This week I asked all you fine, potentially troubled Kotaku readers what your most impressive (most disturbing?) gaming marathon story is. And, well, yeah...
I'm... worried about most of you. Here are 15 interesting tales of perseverance in the name of gaming.
"Read the instructions"
one of my most memorable experiences involved Nobunaga's Ambition on the Genesis. I was 13 at the time and had a friend come over so we could try and figure the game out. The instruction book was the size of a text book so I said screw it. A means yes, b means no, and we went for it. we played from 6pm to 8am and went through enough coffee to poison a small African tribe. As my dad woke up we shared the knowledge we had gained, and expressed how proud we were that we managed to take over a few territories after many failures. We then passed out for about 3 hours, which is all the caffeine overdose would allow, When we woke up we walked out to the living room to see my dad sitting there with half the map taken over and playing the game like a champ. We asked him in shock how he figured it all out and he simply said "i read the instructions."
now that I think about it he did the same thing when MK was released on the SNES. I begged him to rent it for me, and he was able to get out of work early and pick up a copy. He came home, read the instructions and practiced until about 5 mins before I got home. Once home he first played like he didn't get the game to see my dreams crushed, then laughed at me and turned the game on. He said he got to challenge me first, and selected Sub Zero. I went with Scorpion because, reasons! Needless to say my dad handed my ass to me, and laughed at me. yeah.. my dad rocks hehe.
Peeing In Coffee Cans
My senior year of high school, I decided I was going to take a week off. My entire high school career, I never missed a day and I felt I was due a little time off. Luckily for me, Devil May Cry 3 had just come out. I played through all of DMC1, trudged through DMC2 as quickly as I could and spent the next 5 days indulging in DMC3.
It was great, but I had to be really sneaky about it. I had to lie and say I was getting picked up by a friend and hide super quietly in my closet until my dad left. It was double difficult because my older sister still lived at home (she still does BTW) and her room was right next to mine. So any excitement or anger I may have experienced playing the game had to be dealt with quickly and quietly.
I also couldn't go to the restroom because the bathroom was right in front of her room. So I had to make due and started peeing in some old coffee cans. I would dump and rinse them out when I "got home from school". It was gross, but DMC3 was awesome and it was totally worth it. I talked to a classmate and got all my missed assignments turned in on Monday and actually had my English teacher shun the rest of the class on my return because I completed all of my assignments while I was out "sick" and they hadn't.
Two Days Later...Whoops, When Did That Happen?
I was quite excited for the release of Mass Effect 3 to the point where I took time off of work for it. My fiance was going away for the weekend and would be back in a couple of days.
I was confused sometime later when she came back in the house and had a concerned look on her face. I hadn't really noticed (stopped counting the few bathroom breaks) but I had been playing the game non-stop for 2 days straight and she had come back from her trip.
She forced me to take a shower before I passed out.
I was Commander Shepard for those two days. It was lucky that I had a case of seltzer water next to my chair while I was playing otherwise I probably would have been in worse shape when she had found me.
Sleep-Playing Is Actually Pretty Impressive
Not strictly a marathon, but...
I was in college when the Diablo II expansion came out. I bought it before starting my senior thesis, and decided that I would only play the game when the thesis was complete. Sure enough, I kept to my word, finished my thesis months in advance, and got to Diabloing around. I didn't marathon it at any given point, but I played a lot. A whole lot. How much, you ask?
Well, this one time, I was playing around in Act III - in the city areas near the end, out of the jungle - and I was tired, so I began to doze off. I fell asleep, and woke to find that I had continued playing in my sleep, found several waypoints, explored a couple of side dungeons, completed at least one quest, and made regular town runs to sell my loot, all while asleep.
I decided that it was time to put Diablo II away for a little while.
16 Hours Without A Bathroom Break
Playing Persona 3 FES for 16 hours straight, no bathroom breaks, no food breaks, not even a single glass of water. I knew I was getting close to the game's ending, since I was already 400 hours in. At the end of that day, I clocked 416 hours in Persona 3 FES and it was the most beautiful gaming experience I have ever had the pleasure of wasting time on, hence my Aigis avatar here on Kotaku.
After beating the game and shedding a few tears at the end, I felt dizzy and passed out on the bed, waking up about 24 hours later, almost starving to death and with a severe migraine.
Thank you Persona 3 FES.
Literally Just In The Game Now
(via Edmund Hunsicker)
Not really the marathon itself, but what happened immediately after is the point to my story.
So, a friend of mine got me hooked on the Resident Evil series, and I had played the RE3 all the way through, multiple times, while dabbling in the first two entries. When talking with a store employee about it, he recommended Silent Hill, claiming it to be far scarier. That night, I talked my mum into going to Blockbuster Video to rent this amazing title. I got it, made it home, but it was too late to really get into the game, so I went to sleep. The next day rolls around, and I've got all day to play it (Viva Summer Break!). We're talking 10AM to 1AM with only bathroom and food breaks in between!
