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10 Retro '80s Games That Are Utterly Impossible to Beat

Video games series that started in the 80's have become progressively easier with more fluid controls, better camera angles, and many other improvements. The 80's saw a shift from arcade games to games people could play in their living room. It even introduced the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

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Players from the 80's are cut from a different cloth as today's gamers. The 80's spawned a generation of hardcore gamers who saw no game as too big of a challenge. The modern gamer will be bewildered by the obstacles contained in these games. These are 10 retro 80's games that are utterly impossible to beat.

10 Ninja Gaiden (1988)

Released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988, Ninja Gaiden chronicles ninja Ryu Hayabusa's quest to avenge the death of his father. Wielding the Dragon Sword makes this game great for nostalgic reasons.

Difficulty-wise, Ninja Gaiden is one of the most difficult games of all time. The life of a ninja is not easy. Platforming and dodging projectiles at the same time prove to be tough hurdles to overcome. Fighting bosses such as a sumo wrestler, a trio of masked acrobats, and the fire-breathing Bladedamus is not easy for inexperienced players.

9 Super Mario Bros. (1985)

The difficulty of the Super Mario Bros. series has come a long way since its heyday. On a quest to rescue Princess Peach from the malevolent Bowser, Mario has to hurdle obstacles and combat Bowser's minions to reach his goal.

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Super Mario Bros. is a challenge to play. Its gameplay mechanics cause a delay when pressing buttons at times, causing players to blame the game for their failures. It's sad to say that a large portion of the gaming population can't even finish level one of this iconic game.

8 Galaga (1981)

This space shooter arcade game sends waves of enemies in unpredictable patterns. Survival is unlikely at the higher stages of Galaga because of the variety of enemies.

Galaga has 255 stages in the original version. This is because the original arcade version is 8-bit, meaning it can only have 2^8 or 255 stages. Players have made it to the end of the game, but it crashes once you reach the final stage. It's not the ending you would've hoped for, but it's understandable for a game created almost forty years ago.

7 R-Type (1987)

R-Type is an arcade shooter game that released in 1987. The goal of the game is to destroy the Bydo, an alien species. There is just so much chaos on the screen that players can't seem to progress.

Most adept players make it to the third or fourth boss then decide to call the quits. The seventh level is a doozy of a difficult stage, leading people to believe that this game is impossible to beat. R-Types's tunnel keeps going and going, which makes it seem like there is virtually no end to the game.

6 Donkey Kong (1981)

Yeah, that's right! Once upon a time, Donkey Kong was Nintendo villain. In fact, he was the villain before Bowser. The original Donkey Kong is also playable as a game within a game as part of Donkey Kong 64.

The game's clunky controls and numerous obstacles make Donkey Kong arcade a challenge. Once you get past the second level (if you can even do that), the game becomes exceedingly difficult. Timing becomes critical to survival, and there is a small margin for error. The goal, as usual, is to rescue Princess Peach from the game's villain.

5 Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (1989)

One game series that has remained while others have perished in the land of forgotten video games is Castlevania. Set in the castle of Count Dracula, players must defeat Dracula, who has resurrected for the first time in a hundred years! However, using whips, swords, and fire to slay opponents is not easy.

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There have been numerous games in the Castlevania series, but few come close to the difficulty of Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse. Some would argue that Castlevania II: Simon's Quest is the hardest in the series, but it really depends on the person.

4 Metroid (1986)

The original Metroid is the most dated and the most fail-hard game of all the Metroid series. With hidden walls where a dead-end should be, navigation is not easy. The game tests your patience with its puzzle-solving, unpredictable enemies, and tough boss fights.

To make things even more problematic, the player doesn't have a map or save points. How are players expected to beat this spacefaring game without save points when it's approximately seven hours long? It kicked off one of the greatest series of all time, but it's just too difficult for the modern gamer.

3 Ghosts 'N Goblins (1985)

Enemies in Ghosts 'N Goblins, including zombies, move at a faster pace as you progress. As a man caught amid a zombie apocalypse, a demon outbreak, and a ghost uprising, the game can be both terrifying and tedious. It's actually well-designed—just too hard.

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Most people wouldn't attempt to beat this game, but would rather experience the beginning. It's almost as if the developers designed Ghosts 'N Goblins without the intention of people beating it. Platforming, combined with projectile combat, proves to be a painful combination. Try this game, but don't expect to beat it.

2 NARC (1988)

First off, it should be known that NARC is not a game meant for children. In this list, it may be the most violent and mature game of the bunch. There's just so much mayhem in this game that it's near-impossible to maintain focus.

The fact that anyone gets through NARC is a combination of dedication and sheer dumb luck. You get an arsenal of weapons to defeat opponents. Just run and gun, keeping shooting, and pray that you make it to the end.

1 Tempest (1981)

This was one of those arcade games you'd spend all the quarters (yes, people still carry quarters) in your pocket just so you could try and beat it. Developed by Atari, Inc., Tempest is one of the earliest games to use varying level designs, instead of having the same levels over and over with increasing difficulty. It is also the first game to let the player choose which level they want to start. Such features seem trivial today, but it was a big deal when Tempest released.

The objective is to dodge spikes while shooting the enemies in the middle. It becomes progressively difficult as you go on. Requiring fast reflexes, mastery over a clunky control scheme, and a bag full of quarters, Tempest takes the cake when it comes to demanding games of the 80's.

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