Posted by: seanmalstrom | November 9, 2015

Email: Sequence Breaking vs. Cheat Modes and Warp Pipes

Greetings Master Malstrom,

In a recent post replying to an e-mail about sequence breaking, you stated, “I do not agree about the magic of ‘sequence breaking’. I really think a huge part of the magic of games is the satisfaction of beating a challenge.”
I found this response interesting since you have in the past espoused the virtues of cheat modes and have used the Diablo 3 god mode bug and warp pipes in Super Mario Bros. as a good example of this.

I understand there is a difference between saying cheat modes in games are good and actually having a desire to use the cheat mode. However, your statement of not agreeing about the magic of sequence breaking seems to indicate more than that.

Could you provide an explanation reconciling the two seemingly disparate stances?

A Reader




The error is that gamers do not buy games, we buy GAME LIBRARIES. Who ever stops at buying one game? No one. Every gamer wants a library even a small one.

Console makers know that if they sell a console, the person will buy a few more games.

NES is a good example. There was Super Mario Brothers with awesome warp zones. But do we want warp zones in EVERY game? No. I like how you couldn’t cheat (not easily at least) in Metroid. Metroid was the ‘advanced’ game of its time. I don’t want games to be the same and neither do you.

Another example is the arcades. We have Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, but we do not want all games to be the same. Defender came out and sold tons despite it being insanely hard and non-accessible.

I have decided to invite Shigeru Miyamoto to this post. Let us see what he has to say:

“Not every game should be the same!”

And there you have it. (No, not an actual quote, but you know he would say that.)

I want a GOOD LIBRARY. We want GOOD games, but we want a diversity of a library. One thing that sucks about Nintendo consoles is the lack of huge single player games such as RPGs. This is why games like Skyrim or Fallout 4 are so big. Reader interrupts: “Fallout 4 isn’t out yet!” Oh, but I have returned from the future. Fallout 4 will be HUUUUGGGEEEE. And it will not be on the Wii U.

Nintendo has the challenge of not making good games but making good libraries. Relying on third parties isn’t working. But in the past, Nintendo went it alone. Nintendo made sports games for the NES as well as all sorts of other games from adventure to action to racing. I think Nintendo has awesome multiplayer games, but they need better single player. They need games like Fallout and Skyrim. Zelda could do the job of Skyrim, but there needs to be more. Where is the Metroid? Where are some RPGs that aren’t Mario Party? (OK, Xenoblade).

There is no either/or in gaming. In the same way with sales, gamers do not buy one game and not another. What gamers do is buy BOTH. Gamers do not miss out on good games. I know this. You know this.



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