Earliest example of grinding in video games

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matatat

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The site runners of a community outside of GIant Bomb that I frequent are doing a panel at PAX West. On their most recent podcast they announced that it would be about grinding in video games. They asked the audience to find the earliest example of grinding they could find in video games. So I figured I'd extend that question/search to the GB community.

So what do you guys think is the earliest example of grinding you can think of?

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ripelivejam

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#2  Edited By ripelivejam

probably not the earliest by far, but i remember me and my friends playing the hell out of the mana fortress in secret of mana trying to grind levels and weapon orbs and such.

e: so technically any rpg with a level system amd some kind of loot. wizardry perhaps?

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nophilip

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It would almost have to be one of the early RPGs, right? That was kind of the first genre with any sense of progression beyond advancing from stage to stage, level to level.

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BeachThunder

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matatat

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I'm wondering if things like getting points for lives can also be considered grinding. That might push things back? Or there must be like a text based RPG that is older.

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Capasso

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#6  Edited By Capasso

@nophilip: I've never played it, but I would bet money a game like Akalabeth had some grinding opportunities.

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Relkin

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@matatat: Look up the book Dungeons and Desktops to find out the names of some of the earliest known CRPGs, or at least the earliest ones people know about. If I remember right, there were some that were made on fuckin ARPANET.

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corporalgregg

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I thought of both grinding rails and grinding on another person before my mind went to grinding levels. Take that as you will.

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MezZa

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Would grinding for score count? Cause then you have pretty much any arcade game or game that gave you rewards based on score included at that point. It's technically doing repetitive actions to increase a number, so I don't know. I didn't come into gaming til the snes was out for awhile, so I'm probably not the best person to be answering.

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OurSin_360

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Custer's revenge...

I'll see myself out :-(

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Marz

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anything with a high score mechanic.... people grinded to get that high score you know what i'm saying.? So Space Invaders or some shit like that.

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shivermetimbers

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Hydlide (sp.) was probably the first case where grinding was really necessary in an RPG.

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deactivated-5e60e701b849a

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Skate or Die?

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nightriff

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I remember grinding money off the snakes in the 2nd temple in the Legend of Zelda, earliest example I ever grinded...for levels.

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Justin258

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#15  Edited By Justin258

That dnd game for the Plato system? I don't know if that has grinding, but it's a very early dungeon crawler for university computer system in the 70's.

EDIT: Ah, now I'm not on a phone

Here's the Wikipedia page for the game I'm talking about.

Also, I think you should probably define "grinding" first. It's kind of a word that has a lot of connotations around gaming circles and such, but it doesn't have a solid definition. As you can see in this thread, some people are saying that trying to get a high score is grinding, but I don't think that's what you mean when you say "grinding". Grinding, at least as far as I'm concerned, consists of doing repetitive tasks to get more of something in game. It's not characterized by challenging yourself or anything, just doing the same thing over and over to get more experience/gold/gain levels/etc.

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TobbRobb

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I was maybe gonna suggest grinding for hearts before Dracula in Castlevania, but the Wizardry game is older.

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hermes

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#17  Edited By hermes

The first Dragon Quest (...?) I don't think it is the first one, but that game series is rather old, and the concept of grinding as a viable way to mess with the very punishing difficulty spikes has been a staple of the series for a long time.

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ArtisanBreads

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#18  Edited By ArtisanBreads

I was just listening to Retronauts on Final Fantasy 1 and they were talking about grinding in that game, without the term to properly label it then. It was certainly the first time I ran into it.

They mention this on that episode, but when I first played the game, I was really young and didn't even think of the concept and just couldn't get further in the game. In my experience, I needed to grind and get money for gear in particular once I came back to it later. I have grown to love RPGs but as a kid I couldn't understand them for a while.

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dudeglove

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@matatat: I forget who said this, maybe it was Brad or maybe it was Tim from Double Fine, but apparently on the first Secret of Monkey Island, there's a puzzle/quest to get a ludicrous number of pieces of eight, which you get a large amount of from doing a particular thing, and then complete after haggling someone's asking price down (but it's still a lot after the haggle), but there's also a way to get one piece of eight from doing something stupid and protracted. Someone wrote in either here or elsewhere that they thought the way to do it was to grind the pieces of eight.

Aside from that, Monkey Island also required grinding for the insults for the insult sword fighting. The outside of town fights were a little big RNG-ish, so you'd need to constantly go back and forth from town meeting random pirates, "fighting" them, and then returning to town to get another insult from the bar person, and then fighting pirates again to get the retort, and so on. It was a form of grinding, and that was 1990.

[also i totally came into this thread thinking it was about skateboarding]

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Aquablak

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I was just listening to Retronauts on Final Fantasy 1 and they were talking about grinding in that game, without the term to properly label it then. It was certainly the first time I ran into it.

They mention this on that episode, but when I first played the game, I was really young and didn't even think of the concept and just couldn't get further in the game. In my experience, I needed to grind and get money for gear in particular once I came back to it later. I have grown to love RPGs but as a kid I couldn't understand them for a while.

FF1 was my first experience with it as well. I picked up on the concept right away, though, and was addicted to that cycle immediately.

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Sinusoidal

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Rogue was first released in 1980. The whole game is a grind.

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Zirilius

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@aquablak said:
@artisanbreads said:

I was just listening to Retronauts on Final Fantasy 1 and they were talking about grinding in that game, without the term to properly label it then. It was certainly the first time I ran into it.

They mention this on that episode, but when I first played the game, I was really young and didn't even think of the concept and just couldn't get further in the game. In my experience, I needed to grind and get money for gear in particular once I came back to it later. I have grown to love RPGs but as a kid I couldn't understand them for a while.

FF1 was my first experience with it as well. I picked up on the concept right away, though, and was addicted to that cycle immediately.

Wouldn't say I was addicted to it but I do remember spending hours in Ogre Alley in the volcano grinding levels, exp, and money.

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Meptron

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For me it was Zelda 2, the adventures of Link. Or maybe final fantasy 1. Not sure which i would have played first...

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