Random Moments in Gaming

While video game programmers put a lot of work into making their creation suitable for the public, there are very few games that are perfect upon release. There are some titles that can present you with an developmental oversight that not many gamers come across. Or you can create a situation within the game that is unique to you.

I’d like to share my list of WTF moments I’ve either encountered or instigated in some of the games I’ve played. Each entry will feature the game title and a subtitle summing up the situation.

1) Far Cry 3’s The driver must really hate these guys – When it comes to first-person shooters or role-playing games, I am someone who prefers stealth or killing from a distance. In the case of Far Cry 3, this approach allowed me to see something extremely unexpected and funny. I was positioned on a cliff overlooking a beach, and there were a couple enemy soldiers patrolling the area between me and my objective. I was ready to take them down with a bow and arrow when I saw a jeep – being driven by their comrades, I might add – turn the corner and start driving through. I quickly chose to bide my time and wait for the vehicle to pass by. What I didn’t expect was for the two guys on foot to get run over and killed instantly. To make it even more hysterical, the car didn’t even slow down or deviate from its path. Of all the moments that made the list, this is the only one I could easily build a story around.

2) Skyrim’s Because I literally didn’t see the bridge – Generally, I am a very observant person – a trait that’s served me well in my everyday life and in video games. That doesn’t stop my keen eye from occasionally failing me. One of my biggest blunders occurred when I wandered into Sovngarde, the mystical realm in the fantasy adventure game of Skyrim, for the final fight of the game. It should have been impossible to miss the giant bridge leading to a temple in the center of the map. I somehow developed tunnel vision when I got to this stage and ended up walking off the edge of a waterfall in an attempt to get to the building.

3) Skyrim’s Magic-user turned creepy stalker – One mission in Skyrim entailed that I sneak into a library, grab a magic scroll, and get out by any means necessary. This proved difficult when a sorceress and two guardsmen entered the library the instant I grabbed the scroll. I was determined to try to get out undetected and spent some time sneaking my way past the patrolling guards. I thought I was home free when I turned into the entryway. I was surprised to see the sorceress seated between me and the door, but I quickly backed away into the shadows. Thankfully, she didn’t see me even though the movement made her get up and wander into the library. However, she did see one of the guards, which worked in my favor thanks to a wacky game glitch. For whatever reason, she started dogging the poor guard as he moved back and forth across the room and repeatedly said to him, “You need to leave.”

4) PUBG’s Yes, I am this easy to kill – I have only been playing the online multiplayer deathmatch game, Player Unknown Battlegrounds (PUBG) for about two months and am still very much an amateur. My general tactic is to sneak my way through the match and avoid conflict as much as possible. There are two things that need to be said so that the following anecdote makes sense. First, any player can get a speed boost by finding and consuming energy drinks or painkillers. Second, I am not very good at paying attention to my surroundings. That being said, I was running through an open field and was feeling fortunate because no one was shooting at me. The next thing I know, another player with a speed boost sprinted up behind me and beat me to death with a frying pan before I could react.

5) Fallout: New Vegas’ A deathclaw’s hidden weakness – Ever since I started playing the Fallout series, I have been terrified of deathclaws – the deadliest creatures in the game. I am scared to face just one of them, let alone a horde. In Fallout: New Vegas, one mission entailed that I clear out a quarry that had been taken over by 7-10 of these monsters. After several failed attempts to take them out without getting killed, I inadvertently discovered a game exploit that worked in my favor. They were virtually unable to get near me if I climbed onto one of the boulders spread throughout the quarry before they saw me. The one time I attempted this tactic after being spotted, the deathclaws easily followed me up there. One thing’s for sure – it’s funny watching them run in circles while I slowly gun them down.

