Long after we’ve played a game for the last time (or even, just one time), some parts stick in memory. It could be a dramatic moment, an unexpected revelation, a terrific Foozle fight, a beautiful graphic scene. Those make sense. Then, there are the others.

The others that won’t go away, that mean nothing anymore, that hang around in your mind for no good reason. Like a certain snare in Bard’s Tale 2.

I mentioned this in a comment on How Obnoxious. The snares were horrible real-time puzzles, no saving allowed, that had to be solved quickly. Otherwise, back to square one and try again.

This particular atrocity had a magic mouth that asked: “What is the value of rote actions?” I could give several responses, most of them unprintable. The real answer was “endurable”.

I guess you could say that was true, since I still remember it, all these years later. Not that I want to, I just can’t get it out of my head. Gaahhh.

Another comes from Might & Magic. In those wonderful days, when we all mapped by hand, designers would sometimes be cute. They’d have the walls on a certain level spell out something.

Often, that would be the designers’ names or initials. However, there were occasions when the “spelling” was vital. As in the first Might & Magic. Foozle, like Rumpelstiltskin, wanted you to tell him his name.

The answer was spelled out by walls: “My name is Sheltem”. And that is the only thing I can remember from the game. I even had to go look up which M&M that was. Urp!

(Okay, I also remember the “Inner Sanctum”, but that was a “revelation” thing. Still, I couldn’t recall where the Sheltem bit came from.)

Y’know, those aren’t quite like Wizardry: The Knight Of Diamonds. Almost everyone who wrote to me about it had the same problem; it was what I called a “one-question game”.

There were several riddles in TKOD, and the answer to the last one was “The Knight Of Diamonds”, an anagram of “That king, he finds doom”. What people were overlooking was “The”. They actually had the answer, almost.

Only they’d type in “Knight Of Diamonds” and it would be wrong. I responded to enough letters on this one, that recalling makes it sense. Only why I also remember the anagram, that’s another matter.

So what about you? Are there parts of games that cling tenaciously to your mind, that are meaningless now? Stuff you shouldn’t be remembering, but keep creeping in now and then? That just won’t go away?