Five Stupid Challenge Runs (You Might Want to Try)

After YouTuber Many a True Nerd managed to tear through Fallout: New Vegas and all the DLC without healing, we were so impressed we thought we’d come up with some new challenges for the utterly deranged and bored to try.


Pokémon: Ditto Run

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Everyone likes Ditto. Aside from being a cute amorphous pink blob with a vaguely creepy smile, Ditto can be used to breed with any other Pokemon and has the cool move Transform, which makes it take on its opponent’s properties and moveset.

It’s just a shame Ditto’s stats are so terrible. Under this rule set, pick a Pokemon game of your choice, and at the earliest opportunity, trade in a level 1 freshly-bred Ditto from another game. Release your starter into the wild, and plough through the game using only your new copycat buddy. This run would mean stocking up heavily on PP-restoring items, and praying desperately that you don’t run into any Magikarp – between Transform and Splash, your only offensive option will be wasting all your PP so you can Struggle them to death.

Zelda: Wind Waker: No Sail

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One of the big advantages of Wind Waker is the level of freedom and exploration the boat allows. It means the world feels properly big, and allows a whole bunch of sidequests and cute little touches that otherwise wouldn’t have worked. But one way to make the world feel bigger would be not to use the sail.

Of course, the game makes you buy the sail for 80 rupees pretty early on, but there’s rarely any requirement to use it. This means fighting every sea-based enemy you come across, taking hours to cross the ocean, and being unable to gather money from those floating barrel gates. But still – you’ll be able to say you’ve done it.

Minecraft: No Base Run

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Minecraft is one of the great creative tools of our time, and has spawned some hugely impressive projects. But it’s largely a game without real threat, at least after the early stages when you’ve got a well-lit little house going.

But for this challenge, you’d have to play as usual, working on projects and building mines for ever more valuable goods. The difference is, you’re not allowed to build a base. You can build structures, but no hiding in, on, beneath or behind them. If monsters appear, you have to fight – and this is on Hardcore mode, so one life only – and if you die, your world goes with it.

Total War: Peasants Only

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The natural progression in the Total War series from five blokes with a pitchfork up to commanding the Roman Legions is part of its appeal. Rolling up to an enemy fortress and systematically grinding down their defenses makes the player feel like a tactical genius as well as getting to see some fun special effects.

So discarding all that in favour of only producing Peasant units, and swamping the enemy under waves of the weakest infantry in the game, could be just what the series needs to dumb it down for the modern audience. Whether it’s even remotely possible to beat the game under these conditions is uncertain, but it would be one hell of an attempt.

Fallout: New Vegas: No Inventory

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Beating the game without healing is quite an achievement, but it’s made bearable by gathering the best weapons and armour in the game to put danger at arm’s length. A ruleset just as difficult – and certainly harder to plan out in advance – is this one.

Under these rules, you can keep the equipment you start with, and you can use repair services. Otherwise, no picking anything up. Quest items can be carried, but all weapons, armour, items and money must be left where they are. Money may be kept as a quest reward, but all items given as quest rewards must be dropped immediately. Healing can only take place through sleeping, doctors or drinking water.

If you can make it through that – and prepare to flood points into your Unarmed and Sneak skills – you’ll have earned the applause of the internet, if not anything tangibly worthwhile. Well done!


Do you have any more ideas for fun challenges in games? Have you done any difficult challenge runs yourself? Let us know in the comment!

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Robin Wilde

Co-Editor of Cubed Gamers, meaning I send out, take in, edit and upload content. I'm also in charge of doing much of the graphics and design stuff for the site.

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