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Top 10 Most CONFUSING Video Game Levels!

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by Shane O'Gorman Have we been here before? Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Confusing Video Game Levels! Special thanks to our user “Dan Paradis” for suggesting this topic using our interactive suggestion tool at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Most Confusing Video Game Levels

What exactly am I supposed to do? Welcome to and today we will be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Most Confusing Video Game Levels.

For this list, we looked at video games with levels or areas that left us completely baffled or lost due to the layout, progression and goal of the stage being abstract or unclear.

#10: The Great Maze

“Super Smash Bros Brawl” (2008)

Super. Smash. Bros. Emphasis on the “SMASH”. This series is at its best when it focuses on allowing players to duke it out in free-for-all fighting game goodness. While the ‘Great Maze’ mode in ‘Brawl’ was an appreciated addition for more content to sink into, we are expected to sink so deep into it that we…well…get lost. The maze is absolutely massive and there is no clear indication as to what path is necessary in order to successfully find the exit. Good luck finding a way out without looking up an online guide with step-by-step instructions. We’d rather ‘lose’ ourselves in the fun multiplayer matches instead.

#9: Silph Co.

“Pokémon Red” & “Pokémon Blue” (1996)

‘Gotta catch ‘em all’. Simple goal. You know what’s not simple? Traversing a maze-like level by stepping onto teleportation devices with no clear indication of where you’ll end up! The only true method or strategy is trial and error, testing out each teleporter and memorizing where each one brings you. Unfortunately, your memory (and patience) may be tested as the trek to each teleporter is often interrupted by a Pokémon battle with a member of team rocket. Okay cool, the battles are fun, but once they are done it’s right back to battling the stage itself. Be careful not to get too flustered, otherwise you risk your face turning red and blue.

#8: Limbo

“DOOM” (1993)

Let’s recap here: this is a level called ‘limbo’ in a game called ‘DOOM’… we are screwed. While old-school first-person shooters were less linear than they are today, with more open-ended level design, ‘limbo’ takes things way too far. The level is excessively large, with way too many corridors to explore. Combine this with the fact that the graphics of the time were far more primitive than they are today and everything looks…kind of…the same. This can obviously lead to confusion, as the player is unable to differentiate one area from another, eventually going in circles trying to find the exit and ultimately finding themselves stuck in – well – limbo.

#7: Subterranean Hideout

“Star Wars: Dark Forces” (1995)

If the goal here was to accurately recreate the dank, unpleasant and winding structure of navigating sewers, well, mission accomplished. For starters, the level is way too big for its own good. Add to this the aforementioned limited graphics capabilities of the time to render a 3D environment and you have everything looking mighty similar. It’s just one dark, winding, grey, sewage-filled corridor after another. The worst part is the tunnel sequence in which you have to ride a filthy water current, but just one wrong turn and you’ll have to start all over again. If you find yourself in this hell-hole, well, may the force be with you.

#6: World 8 Fortress

“Super Mario Bros. 3” (1988)

Naturally, you’d expect the finale of a game to provide a hefty challenge, but this is too much. Taking a cue from the original ‘Super Mario Bros’, this final stage shifts away from a standard linear design to a maze-like structure, with very specific routes that the player must traverse in order to move forward. While that’s already quite a bit to handle, that isn’t even the real kicker here. In order to successfully finish the level, it is mandatory that the player had hit a ‘P-switch’ earlier in the stage to activate a hidden door. Therefore, if the player hadn’t done so, they’d be utterly confused and hopelessly stuck. Oh, Nintendo, you and your sadistic shenanigans.

#5: The Gutter

“Dark Souls 2” (2014)

“Prepare to die”? More like “prepare to have no idea where to go”. The Gutter lives up to its name, as a deep, dark and wildly unpleasant cesspool of despair. It’s impossible to see anything in the darkness without turning up the brightness on your TV monitor, something which doesn’t make navigating the treacherous area any easier. As is the case with most confusing levels, nearly all of it looks the same, with little details or landmarks available to differentiate between where you are and where you’ve been. It doesn’t help that you need to stop and fight enemies, causing you to lose track of your position. Was I going there? Did I come from…there? Agh!

#4: Vivec City

“The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind” (2002)

For it’s time, ‘Morrowind’ was a mind-blowing technical achievement. The landscape is massive and ready for you to freely pillage and explore. Of course, nothing is perfect and this sweeping scope can occasionally be…too big – case in point: Vivec City. Vivec seems to stretch on forever, with an overwhelming number of roads and towering buildings for you to explore. Of course, the biggest issue is - all together now - everything looks the same. Even more frustrating is the fact that Vivec is a city, not a dungeon with one clear direction to go - finding the armorer or the fighters guild makes the expression “finding a needle in a haystack” seem easy by comparison.

#3: The Atlantean Stronghold

“Tomb Raider Gold” (1998)

Who doesn’t love some extra content for their favorite games? The original ‘Tomb Raider’ received an enhanced version two years later, including brand spanking new levels. It’s too bad the ‘Atlantean Stronghold’ level was a claustrophobic, unclear disaster. It suffers from that age-old feeling of “where do I go…what do I do?” with tons of cramped environments and uncertainty in terms of where the player is supposed to be doing in order to progress. You’ll have to move slowly to boot, as there are tricky jumps to pull off, which can set you back big time. ‘Tomb Raider’ was golden enough without the addition of this infuriating addition.

#2: Water Temple

“The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” (1998)

Ask any gamer and they’ll tell you: ‘Ocarina of Time’ is a masterpiece…save for that ‘Water Temple’ part, to which they will probably begin to share some repressed memories based on the hours spent in this level. The constant shift of raising and lowering the water alters the layout of the temple and what the player has to explore, making it unclear if they are even where they’re supposed to be at any given time. The chance of error here is extremely high, with some gamers getting so stuck by wasting a key on a wrong door, that they felt compelled to restart the entire game from scratch. Yeowch.

#1: Modron Maze

“Planescape: Torment” (1999)

The preceding entries are confusing but at least they prepared you well enough to try and overcome their obstacles. The Modron Maze on the other hand feels completely random when compared to everything that came before, hence all the confusion. The maze is procedurally generated, which means that the area is being rendered in real time, so there is no warning or anticipation as to how things will play out. It won’t take long before a sense of utter hopelessness takes over the player, as they struggle to find some clear path through the maze. Sad bit is, the rest of the game is really good! You just…need to somehow figure your way out of here first.

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