In video games, we're used to being heroes, saving hapless innocents from villains, monsters and their own demons. Sometimes, though, we need a hero to save us. Here are stories of daring rescues that happened in video games.
Earlier this week, I asked readers to tell me their best stories of when somebody came to their rescue in their darkest video game hour. I received a deluge of words about human kindness and even a couple of tales that ended in real-life friendship. Also, one involved a talking dog.
'He said he left his game on for 6 hours a day waiting for someone to rescue him'
In an old school hardcore 2D MMO called Tibia (Think 2D Elder Scrolls, the game is massive), there is a small island to the south-west called Fibula. On this small island there is bar/house you can own with a sewer grate next to it that leads to a small cave with a couple rats in it. In Tibia you are required to have a rope to get up from some holes and most sewer grates have ladders so it’s safe to assume 9/10 times you can get back up... but often new players would find themselves stuck in these holes (This has been fixed since 2003, ALL sewer grates have ladders now). I once pulled a guy out of this cave with my rope who claimed he was down there for 2 entire weeks. He said he left his game on for 6 hours a day waiting for someone to rescue him. When I asked him why he didn’t just ask someone in a chat channel he responded with “Wait, there are public chat channels in this game!? I love you so much”. We became friends and I eventually gave him a position in my guild, a bedroom in my guildhall on the same island.. and of course.. a new rope.
Summer loving happened so fast
From Bones of a Hare:
I’m a terrible shot. No accuracy, at all.
So a summer about four years ago a friend had left his XBox 360 at my house. He got along with my housemate and they were playing GTA or something, but he also left the new (at the time) Tomb Raider. I decided to have a go at it, only to be massacred by stupid wolves.
Seriously. Over and over, dead by wolves. Because I panicked and shot the ground, or the trees, or the sky, possibly myself.
After a bit, the XBox owner came by, noticed me struggling, and inverted the axis/showed me how to shoot. Eventually he just killed the wolves for me.
We started dating soon after and are still together :) When people ask me how we met I just tell them he saved me from being mauled to death.
Lean on me, when you're not strong
There is no love like someone else willing to fall into a hole with you and let you climb up onto their back to get out.
It could be The Forest, when doing so was the difference between one of us getting out and both of us getting out. (You still had some ammo and could fight back and then go a longer way. I was still learning how to use an axe.)
It could be Reign of Kings, when you run halfway across the map to help me out of a stone trap, because you considered dying in that trap a small price to pay for me walking back with my 2K of stone and my steel tools.
It could be War of the Vikings, when we glitch through the wall on the church level and you help me up and out while you stay behind, valiantly I think. No. You stay to snipe.
And it could be Mario 2, where I ride you up and then float away like the Princess I am.
To you, person who lets me ride on their back in order to get out of a tight spot, I thank you.
Old school justice
Runescape, back in the day. I was farming green drags in the wildy and some Pkers rolled up on me.
This dude who was pretending to be a bot just nuked the two guys. This was when the game started to lag and fall out of flavor so it was nice to see old school justice still around. I paid it forward and did the same for folks in the future
'The guy I'd saved from the ledge bug shows up to save me'
I played a match of the original Left 4 Dead that ended with me getting saved in glorious fashion. On the No Mercy map, there was a nasty bug that could kill you in the finale; to enter the area where the finale takes place (the roof of a hospital skyscraper), you have to drop down from a ledge. Sometimes, you can get put into the near death state where your character is hanging from a ledge; this is meant for situations where you get knocked out a window like on the way up the skyscraper, not the ten-foot drop into the finale arena. There’s no way to pull yourself up, another player has to help you, and if you’ve already dropped down, you can’t get back on the ledge. This means that unless a player hasn’t dropped down yet, if you get hit by this bug you’re dead for the entire finale (even though when your time runs out your character drops like six feet).
