Top 10 Hardest Escort Missions in Video Games

Top 10 Hardest Escort Missions in Video Games
VOICE OVER: Ricky Tucci
If there's a mission type that frustrates players like no other, it's the escort. For this list, we'll be looking at the most difficult and stressful missions in video games where we had to play babysitter. However, we're excluding full games where the primary focus is guiding another character. Our countdown for the hardest escort missions in video games includes The Alchemist from “Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!” (1999), Little Oly from “Psychonauts” (2005), For Pete's Sake from “Earthworm Jim” (1994), Natalya from “GoldenEye 007” (1997), and more!

Script written by Johnny Reynolds

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the most difficult and stressful missions in video games where we had to play babysitter. However, while we did consider groups of escort missions, we’re excluding full games.

#10: For Pete’s Sake

“Earthworm Jim” (1994)

Things get pretty silly in “Earthworm Jim” but that doesn’t stop this mission from being extremely irritating. ‘For Pete’s Sake’ has players accompany a strange pink dog through an enemy and hazard-infested level. Shooting will make him duck while your whip attack makes him jump. Fortunately, Pete doesn’t take damage when he’s hit or falls into a pit. Unfortunately, he briefly turns monstrous, grabs Jim, moves him backwards, and takes off some of your own health. Having to redo sections can be irritating. It’s especially annoying considering how many enemies are packed into the level; Flying Saucers can even stun you while Pete merrily walks right into danger.

#9: Proving Grounds

“BioShock” (2007)

In “BioShock,” Big Daddies are imposing, hulking enemies that defend Little Sisters. But when you finally put on one of their suits, you learn their job is actually pretty tough. Late in the game, you’ll make it to the appropriately named Proving Grounds where you must escort a helpless companion. While she gathers gene-altering ADAM from corpses around the area, you have to fend off waves of addicted Splicers seeking to tear her apart. While you do have plenty of weapons and abilities, the Little Sister sure knows how to take her sweet time. And it isn’t as if the enemies are going to go easy on you.

#8: Krew’s Men

“Jak II” (2003)

Even if your companions have means to defend themselves, that doesn’t mean they will. Case in point: escorting Krew’s men in “Jak II.” In this mission, the player accompanies three armed men that we must assume have no idea how to use their weapons. That’s the only explanation for them needing constant rescue. The enemies in this section fire powerful laser beams, which your compatriots will happily eat. But if one of the three dies, it’s back to square one. Even if you try to run ahead and kill some enemies before the group volunteers as cannon fodder, others come up from behind. No need to preserve ammo with this one.

#7: Galen’s Escape

“World of Warcraft” (2004)

“World of Warcraft” has seen many changes, expansions, and quests over its long history. But one of its more annoying challenges was right there in the beginning. Players came across an imprisoned Galen in the Swamp of Sorrows, asking for a way out of becoming a nice snack for a group of monsters. However, almost immediately after freeing him and agreeing to lead him to safety, Galen made us all regret it. There’s only so many times we can hear someone yell for help while running headfirst into enemies before we let them. It became common practice for those in the know to kill as many surrounding enemies as possible before letting Galen out of his cage.

#6: The Alchemist

“Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage!” (1999)

Speaking of helpless NPCs that seem to have a death wish, the Alchemist from “Spyro 2” only brings up rotten memories for us. In Fracture Hills, you’ll come across Hunter the Cheetah, whose feet are encased in stone. The Alchemist that can fix it is found nearby. But does he take the straightforward path? Of course not! He chooses the longest route possible to reach Hunter, which also happens to have a bunch of giant, stone, smash-happy enemies on it. Instead of running to hide while the LITERAL DRAGON handles things, the Alchemist will make a beeline into the danger. Just one hit and the process starts over. Spare us.

#5: Little Oly

“Psychonauts” (2005)

The ‘Meat Circus’ level from “Psychonauts” is an infamous difficulty spike for those who played it. And the beginning of your mental torture is heralded by young Oly here. Inside Coach Oleander’s mind, players must follow his younger self through a myriad of dangers. This section consists of tough-as-nails platforming, made harder by knife-throwing foes. There are also the demonic bunnies that descend on Oly. And, obviously being a child, he doesn’t have that much health to spare. If that wasn’t obnoxious enough, he then leads you into a boss fight. The level’s following sections aren’t any more forgiving, but at least you don’t have a clueless child to look after.

#4: Escorting Emma

“Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty” (2001)

Konami really wanted to test our patience with this one. During the ‘Plant’ chapter of “Metal Gear Solid 2,” Raiden will need to get Emma Emmerich out of there. And it is an incredibly irritating process. Part of the level is submerged in water, and Emma can’t swim, so you have to carry her on your back during those sections. Her life and oxygen bars are naturally much shorter than yours, and even on foot, you must hold her hand and walk slowly. Then, she’ll probably freak out at the slightest inconvenience, including bugs. While the actual mechanics aren’t too strenuous, having her with you makes everything harder and, even worse, far more tedious.

#3: Survivor Missions

“Dead Rising” (2006)

We’ve talked about escort missions with single characters running towards danger. But in the original “Dead Rising,” Capcom included several dozen of them. As Frank West navigates the zombie-infested mall, he’ll come across some people who need an extra hand. You can escort all of them to the mall’s Security Room, a safe space. But we have to wonder how many of them actually want to make it there alive. With death inches away, Frank uses whatever he can find lying around as a weapon. But give these survivors any type of defense, and they’ll not only squander it, but run straight into the jaws of the beast.

#2: Eileen’s Missions

“Silent Hill 4: The Room” (2004)

Around the halfway point of “Silent Hill 4,” your character’s neighbor, Eileen, will begin joining you on missions. Her existence is enough to drastically increase the difficulty. While she can’t die or be damaged in the traditional sense, what happens is actually worse. She’s in danger of being possessed and with every attack that lands, she grows a bit closer to being lost. You can ease these effects by using holy candles, but the entire process is still more nightmarish than most of what the game throws at you. She moves slowly and is such a poor fighter that giving her a weapon just increases her chances of rushing in and getting mauled. Her state when you’re through also affects the ending, so no pressure.

#1: Natalya

“GoldenEye 007” (1997)

What’s worse than an NPC that runs directly into an enemy’s damage? One that runs directly into yours. During the ‘Control’ chapter of this N64 classic, James Bond must defend companion Natalya while she hacks into a computer. There are several issues with this, including her slow-as-molasses pace and the large room in which this takes place. No matter how many enemies you put down, they won’t stop coming until she’s done. And since the room is fairly big, they can come from multiple directions. That means you have to keep running around to keep her safe. Throughout the level, she’ll also happily walk right in front of you while you’re trying to shoot. And naturally, if she dies, it’s Game Over.

Which escort mission gave you the hardest time? Did it make our list? Share your thoughts in the comments and don’t forget to check out these other great videos!