You may not think it, but video game studios are known to employ the odd troll or two. Thanks to the limitless power they possess and the strings they’re allowed to pull, they can pretty much get away with anything. And yet, there’s an imaginary line that we, as players, tend to chalk up. It’s this line that only few developers have dared to cross over the years. But when it gets crossed — it gets crossed. And then some.
The point is, we’ve all been trolled at some point or another. If it hasn’t been by another player, then it has been by a designer with a tongue-in-cheek incentive. But what are the games that immediately spring to mind when we think of trolling? Well, here are the five that we recall being plagued by trolls. Do yourself a favor and avoid falling into their traps, at all costs.
5. Korok Seeds (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild)
We all love collectibles — especially ones that, once assembled in full, give players an additional perk or novelty cosmetic to brag about. What we don’t love, however, are collectibles that lead to nothing at all, and instead just belittle the player for enduring such critical hours instead of spending them elsewhere. A game that immediately comes to mind is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Specifically, the 900 Korok Seeds that players are asked to gather for Hestu.
Of course, by collecting a set amount of Korok Seeds, players can speak with Hestu and, in turn, upgrade their inventory space. Collect all 900 of them, however, and the only reward you’ll be given is a golden turd. No, really, it’s a golden turd, gifted to you by Hestu himself. And guess what? It serves no purpose whatsoever, other than to remind its seekers how much time they lost to such monotony.
4. Flags (Assassin’s Creed)
Assassin’s Creed has seen its fair share of pointless collectibles over the years, none of which have been anywhere near as useless as the 420 flags from the first game. In fact, those very flags became a running joke for the game’s designer Patrice Désilets who, when asked about the players who spent days collecting them, openly admitted to including them for no reason whatsoever, and that anyone who did go out of their way to find them was — and I quote — “crazy.”
Besides being a pointless exercise with no real benefits whatsoever, collectors in receipt of all flags wouldn’t even receive recognition for their efforts. And so, really, the whole thing was just a joke to show how collectibles can be an incredibly redundant feature in a video game. Anyone who actually went out of their way to gather all 420, of course, would’ve figured that out. Eventually.
3. Tucson to Las Vegas (Smoke and Mirrors)
In a bid to make the worst video game in the world, celebrated magicians Penn and Teller looked to develop an experience that would be both boring beyond belief, and irreversibly taxing on the soul. The product of such ambition, of course, wound up becoming Smoke and Mirrors, an endless runner game that had no purpose other than to tick off its players.
The goal is simple: drive a bus across a desert for 8 hours straight. The only obstacle that prevents you from reaching your final destination, annoyingly enough, is a partially flat tyre that causes you to veer off to the right. After players complete the road trip, a single point is scored. A point towards what, you ask? Well, that’s the thing. There is no point to said point. It’s a waste of time, and Penn and Teller know it more than anyone.
2. Mixed Messages (Elden Ring)
If there’s one thing we need help with — it’s Elden Ring’s stupidly difficult campaign through the savagely beaten Lands Between. The good news there, of course, is that players can, in fact, lend a helping hand by leaving messages behind for others to pick up. The problem is, well, people don’t take it all that seriously. Instead, it’s just a litter of coded messages and little white lies, and that’s all.
From the moment you step out as the warrior reborn, you’ll notice a number of glyphs scattered around the world. Interacting with one of them, of course, will give you a clue about what’s to come. And if it isn’t that, then it’s usually a troll leaving a message to tell you that you’re well out of your depth, and that you should go back to Viva Piñata on Xbox 360. You know, friendly words of encouragement to help ease the mind and soul. Picture that, but for the whole of the game. That’s Elden Ring, and it is absolutely riddled with trolls.
1. Golden Skulltulas (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time)
The Legend of Zelda has been known for providing some of the most pointless collectibles in video game history. Besides Breath of the Wild’s blasted Korok Seeds, the series also featured another relatively pointless collectible, one that served no actual purpose outside of lining the player’s pockets with a handful of Rupees. Rupees that, by the time all collectibles had been found, were basically useless.
Of course, we’re talking about Ocarina of Time’s Golden Skulltulas — all 100 of them. As much as we enjoyed the idea of unearthing one just to hand over to the twisted inhabitants of the House of Skulltula, the rewards were never worth the hassle. And, given how the game launched during a time when guides weren’t really a thing, that meant a whole lot of legwork just to get the whole set. The reward for doing so, believe it or not, was 200 Rupees. 200 Rupees…for dozens of hours of work. Well played, Nintendo.
So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our top five? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.