Knowing all this, and how to avoid the bug, I decided to hang back and wait for my team to drop down first in case one of them got hit by the bug, and sure enough, someone did, and I was there to save them. They knew it, too, they saw exactly what I’d done and thanked me for it. So with that crisis averted, we go on to play the finale. We survived until the extraction chopper showed up, and as I run to the chopper, a Tank nails me with a boulder, sending me flying off the ramp to the escape, and falling onto one of the lower areas of the roof, incapacitating me. I thought to myself, “Well that’s it, I’m not surviving this match,” but then, the guy I’d saved from the ledge bug shows up to save me. I couldn’t believe it, there was a whole army of infected between the chopper and where I’d landed (one of my other teammates was actually saying, “We gotta leave him,” and I was inclined to agree), I didn’t think I’d have been able to make it even if the fall hadn’t incapacitated me, and this guy knew that, but he came anyway, picked me up, and we both made it to chopper alive. It was exhilarating.
'This is really nice gear' [ominous pause]
I was playing Diablo II Hardcore with my level 50 Necromancer. This was maybe 1.06 or 1.07 or something. I was in a server with others, and I had given some of the strangers there loot persmission in case I died.
I died (permanent in Hardcore). One guy said he’d come rescue my stuff so he could give it to my next character. He picked it up, and froze. Didn’t say anything for about 15 seconds while he looked at my loot. +6 to all skills, max resistances in Hell mode. If you don’t know, this is a pretty amazing set of equipment in D2. That gear had been on maybe 5 of my characters as I built it up, died, and had it returned to me.
Then he said, “This is really nice gear.” I said, “Yes, it is.” More silence. Then I logged back in with a new character and he gave it to me.
'I had been playing a multiplayer game and didn't even realise it'
Sigh, ok Kotaku. I’ll give you my story.
It all started when I got the game Journey. I’m traveling around, enjoying the atmosphere, the creature designs ect. All seems to be normal fair until I come across a another ‘me’. It followed me around, made jingle noises and jumped when I jumped. I thought to myself “Huh, interesting companion”.
So we progress throughout the story, come across the cylinder room where we see a vision of us failing to scale the mountain and right when we’re set to leave the temple to scale the mountain, my companion doesn’t move. I move back and forth indicating that we should get moving, but nothing is working. So when I walk outside on my and and turn around, the companion vanishes. It wasn’t until I step out into the cold that I begin to understand why. Maybe the companion was happy enough where it was and it didn’t want to go out and risk it’s life to scale the mountain as the images foretold. It was scared, worried but content with where it was. So I moved on.
It wasn’t until my scarf was telling me I was close to death that from out of no where, my companion comes dashing up the mountain slope to my rescue, restoring my scarf. From that point on, we scaled the mountain together. and... well, I won’t spoil it for you.
I thought that this was just simple story telling through gameplay mechanics. It wasn’t until I researched the game after beating it that I learned what was going on. The companion character was actually another player. I had been playing a Multi-Player game and didn’t even realize it. That moment when the companion refused to leave wasn’t because it was written that way, it was because the player got disconnected. And when the companion came back to rescue me, that was just a different player connecting to my game.
It’s funny how not knowing what is actually happening helped shape a story like that. Here are these two journeying strangers seeking out a calling, and one of them is too scared to venture forth because of the dangerous road ahead. There was nothing cowardice or weak about it. It just felt like someone had reached their limit. The idea that they would come rushing to my aid in the freezing cold and continue onward really touched me, and again, it was a moment that shouldn’t have happened at all.
'I had 15 minutes of life support oxygen before it was gone'
Well, since the header image is from Elite Dangerous, I’ll tell the story of when I was stranded in that game.
So it was about a year ago, before any of the DLC for the game came out. I was hauling contraband in a long range build ASP Explorer doing what lots of people said was the most profitable thing at the time, smuggling from Robigo Mines. This solar system is a decent distance away from, “the bubble” of occupied solar systems. To help manage this lengthy journey which had few chances for fuel stops (it’s not a good idea to stop for fuel when smuggling anyways, more chances for the authorities to catch on to what you’re doing), my spacecraft had extra fuel tanks, a powerful Frameshift Drive for high distance lightspeed jumps, and a fuel scoop which can scoop fuel from certain stars.
I had made this journey a few times before, but this time I really wanted to optimize and cut down on my travel time, to see how fast I could do the run. I ended up having almost no fuel with almost half of my journey left to go. I had enough fuel for about 2 jumps and I needed to scoop fuel from one of those stars. Thing was, this was before I knew that some stars could not be fuel scooped. The star I jumped to couldn’t be fuel scooped, so I jumped to the next one which had the same result. I no longer had fuel for another jump, and I was still a decent length outside the “bubble” of occupied space.
