"Simon Says" Mini-Game

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Okay...Repeat after me!

A Mini Game that presents the player a sequence of buttons and challenges him to memorize it and repeat it. Usually this must be done multiple times, with each sequence adding one or more buttons. It may not involve button presses directly, but rather requires the player to memorize some combination of actions. For example, you may have to press a group of differently-colored switches in the order they light up or kill a group of mooks in the order they first appear.

This often involves a musical motif with the Player Character playing a musical instrument and the button presses each representing a musical note. In any case, this can be something of a Moon Logic Puzzle for people with poor short term memories. Thankfully, you can usually cheat using a pen and paper.

Note that this Mini Game isn't quite like the children's game Simon Says, as there is no trick of losing if an action isn't prefaced with some special denotation. Still, most people associate the game with repetition, so these mini games are often likened to Simon Says. They also bear a strong resemblance to the electronic game Simon from the early 80's, which was itself named after Simon Says.

Not to be confused with Action Commands or Quick Time Events.

Examples of "Simon Says" Mini-Game include:

Video Games[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Aquaria has a Simon Says Mini Boss.
  • The Ur Example of this may be the 1974 Atari Touch Me arcade game, making this Older Than the NES.
  • This was the entire premise for Flagman for the Nintendo Game & Watch.
  • In The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, a Heart Piece was earned by playing a game of this with the Skull Kids in the Lost Woods, requiring you to memorize musical notes and play them back using the titular ocarina.
    • The frog choir's game (active after receiving their first Heart Piece) was basically this. On crack. You had to match up every note as it was played. Fortunately, the sequence was fixed.
    • Also used during the Goron Dance mini-game in Oracle Of Ages. You're given very little margin for error, and it must be completed multiple times. Oracle Of Seasons featured it too, but there was much more room for error.
  • In Banjo-Kazooie, used with the "Tiptup Choir" jigsaw piece in Bubblegloop Swamp, and again with a giant Ominous Pipe Organ in Mad Monster Mansion.
    • Rare must love these, as they used it again in Donkey Kong 64, as one of Lanky Kong's golden bananas is earned this way in the Frantic Factory level, requiring him to Ground Pound the multicolored notes on a piano.
    • For an even earlier example, there are the Banana Bird bonuses in Donkey Kong Country 3.
  • The Simpsons Game used this, requiring the player to play back the Simpson's theme in order to gain access to Matt Groening's mansion.
  • Mega Man and Bass has these in Astro Man's level. A gun will fire at you if you make an error.
  • A quest in World of Warcraft uses this.
  • There's a minigame in the first Wario Ware where you do this, with the musical justification.
  • The Mini Game "Clefairy Says" in Pokémon Stadium, pictured above.
  • Pitfall!: The Mayan Adventure has a similar game involving pull-levers in some bonus levels.
  • The WALL-E computer game uses a simple challenge of this style to open some of the doors.
  • Light Crusader for the Sega Genesis features some doors that only open after the player goes through a few rounds of "hit these things in the exact order they light up."
  • Parappa the Rapper, Space Channel 5, and for that matter almost every other Rhythm Game.
  • One of the forms of tower calibration in Final Fantasy X-2.
  • Earthworm Jim 2's underwater level has a Simon Says game at the exit. There are 4 pinball bumpers with ridiculous sound effects and you must repeat the sequence played. It starts at a one note sequence then gradually builds to 12 notes. The level exit appears when you finally fail, but the power up presented depends on how far you go before failing.
  • Eternal Sonata has a part that's sort of like this, but with some of the level between each sequence. The buttons are keys on a keyboard, and you play part of a song. It's part of Chopin's Nocturne.
  • In Brave Fencer Musashi, the boss battle against Topo is a dancing contest that's one of these. In addition to repeating the sequence, you have to maintain roughly the same tempo. Make a mistake and a row of fans blows you into an electric field.
  • In the Xbox 360 version of Mass Effect 1, this is how you hack into any piece of electronics that litters the world. The PC version replaces this with something that actually looks slightly sophisticated.
  • Metal Arms: Glitch in the System had one part where the titular Glitch must pretend to be a spy-bot during calibration tests. Various movement and rotation instructions are given, and three mistakes earn a ticket to the shredder. Sadly, going ballistic with a weapon isn't an option.
  • Chrono Trigger had a plot-relevant mini-game which gave you a perfect replica of the main character to replace him at the moment of his Plotline Death and undo it. Fortunately, during the one time it's plot-relevant, you could still continue if you failed...assuming you don't mind parting with a large sum of money.
  • Okami has the Blockhead encounters: Attack one to see a sequence of weak points appear, then dot over the weak points in the same order to actually defeat it. Many players didn't initially realize that the order matters, which can add to the frustration of trying to take down Blockhead Grande for his Stray Bead.
  • Mario Party will always have some variation on this...
  • Alien Hominid had one miniboss that was like this. Hit the wrong color and you got zapped to death and had to repeat the process.
  • Multiple Nancy Drew games include mini-games like this, but the best example is The Haunting of Castle Malloy, which has a drum minigame that even looks like a Simon toy.
  • In an underwater section of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, five torches were ignited in a certain order, and then extinguished. Mario had to relight the torches in the same order.
  • In Stubbs the Zombie, the showdown with the Chief of Police takes the form of this.
  • The dancing level of Pinocchio for Sega Genesis and Super NES.
  • The piano puzzle in The 7th Guest. The tune turns out to be the game's main theme.
  • The Harry Potter game for the Game Boy Color had a DDR-style minigame with this sort of gameplay featuring Harry and Professor Flickwick, resulting in the amusing images of Harry doing things like shaking his tush at the screen or breakdancing on his head.
  • Gets you to a golden key in Fable III.
  • Also a Money for Nothing minigame in Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy.
  • One of the games in The Secret Island of Dr. Quandary, "Ape the Ape".
  • One of the minigames in Escape From the Mindmaster.


Electronic Toys[edit | hide]

  • A closer Trope Namer than the children's game of Simon Says is the 1977 game Simon from Milton Bradley had colored buttons and musical sound effects.
    • A similar game called "Bop-It" was a strange-looking plastic gizmo that called out actions that the player had to perform on the object like pressing a button, pulling levers, or twisting the object. Its main mode was just doing the correct actions as they were called, though another mode was directly Simon.
    • "Brain Warp" also tasked the player with repeating commands one at a time, by rotating the toy so that the called color or number was oriented upward. One mode involved memorization and repetition: The first player chooses a first move, the second player repeats that move and adds a second move, the third player repeats the first two moves and adds a third, and so on.


Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Many of the "events" (read: stunts) on the Nickelodeon Game Show Think Fast required teams to take turns building a sequence in this manner, adding one each time. The first team to mess up lost. Examples included entering numbers on a giant push-button phone, throwing different colored paint balloons at one's partner, and patting the backs of three "gross uncles" to cause them to belch.