A great thread on r/games right now features recollections of levels so frustrating, or difficult, or obnoxious that they prevented gamers from returning for a second playthrough. There are some classics, like the "Cortana" level of Halo 3, the Water Temple in Ocarina of Time, and the descent into Blighttown in Dark Souls (a personal Waterloo).
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There are some callbacks to sections that I thought only I had trouble with. Of note for me is the horrible, teeth-grinding remote-control plane mission in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Then there are sections from famous games that I just don't remember (a spike tower puzzle in God of War?) And finally, as with any deep dive into a Reddit thread, there is high comedy. One gamer describes his experience with a boss in the Xbox 360 Ninja Gaiden:
That boss fight has claimed more controllers than anything else listed in this thread. You can get so close, so fucking close to killing her, only to have her levitate you, remove 3/4ths of your health and then land a lucky series of shots with the orbs right after. Alma is one of the most unforgiving boss fights I've ever done. I did a lap around my house cheering when I finally beat her.
What say you Kill Screeners? What is the thread missing?