Yeah, what’s been, up to now, your worst gaming experience? Was it an entire game that was terrible, but you plodded on anyway and were disappointed at the end? Or maybe it was just one situation in an otherwise good game?

In thinking this over for myself, I decided to skip the atrocious and the merely bad games, because there were enough of those and they’re best left in the far back room of memory. Far, far back.

So it came down to bad moments in good games, and there are two of those that still irk me a little when I think about them. Because they were both – ha ha – my own fault.

First was Ultima IV (yes, here it is again ;). We were at the bottom of the last dungeon, at the door to the Codex Room. I used the three-part key and the three-part word and in we went. Only now I had to answer the “pop quiz” about the virtues. You’d think by now, the game would know that I knew all that stuff.

It had taken me five hours to get down here, and it was about one in the morning. My mind was not all that clear by then. A question was asked, and the answer was either honor or honesty. I typed in the wrong one (hey, they’re pretty close, especially to a befuddled brain).

I realized the error right after hitting return. Too late. The party was popped back up to the surface, near the town that represented the correct answer. There are no words to describe how I felt, except to say, if Lord British had been with me, I’d have strangled him on the spot.

The second came in Diablo II. In a moment of insanity, I decided to try Iron Man mode. You know, like in ZTK: you die, game over. Of course, you could copy out the save files, but then why bother with Iron Man? So I played it straight.

My character was a Necromancer. I’d run several before, and decided this was the safest; he can always call up target dummies to distract the enemies. And he has some nice curses, besides.

We made it through Act I without too much trouble. The desert wasn’t bad, either. Except for Duriel, of course. I had some real sweaty moments in that tiny room. A mini killer dungeon if ever there was one.

Then it was on to the jungles. The annoying pygmies weren’t a problem, thanks to Dim Vision (my personal favorite of all Necro spells). Travincal was tough, but I cleared it out.

So there I am at the bottom of the Durance, and facing off against that unprintable lightning-enchanted council member and friends. The fighting was hot and heavy, I was so caught up in it, that I noticed a little too late that the red globe was almost empty. Just as I was reaching for the potion key – death. ARGGHH!!

Right at the end of Act III, with only Mephisto left to do, and this happens. Game over, man. Game over. In one way, worse than U4, because there I only had one dungeon to re-do, while here it meant a new character and starting over from the beginning. [censored]

And yes, I did start over after a few days of recovery, and I did make it all the way to Big Red and took him down. Since then, I’ve skipped Iron Man in games.

So, those were my bad moments. What were you yours?