6) Resident Evil Revelations 2’s Boss forfeits the fight (spoiler alert) – RE Revelations 2 isn’t the best game in the series, but it is more suspenseful and horrific than most of the recent entries. The game has a variety of different monsters that are hard to put down. Especially Neil, the traitorous human rights employee who sold out his co-workers for genetic experimentation. Unfortunately for him, Neil is in turn betrayed by the person who put him up to this and is transformed into a formidable hulking creature. I faced a bit of a problem trying to defeat him on the medium difficulty setting for the game. After getting killed by Neil several times, I decided to switch tactics and I ran underneath an overhang on the eastern edge of the map to avoid one of his jump attacks. Oddly, this resulted in Neil flat out disappearing and my playable character, Moira, speaking a line of dialogue that signified the end of the fight. I couldn’t immediately comprehend what happened, so I reloaded the game from the last savepoint and started the battle over. I was pleasantly surprised when the same thing occurred when I ducked underneath the eastern overhang. I don’t know if this exploit would work for everyone, but it is an easy way to bypass a tough fight.

7) Dead Island’s Being cautious just bit me in the ass – In addition to the zombie populace in Dead Island, you must also contend with criminals who will fight you for needed resources. At some point in the game, I ventured into the stockroom of a distribution company in search of food. I’d fought my way through a horde of zombies to get here, and I had to eliminate the criminals shooting at me before I could enter the stockroom. I thought I was perfectly safe firing from the cover of the entryway. I had only one hoodlum left to take out when I suddenly heard a noise behind me. I turned just in time to see one of the exploding zombies had crept up on me unnoticed. It blew up a second later and took me down with it.

I’m sure there are other games where I’ve either done something or witnessed something unexpected. I have other WTF moments in previous blogposts – referenced below – I’ve written. For now, here are the scenarios I remember that really stand out. I hope to collect many more good anecdotes from future games that I can write about.

I hope you all enjoyed this article. If so, be sure to tune in next month for my list of the worst games I’ve played.

For more of my video game follies, check out the following blogposts.








Summer at Last

The summer heat finally arrived. In preparation, my husband repaired and cleaned our outdoor gas grill for the summer season. He always does the grilling while I enjoy preparing the food.


I found different recipes for ribs, chicken, turkey burgers, salads, and vegetable skewers in preparation for different dining experiences. The recipes from the various magazines needed adjusting to satisfy my taste buds. My husband is much easier to please and enjoys eating the new dishes I prepare.


For the first time, I parboiled pork ribs to help tenderize the meat prior to sprinkling them with Weber Steak Seasoning. Next, my husband grilled the ribs and finished them with a coating of Johnny’s Firecracker Sauce. Delicious!


One of my favorite recipes was the vegetable skewers. I soaked wood skewers in water while I cut red onions, yellow onions, green, yellow, and orange peppers, zucchinis, and summer squash. After putting the vegetables on the skewers, I coated them lightly with a no-stick cooking spray and sprinkled them with Weber Veggie Grill Seasoning. This was a perfect dish we’ll repeat in the near future.


We’re ready to try more grilled foods now that indoor cooking isn’t our only option. Do you have any grilling recipes to share?


We went to Miami Beach for four days in late March. We wanted to remember what the sun looked like. In Ann Arbor, the skies were either cloudy and rainy or it was snowing and cold. What would it be like to go outside in just a tee shirt and pants? We were both very tired of putting on sweaters, jackets, gloves, boots and hats every time we left the house.


Landing at Miami International Airport was WONDERFUL! The sun was shining. The skies were blue. The temperature was 76 degrees. We smiled as we put our jackets in our suitcases and called an Uber to take us to the hotel.


The Gates was in Miami Beach, a block from the ocean. We had great views from the room of the pool, the trees and flowers. Once we unpacked, we went out for a walk to see the neighborhood.


The receptionist at the front desk had suggested that we walk down to 17th Street and turn right. We were glad we did. There was block after block of restaurants and stores. The center of the street, which was very wide, was closed to traffic. All the restaurants had put their outdoor tables and chairs there, under large tents.


We picked a Spanish restaurant and ordered seafood paella and sangria. It was a wonderful evening. We enjoyed a slight breeze as the day faded into night.


A Writer’s Confessional Part Four

A lot has been on my plate this month. I decided to start my own business, my art illustrations and my jewelry the focus. It’s entailed time away from fiction writing but directed me towards writing copy for the marketing end of my business, where I got my ideas for my jewelry and art. It brought me back to around the time I began attending the Deadwood Writer’s Group. I was writing a children’s picture book. I’d developed illustrations which now I am selling as prints on my Etsy page, www.wjkartisandesigns.com. It’s an exciting time in my life and I’m glad and grateful that I get to share these artworks in my own way now.

