The first time I remember finding a “money play” was in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. After a few fights with Rocksteady, I figured out a cheap way to beat him without him ever touching me. If you’ve ever played this game, you probably figured this trick out, too. If you don’t, the image above shows how to do it. If you’re perched up on those boxes with Donatello and attack down, Rocksteady will just eat your attacks until he dies with no way to fight back. I was only six years old when I figured that out. Before I ever took the time to think about how video games worked, I had already figured out how to exploit the system.
Within minutes of first playing Soul Calibur IV, the game has already figured out how to infuriate me. I’m not even close to being a good player at any Soul Calibur game, but I did play enough Soul Calibur II to beat the game on normal difficulty with every character. Having been out of practice, I decided to get reacquainted with the systems by starting out in Arcade mode.
Up until the second last level, I was doing just fine. But it was then that I was pit against the Apprentice.