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Please Help: We Described and Poorly Drew Scenes From Video Games We Can’t Remember The Names Of

Hard Drive readers, I need your help. When I was young I played hundreds of hours of this one particular game, but for the life of me I cannot remember its name. I’ve searched and searched. I’ve also posted on a subreddit dedicated to this sort of thing and I was unable to get an answer.

As I was telling people about this, they too had memories of games which they couldn’t remember. It was at this moment I knew we had to turn to our community for support.

We need you to help us identify these games. And because a picture is worth a thousand words, we also decided to draw the pieces of the games we remember.

We will update this post with the correct information on each game as the community finds them. Please help.

Free to play, top-down, team space-themed online shooter

Real Name: Infantry (as found by Twitter user @mejwell) 

When I was young I would always type in “free online multiplayer game.” I wanted to play games with friends from school, but didn’t have the required gaming rig to always play the latest game (or the money to buy them). So free online multiplayer games were my go-to. 

One game I spent so many hours in and I just can’t find any proof of it existing. I’m going to do my best to describe it with words and images and I hope someone online can help me. Let’s start with the basics then I’ll get into more detail.

  • It was a top down shooter.
  • It was a free online multiplayer game. I’m not sure if you played in the browser or downloaded something.
  • There were multiple classes to pick from.
  • It was space themed. You spawned in a spacecraft and then walked into a zone which dropped you on the map.
  • You could ride a hoverboard to get around on the map. I’m not sure if this was class based or something you found on the map.
  • The teams were probably 12 vs 12 or maybe a little more.
  • There were resources on the map, which you could harvest. I want to say one of them was an earth-like resource and another was a toxic-waste-like resource.
  • There were deployable turrets.
  • There were some powerful machine gun-type classes or guns, which allowed you to shoot people beyond your field of view. Think: “I know people go around that corner, I’m going to spray up to the corner of my screen and hope I hit them.”
    Matt Saincome

Sand Game With Little Guy You Could Explode

Real Name: Powder Game by DAN-BALL (as found by various Twitter users including @starredham and @zelnickharry) 

Why were there so many games about terrorizing little guys in our youth? And why did we all play them? But enough moralizing, I need your help.

My brothers and I used to play this free internet game on our family computer where you’re given a 2D space and TONS of different types of ‘sand’ or particles to drop in by selecting them (see selection box at the top of the drawing; maybe it was vertical, maybe it didn’t look anything like this) and holding the left mouse button. The game had stuff like gunpowder, napalm, water, even “fireworks” (which was somehow also a sand!). You or someone else could also use the arrow keys to move around a little stick-figure guy in the space. My brothers and I would often use something like the above setup, with one of us using the mouse to fill the arena with tons of deadly sand stuff and another one frantically running the little guy around to avoid getting exploded, like a World War 1 soldier looking to the ashen skies and praying for a ceasefire that would never come. Man, good times.

Have You Seen This Man?

Real Name: Still Unknown


Weird Trap Game From The PS1 Era

Real Name: Still Unknown

Part turn-based, part trap-based. This strange PS1 title has Resident Evil vibes from an isometric perspective. It would start me on a journey through XCOM and Warhammer 40,000 turn-based games, but this is where it all started. It had monster looking creatures that moved in a predictive line, where you had to place spikes and other traps.

  • Tyler A.

Oh, I Remember the Game Whiplash Perfectly, I Remember Everything About That Day But One Crucial Detail

Contrary to the other entries on this list, I remember the name of the obscure 2003 platformer Whiplash quite well. While you probably forgot it until this very moment, every detail of that game and its humorous cast of characters are forever burnt into memory. I remember everything about the day I came home from GameStop and first popped in the disc. Everything but one crucial detail; I cannot remember the last thing my father said to me before he disappeared that afternoon.

I remember every delightful moment from Crystal Dynamics’ oft-forgotten classic Whiplash. A lightly-crude, cynical twist on the Banjo-Kazooie cartoony platformers that were all too abundant in the previous console generation. The game perfectly satirizes these games whilst simultaneously perfecting everything about the genre, culminating in a damn fun game with a surprisingly honest “animal rights” message that still holds up 20 years later. And while it’s comedic writing never strays from the confines of its T-rating, not quite hitting the rudeness levels of a Conker’s Bad Fur Day, one thing is for certain; I overheard my dad in the next room answer a phone call from his brother before urgently rushing out the door never to return, only briefly popping his head into my room to quickly relay a final fleeting piece of elucidation that I cannot recall.