Another aspect that’s filled my attention is all that goes into starting a business. Finance, marketing, social media, product development – more jewelry and illustration development. It’s a bit nerve-racking to fit everything in, meaning my artistic nature and my need to write juicy and intriguing romances. But a smart woman, when I thought doing both was crazy, told me, “Why can’t you do both?” Her encouragement toward my success and happiness has always been given right when I needed it. So, thanks Mom. Love you!

On other exciting news, I’m going to Ireland soon. I’m not even there yet and I’m already inspired. What kind of stories will sprout from my visit, the brogue, the people, the colors, the constant green that everyone talks about? My heart gallops to fiery beat of a stampede when I think of all the opportunities that have become evident these past few months, words that have been spoken by friends and family. I’ve heard encouragement before, but this time, as my friend and sister of the heart, Jo Self- who is also a branding/strengths consultant for business and the individual, would say, I listened to what the universe was trying to tell me and am using the strengths I’ve been given to make positive things happen.

Resident Evil: Tangled Web – Evolution of an Idea, Part 2

One of the things I find most interesting about the writing process is how ideas are liable to change at a moment’s notice, even if you think you have the plot all figured out. This was exactly the case with a Resident Evil fanfiction story I’d been working on since August 2014 – Tangled Web. It is one that is close to getting an ending. I was sure that I had every last detail planned out, until fate threw me a curveball.

The basic premise of Tangled Web revolved around the imprisonment of Claire Redfield – and her romantic prospect, Elliott Gregory – by supervillain Albert Wesker. Though I initially was making up the narrative from scratch, I gradually came up with a detailed, very nuanced plot. I planned early on for Claire and Elliott to escape from their captor. This particular plot element would have set a dozen different story threads in motion leading up to the finale. I didn’t see the remainder of the story working without this event since so much hinged on it.

The escape scene was initially planned for Chapter Twenty-Nine. I was all set to write it when I got an interesting review for the previous chapter from a reader, Ultimolu, on fanfiction.net. Ultimolu’s comment that Wesker had to suspect something was up needled at me. The more I thought about this, the more weight it held. I had built Wesker up as such an intelligent, shrewd character for much of the story that I felt there was no way I could justify Claire and Elliott deceiving him so easily.

Instead of having the heroes escape right away, I was compelled to write a scene where the villain confronts them and completely demolishes their belief that running from him would be a good thing:

One corner of Wesker’s mouth lifted in a smirk. “The point of this meeting is not to examine my motives. I’d rather talk about yours… You can start by sharing how you saw your escape attempt playing out if it were successful.”

With a surge of anger, she thought, Two can play this game. “If you don’t want to talk about what goes on in your head, I don’t see why I should.”

Wesker leaned back. “Very well. Then allow me. It may do you well to hear the truth instead of whatever fantasy you’ve concocted.”

Claire hesitated and felt a chill. She wasn’t sure she wanted to hear Wesker’s version of the truth, but what choice did she have? Easy, Redfield. Don’t show him that he’s getting to you.   She put on her bravest face and said, “Why not? I could use a good laugh.”

“Pity that you think there’s anything humorous about this… How I see this playing out is that you’ll contact Chris at the first opportunity and get him to come for you. However happy your reunion might be, it will sour when you reveal that you and Mr. Gregory are infected. It may well kill your dear brother to realize he has to give you up to a government-manned science facility. But he won’t have a choice. If he tries to protect you from that, it will result in his own imprisonment.”

Though she’d not considered what her situation would mean for Chris, she said, “You’re not telling me anything I don’t already know.”

“I very much doubt that, dearheart. I know you well enough to recognize you tend not to look at things from every angle… In either case, your brother is bound to experience even more distress when he sees how much testing you’ll be subjected to. He’s so protective of you that he’ll inevitably cross a line by intervening.” Wesker paused. “That aside, the top officials in the B.S.A.A. likely would not want to employ someone whose family member has been compromised… No matter which way you slice it, Chris’ life will take a turn for the worse if you leave here uncured.”

Elliott crossed his arms. “I don’t buy it. You have no love for Chris Redfield. You’ve even said so yourself on several occasions. So why would you care about doing him a huge favor? Or Claire and me, for that matter?”

