didn't enjoy in the whole game, the rest was pretty awesome.

These were my personal tidbits regarding my greatest gaming achievements, and what about you GAF ? Have you often experienced in a game a challenge so hard that you literally wanted to throw away your controller outside the window but for some reason, you just kept on going on and eventually managed to beat it Michael Jackson-style, feeling immensely prideful of all your hard labor and endless determination ?
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Sep 29, 2013
I think doing all the vidmaster challenges across Halo 3 and ODST or achieving "Legendary Defender of Ascalon" in Guild Wars 1 (getting max lvl in the tutorial zone).


Jun 3, 2013
Beating Tetris the Grandmaster 3. Well, getting to the invisible drops at the end anyway. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to do that.


Oct 16, 2018
I've beaten Skyrim. Just beaten the main story. Not any sidequest. That game is so distracting.


Sep 4, 2018
Dark Souls 1 had so many moments like this, where the challenge seemed insurmountable and then once I claimed victory it was the sweetest feeling in the world. The other games were good as well but there’s something special about your first Souls game.


Dec 29, 2018
I beat Rainbow Six: Ravenshield and the expansion without ever taking direct control of my soldiers. I just designed the plan for the AI to follow, set a huge number of go-codes to coordinate their moves, and figured out which combination of team members and gear would be best for the job. It took me probably six or eight months of intermittent playing but I eventually cleared every mission with no casualties. Probably won't ever be able to do something like that again with the way the series is going, but at the time it was a ton of fun and really super satisfying to get right.

I also cleared Final Fantasy Tactics without ever grinding random encounters, which was brutally difficult but not as satisfying. It mostly just involves abusing the hell out of speed-boosting skills and special characters. I might go back and look up the SCC guides at some point and try to find some additional rules to follow.

For whatever reason I almost always end up playing games with self-imposed restrictions. I never manually reload in Resident Evil games, for example, and I love it when games force you to lose ammo that was still in the mag when you reload. Stuff like that helps me feel more immersed in the game, especially when certain mechanics end up being completely logic-defying.
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Unconfirmed Member
Champion’s Road in 3D World and Flamelurker in Demon’s Souls come to mind as some of the hardest video game things I’ve played.


Jan 31, 2018
Demon Souls...Beating King Vendrick....FINALLY. The Ancient Dragon in Dark Souls 2.

Almost every match I had in Splinter Cell Spy vs Mercs where I won. That game was such a rush.


Apr 18, 2013
Hitting my credit card for 60,000 Crystals to unlock Darth Vader in SWBF2.


The nicest person on this forum
Mar 22, 2017
Beating Catherine in hard difficulty and get gold most of the stages.


Jul 18, 2013
Dark Souls 1 had so many moments like this, where the challenge seemed insurmountable and then once I claimed victory it was the sweetest feeling in the world. The other games were good as well but there’s something special about your first Souls game.

Yeah, it's Dark Souls. Probably a hundred moments, but I'll throw finally getting past the Anor Londo archers as a highlight.


Aug 17, 2018
If there is a challenge too great in a game I will always feel a huge sense of pride beating the disc with a hammer. I got no time for overly difficult games.


Dec 16, 2015
-Ninja Gaiden Black on the second highest difficulty
edit: It was just "Hard" not "Very Hard" or "Master Ninja"

-Dark Souls 1 first playthrough, no guides, no internet help.
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Feb 25, 2010
Recently the The Witness , I refuse to see tutorials. So any time a get a laser activated or complete an obelisc feel like :

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Aug 7, 2018
1cc'ing Dodonpachi Daioujou. Getting a 1cc on any shmup / arcade game is a huge achievement for me, way more difficult than most console games.

Clearing RE 2 Remake's No Way Out using less than 60 handgun bullets was tough. Beating Akumu mode on The Evil Within. I think these kinds of things are fair and had fun doing them. I hate anything linked to having to read every file or that kind of bullshit.


Oct 5, 2015
Bloodborne: Watchdog in the Defiled Chalice with the Blades of Mercy (Didn't have a ranged weapon).

After hours, my last run, it was almost zen like. My mind was clear, there was no frustration...I never got hit as I had every Iframe timed perfectly. It was magical.
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Jan 11, 2019
Tokyo, Japan
Dark Souls 1 first playthrough, no guides, no internet help.