So, 1 AM rolls around, and I've been stuck in the same place for the past three hours, unable to figure out where to go (either the school or the hospital, I forget which). Deciding to take a small break, I realise I am out of soda and chips, and I want to head to 7-11 to pick some up, as it's only a ten minute walk to get there.
I open the door, wallet in pocket and keys in hand... and there is a wall of fog so thick I can't see the front of the car in the driveway. I should mention that up to this point, I have been playing with the lights off, and it's been pitch black in my room for the past 5 hours. Here I am, however, now presented with the world of Silent Hill, right outside my door. I shut the door, headed back to my room, turned the lights on and decided that maybe it was time to call it a night and go to sleep... with the lights on, and a radio on...
To this day, I can not play horror games with the lights off because of it. I also can't really do marathon sessions of anything that isn't an RPG. But that is another tale, for another time.
SPRING BREAK YEAAAAAAH
It was my freshman year of college and Super Smash Bros Brawl just kept getting bumped back. A few months. Another month. I wanted it so bad. It eventually was set to release on the Tuesday of Spring Break. What luck! I could play it all I wanted. The problem was that I was supposed to go to Florida with my mum, grandma and brother. I had agreed to this before Brawl's launch had been moved back. Ugh.
"You'd rather stay home and play that video game then go on vacation with us?" my mum asked.
"...no?" was the best I could muster. I would have much rather done that.
And thus I was off to Florida, though I was sure as heck going to bring my Wii. I rigged up a 13 inch TV inside my mums van and managed to convince her to let me snag the game at midnight.
I put in a solid 10 hours of gameplay on the long drive down, with occasional restroom stops until we finally hit our Florida destination.
For the next week of vacation I averaged roughly 9 hours of Brawl a day. Sneaking in as much as possible while others slept and froliced on the beach. I stand by that decision. It was a great Spring Break.
A 2-Pound Bag Of Twizzlers
Anybody remember how Baldur's Gate II had an actual warning to players to please stop playing occasionally and eat, amidst its many other loading screens telling you helpful tips about D&D rules? I do. Mostly because the day it came out I ignored them and played in the middle of a blazing heat wave until I passed out. Turns out not drinking liquid and gaming without standing for 10 hours are a bad combo.
I also think the only thing I ate was a conveniently within arms reach 1kg bag of twizzlers.
But by god I raised the gold to get Imoen!
Two Very Nasty Habits
A methamphetamine habit and World of Warcraft. My /played was around 360 days out of 3 1/2 years or so. Two, very nasty habits.
Three Weed Cookies, 10 Hours Of GTA
I was in Chico on a day with no classes and a buddy made some weed cookies. I ate two and felt nothing. I ate another. Felt nothing. So I left and went and got lunch. Midway through I entered some tunnel vortex, boxed up my uneaten burger and walked my bike home. I hopped on to GTA San Andreas around 1 p.m.
I honestly have no recollection of the next 10 hours or so, except for crashing my bike on the train tracks and having to run to the wooded area FOOORRREVVVEEERRR. I was woken from my trance by my girlfriend who I had missed plans with. To this day, I don't remember much of that game.
28 Hours Later...Carpal Tunnel
Right when I got into Kingdom Hearts (around 2007 I think) I marathoned Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2. I didn't realise how long I was playing until my dad came home from his trip (he has to travel for work) and told me to look at the clock.
I had played for over 28 hours. Afterwards I got carpal tunnel in my right hand. I'm right handed, and I had to go to school.....anyway the moral of the story is, don't play a game that constantly requires you to press the x and triangle button constantly for 28 hours.
(via Brandon Robbins)
My best friend and I participated in Extra Life last year. We ended up raising $US300 for Duke's Children's Hospital. We were very proud of ourselves, and we're doing it again next year. We set up at my house so we could keep each other company. We started at 9:00 AM and went straight through to the next day.
It was the first true gaming marathon, organised or otherwise, I had ever participated in. It was only the second time in my life that I was deliberately planning on being awake for more than 18 hours, so I stocked up on caffeine.
We didn't stick with one game for the whole time. He played NHL 14 while I played Sid Meier's Civilisation: Beyond Earth. We played some Injustice together, I played Titanfallwhile he played Destiny, we just kind of mixed it up.
The mix of caffeine and differing visual stimuli on top of the lack of sleep kind of played tricks with my head. At 11:00 PM, I texted my mum: "I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar." She doesn't even watch Firefly. At 3:37 AM I texted my little brother: "I have seen the truth. I am the Champion. I am the Forever Eagle and the Sword of Justice." When he reminded my about a family birthday dinner, I asked if it was ok if we bring "our purple giraffe, Willy Wiki Winsock."
Sometime in in the dark time of the morning, I took a frozen pizza out and stood in front of the oven, staring at it, before shouting "How do I cook pizza?"
By 8:45 AM, my friend had resolved to playing Mah Jong and Solitaire on his PC. I was running around in Titanfall, not even trying to win, just rodeoing Titans with wild abandon. With two minutes left to go, we finished out by playing rock-paper-scissors. It was the most out-of-sync game of rock-paper-scissors ever.
