What if Retro Games had Achievements?

While there are naysayers in the gaming world about the advent of achievements and trophies, I’ve fervently maintained that they send us back to a simpler and more community-oriented time in gaming. The era of high scores is something that was lost as games migrated from the coin-op to the couch or computer chair, left behind as some kind of relic in the arcade graveyards. What I’ve loved about achievements and trophies is that they feel like a return to that mindset of gaming gone by.

On top of that, I just like seeing where my friends are in the games they’re playing, and vice versa. It’s like displaying your marvelous feats of gaming for your friends to see – not so much for the e-peen factor (as many of its detractors claim), but for conversation and joining in on the shared experience and joy that only gaming can bring.

How awesome would it have been for your friends to see that you completed Super Mario Bros. 3 without the fabled whistle? Or that you located Cloud and Aeris in Final Fantasy Tactics? Or that you can beat Metal Gear Solid in under 2 and a half hours if you skip cut scenes (I swear, it can be done)? The idea that someone could look at one unified profile and see everything I’ve done in games would be incredible. This is sadly not possible, but it got us thinking: what if classic games had achievements?

It might look a bit like this:

Retro Achievements

Huge props to Nick Comardo for cooking that image up.

Honorable Mentions

Obviously, this only scratches the surface of what possible retro achievements we could have had. Here are some other honorable mentions:

Streets of Rage
“Where’s That Backup?” 20 G
Beat Streets of Rage without using the police car special attack.

“Developers, developers, developers!” – 10 G
Play NBA Jam with its secret characters.

Resident Evil 4
“Plants Aren’t Yellow” – 20 G
Complete Resident Evil 4 without using a yellow herb.

Final Fantasy VI
“No Man Left Behind” 40 G
Wait for Shadow on the Floating Continent

Super Metroid
“What’s the Rush?” 40 G
Beat the game in under 90 minutes

Super Mario 64
“What Princess?” 40 G
Collect all 120 Stars.

Final Fantasy I
“There Can Be Only One” – 150 G
Single character run through the game.

Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past
“Keep it Between Us, OK?” – 10 G
Find the Chris Houlihan room.


Which of these have you done? What other notable things would you call achievement or trophy worthy that you’ve accomplished in gaming? Did we leave anything big off the list? Go!

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

7 thoughts on “What if Retro Games had Achievements?”

  1. Badass list all around, glad to see Star Fox up there and the Top Gun joke made me smile. Nothing I can think of seems worthy to be up there, nice feature.

  2. Any Tenchu game
    “Get X kills, standing behind enemy, using any blade”
    Call it “He’s Climbing In Your Windows”…
    Kidding. Call it “Breathing Down Your Neck”

  3. lol Awesome achievements! I came up with my own because I’m That Guy. But I don’t have glasses.

    And He Evolved. – 20G
    Catch a Magikarp at Lv.5 or under, train it until it evolves into a Gyrados, and defeat an electric Pokemon.

    ERROR :45N/uFd9m-M#::0noEN[]000 – 999G

    Oregon Trail
    The Last Shall Be First – 100G
    Reach Willamette Valley as a Teacher before the Spring of 1849 without losing a single person.

    Final Fantasy 1
    Holier Than Thou – 100G
    Complete the entire game with a party of four White Mages.

    Fallout 1
    Because I Can – 50G
    Kill Everything.

    Metal Gear Solid
    We Get Signal – 10G
    Actually listen to Otacon whenever he calls you.

  4. ROFL!!!

    That is an awesome list. I totally have all the GTA and GTA SA achievements. Some of the Mario Kart 64 and Metal Gear Solid 2 ones too.

    Achievements are a good motivation to replay games. I’d love to have Steam Achievements for older games.

  5. @JaylLaf love “Climbing in Your Windows” achievement name. I haven’t thought about a Tenchu game in forever.

    Glad you guys are liking the list, and Cossack, love your suggestions, especially the Oregon Trail one.

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