Same, but I played it with a friend of mine and asked him to check if my strategy when facing a certain boss was a viable one or not. Other than that, no guide or internet help. It took us about 106 hours to complete the game.......without even going through the Painted World since we never even knew about it until afterwards. :messenger_mr_smith_who_are_you_going_to_call:

edit: it took me 3 days (3-4 hour sessions each) to beat the gargoyles at the beginning of the game. Also, fantastic thread as always, OP :messenger_winking:
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Lil’ Gobbie
Mar 1, 2017
Last time I felt like I truly accomplished something in a video game was prob getting the 120 stars in SM64

Now when beat the hardest bosses in souls games, I ultimately feel nothing.

Usually I will play games on the hardest difficulty to feel some sort of accomplishment but almost always feel empty when done
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Dec 16, 2015
Same, but I played it with a friend of mine and asked him to check if my strategy when facing a certain boss was a viable one or not. Other than that, no guide or internet help. It took us about 106 hours to complete the game.......without even going through the Painted World since we never even knew about it until afterwards. :messenger_mr_smith_who_are_you_going_to_call:

edit: it took me 3 days (3-4 hour sessions each) to beat the gargoyles at the beginning of the game. Also, fantastic thread as always, OP :messenger_winking:

Oh man...this is bringing back some memories.

I quit this game more than any other in my life. There was a time in the beginning that I quit for 2 months and then finally went back, only to quit again at Orenstein and Smough for a couple weeks. This is making me want to replay it again even though I just finished the remaster a few months ago.


Jul 1, 2009
Demon's Souls Tower Knight as full melee build on a first playthrough. Was super intense. Clearing out all the archers, then going down to 1v1 this huge knight. Died countless times and then succeeded and it felt amazing.


Aug 28, 2018
I could 1cc Wonder Boy in monster land. It's been a few years but I think I could still do it. Not really an amazing achievement because it's considered a relatively easy game but I'm a mediocre gamer so I'm proud of myself
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Oct 10, 2012
Discord : Kadayi#0650
Beating Ornstein and Smough Attorneys at law in Dark Souls 1 was pretty satisfying tbh.

100%ing Banner Saga 1 also. Some tough challenges involved in doing that.
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Dec 27, 2010
East Coast
Watchdog of the Old Lords in a cursed Bloodborne Chalice dungeon comes to mind.

Unless you have tons of health it is hard because your health is halved, you get on shot by the boss and you have to fight in a small enclosed area and the boss has a butt ton of health. It took me hours over a few days to beat that thing and I had to basically play perfect.
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Sep 5, 2018
I will keep it simple, Ninja gaiden 1 and 2 on the NES, Punch out, battletoads and Fantasy zone on the Sega master.
Those were the hardest i can remember beating, New games have nothing on the old ones.


Neo Member
Feb 7, 2017
Completing Demon Souls, Ninja Gaiden Sigma and recently Shadow of the Colossus to name a few.

I was also stoked when I imported MGS for my PS1 and beat the Japanese port before it hit US shores ;b


Aug 24, 2016
TLOU on grounded, some of those parts ended up takes over an hour to make 3 mins of progress from the restarting. Another plus 1 for the souls games


Sep 17, 2012
-Finishing Faster than Light on normal mode and reaching the final ship on hard mode.
-Finishing the platformer A Walk in the Dark
-Clearing the arcade mode of Cleopatra Fortune Plus (Demul) in one credit and unlocking all Perfect animations in the DC version
-beating my friend once at Lakers vs Celtics with a buzzer beater from the center of the court. He was always choosing Lakers with Kareem and was impossible to block, demolishing me with 20+ points
-finishing all virtua tennis games in arcades


Jan 9, 2018
Beating some challenge on GOW. It was in either 1 or 2 where you had to do a whole arena thing without getting hit. Hard as fuck.
Jan 16, 2019
Demons souls hands down. Bought it on release and it took me months to beat, many multiple hour long game sessions where spent with not only zero forward advancement but usually I would end up worse off lol. I didnt use any walkthroughs or anything, back then I never did. I ended up beating it multiple times on NG+ but that first time was amazing, not sure how I stuck with it.