Also contrary to the other entries, I’ve spent the last 18 years since then honing my skills as an artist, not in the subject of landscape or still-life, but purely to render the scene above of Whiplash’s unlikely animal-duo, Spanx and Redmond, as they appeared on my Spongebob CRT TV the moment my father imparted his final words to me. Praying that, just maybe, through a manner not dissimilar to hypnosis, I may illustrate the exact moment in time. Breaking through the walls of sense memory and thereby easing the trauma that locked my father’s last testaments away within the folds of my mind.

Some 3D Platformer Where You Played As An Anthropomorphic Animal

Real Name: Still Unknown

It was some sort of weird animal, the more I think about it, it might have even been a made-up animal like a combination of a kangaroo and a badger or some crazy Australian thing. He was like a wacky stoner type who was always just trying to chill on the beach and blaze it up but when trouble came calling he got hopped up on the good stuff and went wild. He could jump on enemies and spin attack them, sometimes he rode other animals. He had a sister who furries would probably describe as hot. Actually, maybe he was a cat. Bubsy? Possibly but I’m not sure, I think it started with a B. Anyway, his arch nemesis was a tiny metrosexual scientist with a big Lego head. I think his name was Dr. Nefarious or something. What I do know for a fact is that my picture is 100% what the main character looks like, it’s what I remember in the most vivid detail so please just tell me who he is and what the game was called.

Futuristic Bullet Hell

Real Name: Still Unknown

The only bullet hell I’ve sunk time into was on a Mac in 2004, and I have no idea what it was called. I do remember it had a futuristic vibe and the name started with an “A,” or maybe an “M”? Sorry, I know that’s probably not going to conjure any memories. I can tell you that you controlled a small silvery-green ship that hovered over various biomes, shooting lasers at incoming ships and dropping energy bombs on ground targets. Oh, and there were floating coins! Silver and gold coins would show up after destroying enemy bases—that should narrow things down, right? Right?

Look, I’m aware this isn’t much to go on, but to the sole Mac gamer who’s read this far please let me know if you recall anything that looks similar to the picture above. I’m pretty sure there was a sort of inventory or console always shown on one side of the play area, and the sound effects were metallic and industrial. I think the game might’ve come free with some Macally gamepad that practically hurt to use—ringing any bells? Please, someone help me put this to rest.

  • Ian Guyette

Game About Guy That Solves Block Puzzles/Murders Family

Real Name: Still Unknown

Okay, bear with me. There’s a skeleton man/thesaurus with a laser sword arm that works for a squid. His dad throws him into a pool and he eats his brothers. After he learns how to swim he can set his laser sword on fire, but he has to learn how to do that again in every sequel. He’s very chatty for a man with no mouth. He’s all powerful but doors are very difficult for him to open.

  • Travis Madole

Cool Mech Game That May Have Been Exclusive to PlayStation Demo Disc

Real Name: Still Unknown

When the original PlayStation was first released 86 years ago, I had this demo disc with a game where you played as a weird little crab-like mech that could climb walls like Spider-Man, and shoot people like Spider-Man if Spider-Man’s webs were bullets. I think there were two levels in the demo: one where you had to go around this pretty big industrial area blasting robots and dock workers (presumably very evil ones who wanted to unionize or something), and then a big indoor boss fight against a straight-up Metal Gear. For some reason I want to say maybe it was a Ghost In The Shell game, but none of the robots looked anything like Scarlett Johannson so I might be wrong about that. Anyway, I’ve never seen or heard about this game since and am now unsure whether it ever existed, or if even at that age I was escaping into vivid hallucinations to avoid dealing with the real world.

  • Simon Bower

Some RPG Where The Main Character Had Some Weird Sword

Real Name: Still Unknown

I don’t remember too much but it was a kinda typical RPG where you and your friends travel around to try and stop the big bad. I heard it has gotten a remaster on more modern consoles in the past few years but still cannot remember the exact name. It was primarily a PlayStation game with a story that was a bit confusing at times but not bad. There was one scene in it that shocked me as a kid where a party member dies right in front of the protagonist. There was also a part where the protagonist is having some issues with his memory but after waking from some coma they get better. I also heard a character from it got added to Super Smash Bros. It happened kinda recently as well but I’m not too big on fighting games so don’t own it and can’t check. Sure I could probably google it but I think this method is much easier. I made a drawing of this one character I had a difficult time fighting, with a really cool theme.
If anyone has any idea what this could be please let me know I kinda wanna give it another playthrough for some good ol’ nostalgia.
  • Myles Conlon

RTS Deck Building Game With a Card Auction House

Real Name: Still Unknown

I played this game religiously for a few months around 2010, give or take (I played on a PC in a computer nook in our kitchen and said nook was built at the end of 2008). It was a real-time strategy deck building game where you either had to get your troops or whatever from the start to some end goal on the map. There might have been defensive rounds, too, I don’t remember. Kind of like a cross between Command & Conquer and Hearthstone.

