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What's the longest it's ever taken you to finally beat a game?
Mine is 9 years - that's how long it took me to beat Legend, an old but very addictive RPG:
Early 1994 - first got it with my 386, learned how to play it and was defeated on a puzzle early in the 3rd section out of 10. Spent a while just bouncing around in the outdoor areas (away from dungeons) then dropped it.
Late 1996 - worked out how to do the puzzle (after mainly letting it rest), so I decided to play it again. Went on what was arguably my most memorable period of gaming, but 3 weeks later was defeated on a puzzle later on in the 9th section out of 10. Tried everything to beat it after then but couldn't, so I dropped it.
Late 2001 - Worked out how to beat the puzzle in my head (it just came to me suddenly) but thought I no longer had the game.
Early 2002 - Proved myself wrong by finding it by chance in the attic with all the old shareware stuff (including DooM, heh) so it made a nice 22nd birthday present. Immediately got it running on my P200, and a couple of weeks later (my most memorable period of gaming again, as I'd completely forgotten most of the game) I finally finished it. The ending? One message scroll with a victory message on it...
And to commemorate the occasion, I recreated that infamous puzzle (albeit with a different, but equally creative solution) and the dungeon area immediately around it in E5M6 of Shadowcaster.
I also took 6 years to beat Lemmings 2 - after getting stuck on the last Sports level - (first got it in 1994, finished it in 2000 after coming up with a brainwave, commemorated it by adding the victory tune to my Lemmings 2 music cd) but this one was definitely the longest-running saga.
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Civilization, I suppose. My dad got it for me in like 91-92 after telling me about this game where you play as a king and make decisions. I was like "OOOh, I want to play that!" and he was like "I dunno, it's pretty advanced", but I insisted and he got it (warezed from a friend, he never bought any games, the cheapskate). Turns out he was right. I sucked royaly at it. For some reason, it took me almost a month just to figure out how to build a unit. Anyway, I played it for years, and finaly got good enough that I could score a space race victory on almost every game. I could not, however, get any military domination victories before the end of the game.
I finaly did it in what was possibly the last time I played the game, right before i got Civ2, so probably 97-98. So I guess it took me a good 5-6 years to get it. I remember what the victory date was too. 1932 AD, as King Bonham (wtf?) of the Germans. Can't remember the score though.
I don't beat very many games. 90% of all games I play, I just diddle around with for a week, then when I get back to them I start a new game or something, so I never manage to beat them. I still haven't gotten military victories in Civ2 or Civ3. I havent beaten Diablo 1 or 2 on single player despite the thousands of hours I've put into them (though I did just yesterday get a sorcerer all the way to the 11th dungeon level in Diablo, so perhaps I'm getting there). I've also never beaten Doom2, not even with cheats.