An Ode to the Folks who make Online Walkthroughs and Wikis for Video Games

After some heavy posts this week, Holly and I thought we would end our week on a lighter note. Her list yesterday of books she has not read made me think of doing something similar, but nah, let’s mix it up.

Instead, I wanted to say some things about online strategy guides.

In favor of Strategy Guides

I am a completionist. Holly is too. We tend to set a goal and meet it, so there are much more hardcore completionists than us. Does that make us casual completionists? Is that even a thing? Anyway.

This blog post is a big thank you to the folks who make those online walkthroughs and get accurate info into the wikis for video games. These are the necessary elements for Holly and I to successfully be completionists. We like to explore, and explore pretty heavily on our own. But, for instance, in Borderlands 2: even as much as we explore, we have missed a ridiculous number of the Vault symbols. No way we’re finding all of those without a walkthrough. (Okay, we may not even try on that one, but you get my point.)

final fantasy xiii-2 collector's edition strategy guideI like strategy guides. For instance, for Final Fantasy games – I will often “walkthrough” on my own for the story, but in terms of thinking my way through the game system, and the open-ended and leveling and side-questing elements, I want some intel to make some decisions.

And for stealth-style games, having a physical strategy guide is great, because maps are so essential. I definitely used a guide for Dishonored, and for Deus Ex Human Revolution. Not necessarily to walkthrough, but for the maps, for sure. Otherwise, it’s often exploration through death. Which works, but can be time consuming or frustrating.
deus ex human revolution strategy guide
So I’m not saying, buy no physical strategy guides and only go online! They have a place. And honestly, the ones where there is a job and money involved make more sense to me – writing a guide on your own is more work than I put into my games. So they constantly impress me.

Those Excellent Online Alternatives

But let’s face it, I don’t need a strategy guide for every game – especially not at the $15+ range they tend to sell for. However, being able to find an answer for that one annoying thing you can’t find in a game? Oh man, nothing beats the searchability of the Internet.

So first, for the Wikis. Because these are the collaborative work of what can only be fans, who go in, add info, add what’s missing, link to other things, add pictures so you don’t get lost… They do such a wonderful job, really, for the no money or thanks they seem to get for it.

Maybe some of it is Internet karma: if you use the Wikis, you’re supposed to add to them. But I don’t… really, more because it’s already there. What’s left to add? You, Internet: you have done an excellent job preparing game guides online, for helping me answer my most annoying game moments so that I can work my way through. Thank you.

And then, there’s the walkthroughs. This more often seems to be the work of one person. And they aren’t just copying over the strategy guide: they are often much more detailed in their approach. Why do this? Why put so much work into these guides? Again, without necessarily getting monetary reward or thanks for it. A labor of love of the game. And again I say, thank you.

Some guides I have used lately

And so, as one form of thanks, here’s some referrals back to some of the guides and wikis I have used (and bookmarked) in recent years.

 BioWare Wikis

Baldur’s Gate Guides – was using them for the Enhanced Edition

Lego Games Guides

Final Fantasy Dimensions

Couple of older guides that I carried over to this computer to still potentially use:

Running out of other ways to group them, so the rest:

Do you use online strategy guides? Any good ones you relied heavily on?



4 responses to “An Ode to the Folks who make Online Walkthroughs and Wikis for Video Games

  1. I use them on occassion, but I have one really huge beef with the people who need to explain the story as they’re going along: DON’T. Yes, we know you played through the game, you don’t have to prove that with plot summaries, and thanks very much for advice and observations / tips on how to get past obstacles, but if you need to have a running commentary on the story developments and possibly spoil it, please save that for elsewhere. Some of us do play the game at least partly for the story . . .


  2. I am on about my sixth complete journey through the Baldurs Saga, I am so greatful for the gamefaqs guide, the first couple of playthroughs, back when the game was new I didn’t believe in guides, and I still do not for first time through anygame, but this playthrough I used the guide at every turn as to be the completest. It has made the game a bit to easy though, my characters are gods, Irenicus crumbled at my feet today on my first attempt… Liches bow to me, and as I start Throne of Bhall I can’t help but feel all challenge is lost to the sake of completeness!


  3. Thanks for writing this very useful information you have provided for me cheers!


  4. Pingback: Geek 501: You Must Create! | Comparative Geeks

Don't Feed the Trolls....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s