24 PayDay Wrappers
(via I don't think so Tim)
I was in college when Smash Bros. Brawl came out for Wii. A couple of my friends and I went to Gamestop to get it at midnight, then played it until around 3:00 AM. Anyway, I decided to go to bed then but a friend of mine asked if he could stay on my couch and play it some more.
Anyway, I wake up around 10:00AM (because I was in college and I could do that without feeling like a piece of shit the rest of the day) and he is still on my couch playing Brawl, a pile of twenty-four Payday wrappers next to him (he had bought a case of them the night prior). He managed to unlock all the levels and characters for me while I was asleep, and I'm sure he didn't shit for at least a month after eating all those fucking peanuts.
The Delirious Love Note He Doesn't Remember Sending
Years ago, in the early days of WoW:
I went through a breakup. Not a great one. Met a new girl about a month later, but wanted to stay relaxed, and not make it a rebound relationship (spoiler alert, we're married 5 years with a kid on the way, so it worked).
About 2-3 months into our dating, and it's Thanksgiving. My brothers are around, and we decide to take the long weekend to have a lan party and play WoW for the next 4 days.
I'm 10 and 15 years younger than my brothers, and was 20 at the time. They had to sleep, I didn't.
Or so I thought.
I run for about 2 days, only sleeping for about three hours. Late in those two days, I start nodding off while sitting up. annoying for the team, but it's all good. Sometime after the second day, I decide to sleep for a bit.
I woke up about 6 hours later, 10AM on Monday morning, to an email from my Girlfriend: "I'm not quite sure what to say."
Apparently, about 8 hours earlier, I had sent an email saying that "I loved her very much, and couldn't wait to spend the rest of our lives together." It was more long winded than that. I remembered absolutely NONE of it. didn't remember typing it, or sending it. I think I was more surprised to see my love note than she was!
Years later, she still married me :)
Burn Marks and Resilient Poop Make For A Crazy Party
Years ago, I used to work at a LAN center (best job I'll ever have) in my town. Every year, we'd have an overnight event one weekend around New Year's (if it was on the weekend, it happened that night).
Unfortunately, the owner had to shut down the business a week or two after the event, but we wanted to go out with a bang and make it something to remember. Fridge stocked, pizzas ordered, we were expecting a full house (at the time, had about 15-20 PCs + several TVs for consoles).
It was goddamn packed. Too many kids coming and going. Worse: my boss had to leave for some small emergency, leaving me to micro-manage.
Huge mistake. Since the business was going under, the kids. went. apeshit.
All of the trading cards? Opened and scattered around the lobby, stuck to things. Harry Potter. Pokemon. Yuguioh. It looked like a hurricane had passed through.
There was Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew, and Bawls in some of the lamp covers (as in: the 'bowl' shape that surrounds the bulb was turned into a literal cauldron). When asking some of the 'regulars' to help me out, I remember them taking a bat to the sofa and trying to BEAT out the damp soft drink residue.
One kid, (I found out later he was lactose intolerant), ate so much pizza that he clogged the toilet so much the plumber that came the following day had to cut it up with a knife.
A group of them decided it would be a good idea to take a stuffed animal, rip the stuffing out, fill it with marshmallows, and then toss it in the microwave. When one kid tried to take it out, they hadn't realised what had happened and put his hand directly into the molten goo [he was fine, it didn't go that far in]. When I took to kicking the culprits out, I had found that they had already left -- stringing the remnants across the front porch.
I passed the building [now a law firm] recently and there's still burn marks from where it was left on the pavement out front.
8 Hours Of Dancing With A Necromorph While On Drugs
(via Cyclone Dash)
It's not a long story, mind you. But it's certainly crazy. My friend and I decided to do a marathon of Dead Space on hard mode, to celebrate Dead Space 3s release. We also smoked a bowl and downed that with vodka. And uh..Then, we did ecstasy. It wasn't a good year for health. Anyway, the marathon quickly went downhill because of how messed up we were.
It got to this point where I entered a room, and I saw a necromorph leap out of a vent on the wall across from me. Anyway, I entered this room just adjacent to the vent where I supposed to collect some quest item from a dead body, and I opened the door to leave, when I noticed the necromorph leap out of the vent again. So I instinctively backed away through the door frame, and without the door closing, the necromorph turned all the way back and leapt back in the vent. So I stepped out of the room, the necromorph jumped out, I walked back in the room, and I saw it jump back.
I could let it get close enough to attack me, and all I needed to do was step through the door frame, and it'd go all the way back down the hall to its vent. The crazy part is that I was so strung out of my mind, I did this for 8 hours, just staring blankly at the TV, doing the same cycle over and over and over. The only reason I stopped was because I passed out. But why did I do it? Did I think it was funny? I don't remember.
Eight goddamn hours..Don't do drugs. Anyway, it was a huge failure. My friend fell asleep because I was boring the hell out of him. He thought it was funny at first. Then he tried stopping me. But he couldn't stop me. I just said "Dude, no..I have to do it. I'm onto something."(Eh, something like that.)
Illustration: Jim Cooke