230: Save Our Souls


New member
Mar 9, 2008
I never thought I would get quick save-blitzed on a console, then it happened while I was playing Fallout 3 on the 360. I had just installed several of the expansion packs, and I wasn't aware then that all of them are more than a little glitchy. So I just let the single slot autosave hold everything as I left the DC Wasteland for Point Lookout.

I'm tearing around the place for about 2 hours when the game/console freezes up. Coming back in, I find my autosave file is corrupt. The autosave that was my only link to not only Point Lookout, but the entire Broken Steel quest series I had spent the last two days working through.

Suffice it to say, I went back to Point Lookout, hard saving often, and it was awhile before I got up the nerve to go back and do Broken Steel again.

Granted, I'm not a starving kid in Africa. But damn, does that crap hurt.


New member
Mar 24, 2009
copycatalyst said:
My favourite example of saving moments before death came from HL2. On the airboat, with an APC raining down missiles, a bunch of CPs firing SMGs, and a flaming blockade to leap across, I had 1HP left at the save. Of course, HL2 autosaves are frequent enough that going back to the previous one wouldn't have wasted much time. But dammit, I was gonna make it through this blockade with 1 health! It took a few tries, but somehow I snuck through. This was where a bad save actually made things more exciting (for a game I had already beat a few times).

Sometimes the "save anywhere, save anytime" mentality is a hinderance to excitement, though. I remember feeling that Tomb Raider 2 was ruined by removing the save points that the first game had used. It broke up the tension that would be caused by knowing that there's a consequence for failure at each and every trap or jump, and it extends beyond merely repeating that same trap or jump.
I myself have gotten into such situations with an interestingly timed autosave. I'd either be low on ammo or low on health(but yet not low on both for some weird reason) and would have to do a serious Groundhog Day run to get through the big obstacle. Best groundhog day moment, I had low health on the final chapter of Half Life against the big fetus boss. I actually pulled it off and taught myself the best places to anticipate and dodge those damn tp-balls.
As far as losing single player saves, I don't get so upset over it, since the game I am playing is fun even from the beginning, and even starting over I can get myself into even better shape the next time around with what I learned. It is bad enough when people go batshit over material things, but when they do for non-material things, it's time they look at getting some counseling.


New member
Feb 9, 2009
I could easily imagine a future where MMO-esque games are played using avatars and persistent worlds containing months and even years worth of save data. Where people don't just spend vast amounts of their time, but also make a living and basically live out their lives within the gamespace.

Imagine THAT getting corrupted. It would be devastating.

Quick Ben

New member
Oct 27, 2008
A corrupt save is why I uninstalled Arkham Asylum. It only autosaves to one slot, and god help you if something happens while it's saving...

After completing the story and doing all the Riddler riddles, I was going for 100% save completion by doing all the challenges, which I was 70-something % through. Then I pressed Esc one time to many while exiting menus before I quit the game. Result: Save corrupted. The only save the game allows you to have for one file can be killed by exiting a menu too fast! I still wonder why it could not simply have finished saving before allowing me to exit to that last menu, or even finish while on that last menu (I see no reason for it not to.)

I still can't bring myself to install it again.


New member
Jan 31, 2009
Interesting article. Of course, losing a save can be just as frustrating even if you don't lose the entire character. The Discworld MUD recently had an unprecedented rollback of about 15 days, meaning anything anyone had done in the last 15 days was gone. Relatively few people lost an entire character, I believe, but the frustration for some was unbearable.

What's interesting is that I don't think it's the big characters who were worse off, it was the young ones who'd barely grown a commitment to their character. The problem is that, like many games, Discworld works on a diminishing returns basis- so it takes more xp to gain a single level as your level gets higher. Therefore, those with high up cahracters will have gained relatively little in that 15 days, maybe the odd fighting level or whatever, while younger characters might have learned entire skills like stealing, or their first spell, or something. While these abilities might be quite cheap in xp terms, they're a hell of a thing to lose when you were able to do them just the day before.



New member
Apr 13, 2009
About time someone wrote about saving! It is such an integral aspect to the gaming experience, and yet people let it stay all-too-invisible, even as the changes to how it works in recent years have caused untold stress to millions of gamers.

The thing with saving is that there are always huge flaws with each type of saving used by games. Each type has its own strengths and weaknesses. But there is a solution. It's costly, but not as costly as the loss of the life of some poor unbalanced soul who couldn't take it when they lost their level 80 Priest, or their Oblivion character made to kill things on Hardest with no cheats.

My solution, of course, is to include every type of saving possible in every game. That's right - have a default setting that makes sense for the genre, but allow players to change to another type of saving if they prefer it. This diverts blame from the company in individual cases of data loss, allowing the legal shield to come down a bit in the long term, and would save the frustration for the hardcore who often find one type of saving that they prefer and hate all the others. As for casual gamers? That's what default settings are for.

I realise that this would be somewhat costly to develop and troubleshoot, but what exactly, apart from obvious formatting issues, is so hard about finding even a small independent developer willing to design a mass production model of an all-purpose save system to be integrated in any and all games, at only a small fee to developers using it? Any such company could make millions of dollars over the years if the system was well-designed enough to impress. It would not take much to get such a project supported by a large community who point out bugs and other issues and get them fixed, either.