Thankfully I had read something useful in the steam guides I had read (guides in general are useful in Elite Dangerous, as the game itself explains very little about how things work in game). There was an organization of players called The Fuel Rats who specifically assisted stranded pilots who were out of fuel. Somewhat upset that I had to rely on someone else to dig me out of my own mistake, I went to their site and followed the instructions they had listed for pilots who needed help.
I had confirmation that someone was coming to re-supply me with fuel. But the instructions for stranded pilots was pretty thorough, and I had to power down my ASP Explorer and wait. Without power to the engines, the ship got cold quickly, and the cockpit glass frosted up. An indicator on my cockpit flicked on, which was the only light source now that my dashboard lights were shut off. It showed that I had 15 minutes of life support oxygen before it was gone. I was suddenly thankful that I had invested in a decent life support module, even though I have never had to use it before.
It was very....strange waiting to be rescued like that. Up until then I had played Elite Dangerous without any thoughts as to what I was actually doing. To me it had been a casual trading game, but finally I realized that I was in a powered metal box, hundreds of light years away from anyone who could help and drifting in the unforgiving environment of space. Suddenly things were very peaceful and quiet. Since I had done most of the requesting fuel process while in supercruise, I was far enough away from the star I had warped onto so I couldn’t see it anymore. It was just me in my now freezing spaceship cockpit, looking out at the thousands of stars in virtual space.
I had to wait about 5 minutes until the bright headlights of a ship much bigger than mine warped into the instance I was in. By then I was starting to think of normal questions, like what would happen if I ran out of oxygen? And deep ones like how the concept of religion was flawed if intelligent life could originate from more than one solar system.
The pilot from The Fuel Rats was friendly enough, he started to deploy limpet drones (short range utility drones) to haul fuel to my ship. I couldn’t help but notice how little fuel the drones supplied me with. Each drone filled about 1/30th of my total fuel supply. After a few of these had come and gone, I had about 1/8th of my total fuel capacity. The pilot asked if that was enough, and I wasn’t sure what to tell him. I could use more i suppose, I replied through text chat. A few more drones later, and I have about 1/4 of my fuel tank now full. That would have to do.
The pilot said he noticed I had a fuel scoop, and he taught me the process to identify stars that could be fuel scooped while plotting a trip through the universe map. Making a mental note to check a fuel scooping guide later, I thanked the pilot, and he departed. I slowly re-activated all my ASP Explorer’s systems, watching in satisfaction as my life support timer disappeared and the frost on my cockpit glass began to vanish as well. I began the process to jump to the next star, and finished my trip without a hitch.
They're good dogs, Bront of the Frozen Wastes
This wasn’t a person, just the NPC AI.
I was a low level character in Skyrim. I was traveling with the talking dog, and the first random dragon swooped down on me. The dog killed it all by itself.
At this point, I no longer trusted the dog.
If I’m playing Mercy in Overewatch and you save my ass, I remember.
'I scramble and start asking for help in local voice chat'
And lastly, here's one that was emailed to me by Daniel Czarny:
I had just started playing Rust on Steam after reading stuff and seeing videos of the game. I was fresh blood, barely knew how to survive. After about a days work of getting a small house built and storing some materials for further development planned for the next evenings adventure I signed off.
The next evening rolls around and I sign on to find myself waking up on a beach naked like I did when I first started the game. I got raided, and I didn't know how to cope so I went back to where my house was to find it blown open and empty.
I stroll around a bit, typing into chat what happened and everyone kind of laughed and shook it off like 'Ha Noob got his cherry popped.' I am running around and get killed randomly, after spawning again the sun is going down so I scramble and start asking for help in local voice chat and I hear someone respond back. These two people offer to take me into their base and only into the front room because they don't know me or my intentions. Well they feed me and I am the perfect guest.
After this I joined on with him and his wife and we keep playing, learning, killing and raiding together. That was about 4 or 5 years ago and we are great friends now. Last year I flew out to him and in a month he will fly out here to hang out and game.