“My offer to cure you both has little to do with Chris… Miss Redfield is helping me to achieve something I would never have been able to attain otherwise. It’s only fair that I return the courtesy,” Wesker said smoothly. “As far as you’re concerned, Mr. Gregory, it’s a matter of correcting a wrong that never should have happened in the first place.”

Claire’s hands were clenched so tight her nails were digging into her palms. She tried to keep her voice calm, but anger still crept in. “You can stop now. You’ve made your point.”

Wesker nodded after a few seconds. “I believe I’ve given you more than enough to think about.” He paused to adjust his sunglasses. “But before you go, let me say I hope you don’t let your hatred blind you to what’s best for you and your loved ones, dearheart. I’d hate to see you ruin more than just your own life.”

Before Claire could stop herself, she leapt to her feet, raised her hand, and leaned across the table. She recoiled and fear coursed through her when the sound of a slap resonated around her. She gnawed at her lip and half-expected that Wesker would retaliate even though he’d allowed her to hit him.

When she felt Elliott grasp her arm, she nearly jumped out of her skin. Her boyfriend looked scared shitless when she glanced at him. The tension spiked further when she heard a soft snarl from Wesker.

“Consider yourself lucky I’m feeling charitable, Miss Redfield,” Wesker said, his hands laid flat against the table. She shivered at the menacing undertone in his voice. “It’s not often I grant someone such a means of catharsis.” He stood and turned his back to them. “You’re free to return to your quarters.”

She was so dazed that Elliott had to guide her from the room. Neither of them said a word during the walk back to their apartment. Claire didn’t know about her boyfriend, but her mind was frantically trying to write off Wesker’s many claims as bullshit.

The sight of the anniversary cake on the kitchen counter caused her to burst into tears. I completely forgot that Elliott baked this so we could celebrate, she thought. I feel bad that I don’t feel like eating right now.

Elliott placed one hand on her shoulder and wordlessly handed her a Kleenex box. As she dabbed at her eyes, Claire sniffled and said, “Not gonna ask me if I’m okay?”

He shook his head. “Don’t have to. I know you’re not.”

A sob caught in her throat. “God, I don’t even know why I’m crying.” She hesitated, then said, “This is not how I wanted today to go.”

“Same here. It wasn’t fair of the son of a bitch to blindside us,” Elliott answered. He pulled her close and cupped one hand behind her head after a second of silence. “I wish I had a way to make it better, Redfield.”

She let out a deep breath and forced herself to focus. “You… You said you had a surprise gift for me. Something to mark the occasion.”

He sighed. “Now’s hardly the time. It might only make you feel worse.” After a pause, he added, “What Wesker said…”

“He’s wrong. He has to be wrong,” Claire blurted out. “He can’t know how our story will play out if…”

She sobbed again when Elliott quietly shushed her. He started to stroke her hair in a comforting gesture and said, “Or maybe we’ve been kidding ourselves by thinking that breaking out of this place will be a vast improvement.”

Ironically, I felt that I had written myself into a corner with the above scene. I still needed the escape to occur and now I had to come up with something extremely good on why the two heroes would pursue this route. What could possibly make them desperate enough to risk everything?

After some time spent brainstorming, I came up with a twist that drastically altered the direction I’d mapped out for this story. A private moment between Wesker and Claire resulted in her realizing she’s more attracted to the monster who’s been holding her captive than Elliott.

Though I’d never planned for anything to develop between Wesker and Claire in this story, it was a plot element that fundamentally worked. I had fun writing the scene that added a new dynamic to Tangled Web. It also served to get my narrative back on track. Acting out of fear and revulsion over what she feels, Claire hides what happened from Elliott and invents an excuse to convince him that they need to leave at any cost.

Prior to this development, I’d written some scenes to come later in the story – for chapters I haven’t even gotten to yet. This twist has rendered half of them unusable, though they’ve been moved to a separate file containing deleted material for Tangled Web. I imagine my online fans will be interested to read about what might have been if the heroine and villain had never hooked up.

I don’t know if there will be any further developments that will further alter the course of the story, but I definitely look forward to finding out.