The mod scene could so get onto this. In fact, I'm astonished that it hasn't happened already. I suppose every developer likes to have their own "flash"-looking save system, but really that's just adding glitzy graphics to essentially the same spreadsheet, the core of which could be applied en masse. Why constantly reinvent the wheel? After all, Sony already has one of these in a lesser form; it is only a matter of making another that is more ambitious and reaches into the realm of PC gaming as well.


This is a Forum Title.
Oct 2, 2008
I'd be surprised if there isn't a website devoted to stories of corrupted saves. Every word of this article resonated with me.

I've lost *TWO* PSX memory cards, and one 3X memory card on my PS2. Since the current-gen consoles are all online capable, MS/Sony/Nintendo need to offer some sort of savegame storage for your profiles on their services. I've seen so many people with dead HDDs, tears welling up in their eyes.


Man must have a code.
Dec 21, 2007
I had all 150 pokemon on Red when I was like 13, my cousin (who was a year older) asked if he could play, I said as long as he didn't save the game. What does he do, saved the new game erasing the old.

I got over it as I was bored of the game, but from this day onwards I have always treated him like he's mentally disabled when he works my technology, for example showing him something but not letting him touch it and standing behind him hand hovering over mouse when hes on my computer. He always brings up.

The Random One

New member
May 29, 2008
Ah, yes, game saves. I am most paranoid about it. I'll leave a quicksave, keep switching between two different saves, and often create a third one in case there's a glitch. Despite that I've often lost my progress and/or got in an unwinnable glitch situation more often than I'd like. While I'm a huge fan of old games, I sometimes can't bring myself to negotiate their arcane save system. Earthworm Jim 2 is a great game, but being forced to find secrets to start from a level looks so retarded to me I can't bring myself to finish it. It obviously made sense at the time, when computer games had a more arcadey feel.

The good ol' times of renting N64 games and hoping no one had saved over your save. I remember talking to two of my friends, one of which complaining his save in an advanced point of a game or other was deleted.

"I always try to save over whichever save has the least done", I say helpfully.

"Me too", he replies.

"I just save over the first slot I see", the third friend adds.

"It's people like you who deleted my game!" And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Or losing all of your Pokémon when someone trips over your controller wire when you're saving your data in Pokémon stadium. I think I started over and got all 150. By now it's probably gone again, I think data files in Gameboy cartridges become corrupted if they're not accessed for long. Oh, the time wasted!

Rogue 9

I, Jedi
Jun 22, 2008
Well it wasn't file corruption that's given me the most sorrow over saved data. My house was actually robbed when my family went away on holiday for a couple of weeks, and among the things stolen were my Gamecube, all my 'cube games and... the two gamecube memory cards i'd left in the machine.

At the point before I'd left on holidays, I was probably a couple of hours away from finishing Wind Waker. A few hours from finishing Starfox Adventures. And I'd gotten gold medals on every course with every character in SSX Tricky.

I got almost all the games back through insurance, and a few new ones in place of the ones that couldn't be found in shops, but the loss of the memorycards left a bitter, bitter taste. I don't think I ever have finished either of those games, and I certainly haven't maxed out every character on SSX Tricky again (too much fun playing SSX On Tour instead). Hm, maybe I'll go back and do that these holidays...


New member
May 31, 2009
Vierran said:
I will often back up files two or three times if possible just to avoid losing the data, but it always makes me think, what is it i am exactly losing here, just time and effort? or perhaps something more, perhaps after all these years and all this data accumulated it has become apart of me.

I think i may even treat this data as if it were some sort of external memory system that can be retrieved and viewed for not only entertainment purposes but also to reminisce.
You ever wonder if they will diagnose some type of compulsive hoarding [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsive_hoarding] for the digital age?

I mean while the stuff you and I hoard are sooo many gigabytes, they physically take up very little space. But inside my computer, gosh, I have a lot of stuff bookmarked...some of which I'll never really revisit...

And the games...some I'll never play, but I'll keep the save files..."just in case"...


New member
Nov 30, 2009
I've a real problem with RPG's on PC , where I decide I want to replay ones I've half finished , only to discover the save files long gone , and I cant be arsed starting again.
There definitely a Niche for a nice , easy to use save gamer repository site , one where you could go and look up , say , Planescape torment , and find a load of uploaded saves , and pick the one closest to where you were and what your party was...


The British Paladin
Jul 14, 2009
starfox444 said:
I always keep a back up. I have my PS3 Fallout 3 saves on my USB just in case.

Take that data corruption!
Same with most of mine! I have had it happen to me before multiple times on PSX...god, the number of times I had to play some games was rediculous


New member
Jul 23, 2009
Morrowind. All quests save the Temple completed. All but four important artifacts acquired. Then I accidentally saved after my character had been named as a werewolf while using Hircine's Ring. I did the only thing left to me: retreat to the lair of the Quarra vampire clan and commit suicide with a massive kill-everyone-in-the-room-even-me spell. Then I started the game over.

Jabberwock xeno

New member
Oct 30, 2009

The best RPG I ever played, on of my favorite games of all time, was Dark Cloud 2. I loved it, it was near perfect.

Than one day, me and a friend were playing (though it was my game we basically only played it with each other, taking turns after one player died, or a mission was completed), and one of us, by accident, hit the delete save file instead of the save button.

We both jumped off the couch, dived towards the PS2, trying to yank out the memory card before it was too late, but aye, to late it was.

Never played that awesome game again, nor the ps2.