Inside the Guide: My Old Guides Are Awful

Apparently, the guides I wrote in high school weren't the best quality.

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Link FacepalmI like to think that I’m good at writing videogame walkthroughs. I’ve written over two hundred of them, after all. Whenever potential employers see that on my resume, they take notice, they sit up straight, and they throw my resume in the trash can, because they only hire people with real job experience.

Which is why I have copious amounts of free time for writing walkthroughs. And for watching old Disney movies. The TV in the lounge at GameCola Headquarters is usually playing Mulan or A Goofy Movie.

But I like doing different things, every now and then. So I decided to use the GameCola TV for playing videogames. Specifically, I played Fire Emblem Gaiden, which I haven’t played since I did a walkthrough for it in high school.

A lot has changed in the past eleven years! For one thing, they started releasing Fire Emblem games in English. So now there’s an “official” translation of the game…and all of the names in my guide are now wrong. Whoops.

Rebel Scum

More importantly, I noticed that my walkthrough is…kind of bad, to be honest. FEG is a strategy game, and about a third of the time, my strategy is “auto-attack until you win”. There are multiple times in my guide where I only wrote a paragraph of information about a battle, ignoring important information like what enemies you’re fighting and where they’re located. Other times, I wrote pages on a single battle. It’s really inconsistent.

Also, I make the assumption that you played the game the exact same way I did, meaning all your characters are at the same levels as mine. Overall, I’d say my guide is useful about half the time, and the other half of the time it’s a mess that won’t help out any stuck gamers. I’ll make sure to put “revise the guide” on my to-do list, right after “learn to play air guitar”.

Another game I replayed recently was Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. That’s a game I haven’t played since I wrote a walkthrough for it back in college. But wouldn’t you know it? My guide is kind of…awful.

I spend a lot of time referencing High School Musical and making fun of Wii motion controls. This guide is so 2008! Also, I make fun of the characters for being awful, especially Princess “I only show up once” Zelda. And at one point in the second dungeon, I was too lazy to figure out the puzzles in one room so I tell the readers to skip that room by backtracking halfway through the dungeon and heading a different direction.

Link Facepalm

The worst part is that I swear somewhat regularly in the guide. So I cut out all the off-color jokes and re-uploaded the guide to GameFAQs. That was the only real GameFAQs work I did last month. It was less “helping people with videogames” and more “trying to make my Internet history look good for potential employers”.

Now I’m kind of worried. What if all the guides I’ve written are awful? What if I was a complete idiot in high school and college and after college, and basically, every part of my life until two weeks ago? My claim to GameFAQs fame could be a throne of lies!

I guess I should update my resume now. I’m gonna replace “has written over 200 guides for GameFAQs” with “knows how to type words on a computer”. That will put me ahead of the competition!

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About the Contributor

From 2007 to 2016

Michael Gray is a staff writer for GameCola, who focuses on adventure games, videos and writing videogame walkthroughs.

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