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I frankly couldn't care less about modern video games, so I'm talking about the Nintendo 64 and earlier eras.

For example, I was recently trying out a bunch of Nintendo 64 games on my Everdrive 64, many of them ones which I have played in the past. But many of them wouldn't quickly start, but rather insisted on lengthy, unskippable cutscenes.

For example, Majora's Mask, Donkey Kong 64, etc.

Even when the games were new/current, it is more than possible that somebody could have watched the intro at a friend's house, then bought their own copy and wanted to start playing right away and not have to sit through unwanted story nonsense. Or maybe they simply wanted to re-play the game from a new save. Or they saw the intro already in a commercial, or from a demo unit in a store. Or they just don't care for story/cutscenes at all, even once!

Not to mention the "speedrunners" of today who have to constantly sit through many-minute long cutscenes constantly...

There is typically no way to skip these. You can press every button on the controller until they turn to dust and it won't let you skip the cutscenes.

What could possibly be the reason for doing this? Even if they were worried that somebody would skip them by accident, why not make at least one button, such as "Start", allow you to skip it? Even requiring multiple presses in a series would be wonderful, and clearly signals to the game that the player does not wish to see it but rather just get on with the actual game.

I do not understand why they would piss off the player like this for seemingly no reason, yet it was (and maybe remains) common. What could possibly have been the reasoning? Is it known? Have they spoken about it in interviews?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I have no idea what they were thinking. I have my guesses and opinions, which I cannot substantiate. But I can tell you something: any one button that skips can be pressed by mistake. In fact, pressed buttons by accident may happen in a burst. My suggestion for developers worried about it: Consider having the first press of any button show a text on screen that says "press Blah to skip", and that "Blah" button only skips once that text is on screen (Perhaps after e.g. 100ms of it being there). Which means that accidental press won't skip the cut-scene. Also, allow playing it from the options. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theraot
    Jun 16 at 8:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ Mario, this site is intended for people making games. Sometimes we will use history of video games to answer questions, but the site is not about that, because - unless we can get the actual developers to talk about it - it is virtually unknowable why they did things the way they did, and legally unknowable how they did it. We can speculate or make educated guesses, but how could you pick a correct answer? You could not. It would devolve into arguing, and this is not a forum, this a Q&A site. Bring us your actual problems about game design and we will help you. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theraot
    Jun 16 at 10:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ That reminds me, a problem has a goal and an obstacle. And I mention that because questions of the form "what is the best way to…" or "what are all the ways to…" will probably get closed as opinion based. Instead, describe what are you trying to do, what was your approach and what obstacles are in the way. Then it is not opinion based, because with an actual problem, the correct answer is the one that solves the problem. Ok, arguably there could be multiple, but you only need one to solve your problem, no arguing over what is best, or which are all of them. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theraot
    Jun 16 at 10:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you can agree that this sites has questions with answers which are not closer or deleted, you can agree there is a way to ask questions that don't get closed or deleted. And, yes, the line is not entirely clear. At the end it depends on agreement among people who are not infalible. I'm sorry we cannot answer your question, even if the question opened again, we don't know what those developers were thinking. We probably will never know. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theraot
    Jun 16 at 10:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ Mario, we have thousands of answered questions on this site. Assessing the evidence confirms that it's not impossible to ask an on-topic question. For instance, if you wanted to ask "should I make this cutscene in my game skippable?" with details of the goals you're trying to achieve, that would be on-topic because it would be about solving a problem in a game you personally are making, which is what we tackle here. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Jun 16 at 10:30

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