Jan 5, 2012
Zone Zeus trophy in Wipeout HD - I spent weeks training before I cleared it. And I used only air brakes on triggers for it since even touching analog stick was making catastrophic changes at the speed needed to clear it.


Headmaster of Console Warrior Jugendstrafanstalt
May 4, 2005
The two hardest things I have done were reaching (and beating, but that's trivial in comparison) master mode in Super Monkey Ball and completing F-Zero GX (all cups / story missions on all difficulties. I haven't beaten all the staff ghosts though).


thinks Halo Infinite is a new graphical benchmark
Aug 18, 2017
Mount Olympus
I’m pretty sure I got my $’s worth with these three games and am actually proud by some of these feats haha
10th prestige COD4 360
Platinum trophy for SOCOM CONFRONTATION
Battlefield V all assault classes leveled up


Jun 17, 2007
F-Zero SNES, King League, Master difficulty, finishing first in all races without even touching another car or a wall.

Made a bet.


Dec 16, 2011
-Dark Souls 1 first playthrough, no guides, no internet help.

That's how I've played all the Souls games (for my first runs anyway). It always makes things more satisfying imo. You just feel like you've gone on a real adventure in a hostile and incredible fantasy world, and somehow managed to make it out - minus your hundreds of deaths. :p

In terms of just beating a game bringing a sense of satisfaction, I would also say SMT: Nocturne. Same as Souls, I refused to look up any assistance. If the game didn't explain or I couldn't work it out on my own, it didn't happen. Just a thoroughly satisfying game with so much depth.

A little bit off the focus, but I also was consistently ranked in the top 100 in NFL2K5 on PS2. Granted the player base relative to today would have been much smaller, but I was among the best. I always carry that inside as a badge of honor.

I was also pretty good @ Virtua Fighter 5 : FS. I wasn't the best, but I could hold my own with the top players. I didn't play as many matches as some, but I did pretty good imo. I have a pic somewhere with my rank/record, but I can't find it. Anyway, loved competing in that.


Aug 12, 2011
I was a glutton for punishment during the NES era.

I would say the hardest games I played were Double Dragon 1&2, Wizards and Warriors, Rygar, Bad Dudes, and Street Fighter 2010. I beat them all and with Street Fighter 2010 I tried doing no death runs. The best I did was a single death.

My number one of all time will be Batman on NES. I beat it once with no witness. Then I beat it again for my friend who couldn't believe I beat it.

Most modern example is Dark Souls. I mirrored a Pyro speed run and beat it in 2hr with Save scumming and did a 2hr 30m without save scumming or something like that. My saves are lost, but Kotti was the speed runner with a 1hr 30min AGDQ run. Now compare that to my 60hr plus first playthrough and it's very rewarding.

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Jan 12, 2018

Beating this glorious bastard my first time.
Gael and Sister Friede were also super hard, in DS3 but Midir was that “finally! After ten thousand years!” Kind of moment.
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Neo Member
Apr 30, 2016
Bodø, Norway
Bloodborne: Watchdog in the Defiled Chalice with the Blades of Mercy (Didn't have a ranged weapon).

After hours, my last run, it was almost zen like. My mind was clear, there was no frustration...I never got hit as I had every Iframe timed perfectly. It was magical.

This right here. i was at it for 4 hours. The last boss of the chalice dungeons was a cakewalk after the watchdog.
I also spent 5 hours on Ornstein and Smaugh before i took them down, and i shouted really loud in RL.


Oct 5, 2015
This right here. i was at it for 4 hours. The last boss of the chalice dungeons was a cakewalk after the watchdog.
I also spent 5 hours on Ornstein and Smaugh before i took them down, and i shouted really loud in RL.
haha totally. Ugh. It took hours.

No Word Count

Sep 5, 2018
Beating Bayonetta 1 on Infinite Climax Mode (without assists).

To date, the first Bayonetta is the only game that I've ever truly felt the need to 100% complete. That includes beating the game with all the additional characters, and beating the hidden bosses. These activities don't have any achievements tied to them, so people often don't even realise they exist.

I was addicted to that game for a very, very long time.
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Unconfirmed Member
Figuring out that I had to get some cereal and put it into a microwave in order to be able to go into space in Mad Professor Mariarti. This was pre-internet and no magazines had walkthroughs for a game that no fucker had ever heard of.