You had to build a card deck before the game started and would use those cards to deploy fighters, strategic structures like things to generate energy so you could deploy more fighters, etc. I think one structure was a water generator or something. You could have archers, warriors, monsters, you know, the classic stuff like that. So there was strategy involved – what low-cost cards should I play in the early game and how can I build energy to allow me to deploy my more powerful units later?

There was also a card auction house where you could buy and sell cards to improve your deck. That’s where I thrived. I had a notepad where I kept a ledger of what cards I bought and for how much so that I could know what I needed to sell them for to make a profit. I wheeled and dealed to build up my in-game bankroll so that I never needed to spend real money to get powerful cards. At times, I was honestly a little ashamed of how involved I got in the game’s economy, especially when I had children to take care of. Sorry, sweetie, Daddy is about to get his 38th mana boost card or something for a tremendous price.

And there was a real-time chat on the game’s website, where I would often find generous players giving away cards through trivia contests and what-not. I took full advantage of that. It was a fun game and I really enjoyed playing the marketplace, but I can’t for the life of me remember what in the hell the game was called.

  • Dan Katz

Crawling the Dungeons of my Memory

Real Name: Haven

Admittedly this might not be in the spirit of the theme because I do remember this game’s name. It was called Haven, and I saw my father playing it on the PC in the 90s. But there’s almost no trace of the game’s existence anymore, a completely unrelated recent game also called “Haven” that makes Googling it near-impossible, and a lone MobyGames page as the only proof I can find that the game wasn’t just some weird childhood hallucination. It was a super-primitive dungeon-crawling RPG where you explored a bunch of square rooms fighting monsters (or at least having text boxes narrate combat to you) and collecting gems and food. The icon for food was a giant chicken leg, which for some reason was extremely funny to me as a kid and probably why I remember it at all. I have no idea where this game came from or if it’s available anywhere, legally or otherwise. Even if I could find it, it’d be unlikely to thrill me in a world of modern RPGs, but at least I can remind people it existed. Thanks for the chicken legs, Haven.

That GameCube Fantasy Game That’s Actually About Skittles

Real Name: Still Unknown

With one glance at this game’s box art, I was deceived. It was captivating, it was dark, it was orange. Can you imagine my surprise when the opening CG cinematic played? I witnessed the main character – whose name I have also forgotten – stumbling across a mystical circular artifact, colored orange with a white “S” labeled on top of it. My young mind was blown. The thought of using Spider-Man’s mighty powers with an orange flavor was nearly too much for my two year-old brain to handle. But then, right as the game was finished fulfilling its promises, I made the mistake of asking a short, ugly, green goblin what this orange power was. I was right about the orange flavor, and yet so wrong about all else.

The six rainbow artifacts I was quested to collect had nothing to do with Spider-Man at all! It was at this point that I lost my patience with the game and forcefully unplugged the GameCube, never to be turned on again. That night, the game faded from my mind as I dreamt of an orange Spider-Man. Every memory of this game now felt like a bad dream you vaguely remember when you wake up. That is, all but one word from it.


That cursed word has never left my head, and now, many years later, I am ready to relive this tragic moment of my life. I must repair my broken memories. I must stop that word which plagues my vocabulary. I must learn the name of this game. Can you help me on this quest?

  • David Fisher

Shrouded Figure in Red Glow

All I remember is I was in a dark cave. There was a thunderous rolling sound in the blackness like a train was passing. I saw this small speck of light that was quickly growing. I soon realized that it wasn’t actually growing, but getting closer. As the light approached its warm yellow glow gradually morphed into a hellish red, and I heard the sound of a million wailing children. I felt fear deep in my bones and knew I needed to run, but I was frozen in place, unable to move. All I could do was watch the red glow get closer and closer. The rolling and wailing louder and louder. I closed my eyes and screamed, but was met with silence. The noise had stopped. I opened my eyes and I was surrounded by the red light. The red. The red. It felt so cold and I knew I wasn’t alone. I turned (was turned?) around and towering above me was a hulking figure shrouded in shadows. I could not make out eyes or nose or face, just emptiness, like I was looking into a void. The figure raised its hand and pointed at me, and in my mind I heard it speak a language I did not know. I did not know it, but I understood it. How is that possible? It spoke into me the dark truth of the universe.

That was where the game ended. I don’t remember what the case looked like or what console it was on. I played it while I was in college, so it had to have been available on PS3. To be clear, I did a lot of experimenting in college, so I’m not entirely sure if it was a video game I played or a bad DMT episode. Actually, now that I think about it, it was definitely a bad DMT episode. Nevermind.

  • Traye Holland
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