Most Frustrating Video Game Escort Missions

As a video game hero, you're expected to do a lot of pretty intense things; destroy alien armadas, stomp on malevolent turtles, and whip vampires slowly to death. But the worst thing that a video game could possibly ask you to do (aside from a timed, underwater level) is participate in an escort mission. You're handed a helpless, drooling moron and you have to bring them from Point A to Point B, generally through some pretty rough terrain. It's tedious, stressful, and completely unnecessary. Here are some of the worst.

GoldenEye 007: saving Natalya

We may as well start with the most notoriously awful escort mission of all time. Natalya used a computer once, so she's the perfect person to ask to hack into the GoldenEye satellite to prevent it from blowing stuff up. And you, James Bond, must protect her while she does it. As she dials into AOL to check her MySpace and rearrange her Top 8, goons rush in from every side and target Natalya's bright, red balloon of a head. After your fiftieth attempt at keeping her alive, you start to wonder if that GoldenEye thing is such a bad idea after all. Most players gave up the game at this point and went straight into multiplayer mode, where they could find a quantum of solace.

Battleborn: databots for the archive

The campaign mode in Battleborn is a robust, entertaining experience, but it has more than a few tough escort missions tucked in there. More than once, you're tasked with protecting an enormous, dumb sentinel as it progresses towards a goal, and always through insane hordes of unrelenting demon dogs and shadow creepers. That task gets even tougher during a mission called "The Archive," where you must escort a hulking bot to a safe zone, and then escort small hordes of adorable, toddling data robots to the big bot. The little guys get smashed to bits with the smallest swipe and, while the enemies' spawn points can be destroyed, even the spawn points respawn. It's a hellish quadruple-sextuple escort mission only suitable for your steeliest characters, and if you have an hour set aside for mashing the trigger button.

Earthworm Jim 2: Peter Puppy's puppies

Most people find Peter Puppy's outing in the first Earthworm Jim game to be a soul-crushing event, since Pete suffers from a pretty severe mental illness and will turn on you if you let him take any damage. What's worse, however, is Peter's presence in Earthworm Jim 2. As Psy-crow tosses Pete's puppies out of a window, Jim must run back and forth with a giant marshmallow, calculate their arcs through the air, and bounce them safely to their father's waiting funnel. As if determining patterns of falling puppies wasn't tough enough, the horrible splat they make as they hit the ground is horrific. And then, of course, Peter mauls you to death.

An honorable mention goes to the level "The Flyin' King," where Jim must escort a hot air balloon over an isometric landscape where fat guys are launched at you from catapults.

Star Wars: Battlefront: extraction from Jabba's palace

Introduced in Battlefront's optional Outer Rim DLC, Extraction Mode is a pretty fun team-based version of an escort mission. As the Rebels, it's your job to get a levitating cart to an extraction point and, as the Empire, it's your job to stop it. The cart moves at a sluggish pace and can drop its own force fields and, for the most part, the mode is pretty fast-paced and exciting ... until you reach Jabba's Palace. During the last stretch of the cart's progress, it has to make its way up a narrow, curved stairway, creating the most insane bottleneck of death ever seen in the world of gaming. If either team has any skill, this is where the cart stops, trapped like a Hutt crimelord on a toilet. No amount of gunfire or fancy items will free that cart from the hail of constant gunfire. Approaching it will mean certain death and spawning an excruciating twenty seconds away. Sure, the cart makes it through sometimes, but only if there's an imbalance in the Force, or just too many morons. If you're a Rebel, getting that cart through is harder than finding a girlfriend on Tatooine.

Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga: Princess Peach's lobotomy

There's a bit of a question about why Princess Peach even needs an escort. After all, she's the most awesome character in Super Mario Bros. 2 and can hold her own in Smash Bros., but Nintendo sometimes forgets these things and casts her as a simpering damsel in distress. In Superstar Saga, there's an entire level where Peach wanders through a desert while the Brothers must protect her. Fighting mummified Goombas and spitting cacti, and using carefully-timed barrels and button presses, Peach is escorted to safety. Unless she's not, in which case she's kidnapped back to the start of the level again. In order to change her direction, you have to stop and have a conversation with her, which is absolutely tedious, given how many times you need to halt her oblivious progress into mushroom-flavored doom. Just learn to hover-jump again, lady.

Penguin Land: the egg

Back in the day of the Sega Master System, there weren't a ton of easily accessible game options. If your grandma came home with Penguin Land for your birthday, that's what you played until next year. Unfortunately, the whole dang game is an escort mission for your unborn progeny. As an adorable penguin, who is also apparently an alien, you have to safely roll an egg from one area to another, facing threats like polar bears, fire, and plenty of inescapable puzzle traps. Don't let your egg drop too far, land on the wrong surface, or face any sort of trauma or it cracks open, spilling albumen-y failure everywhere. If you thought escorting Baby Mario in Yoshi's Island was bad, try escorting him as a pre-baby. Actually, don't.

Resident Evil 5: Sheva

It's unthinkable that a game that doesn't allow you to shoot and move at the same time would try to throw in anything else to make the experience even more difficult. But then, Resident Evil 5 throws us Sheva. Your partner throughout the game, Sheva is a lady whose AI is somewhere between "lemming" and "wet clump of dirt." Forget about whatever this game is actually about, because it quickly becomes about dealing with a hundred-pound goiter of a partner who loves to stand in your way and waste ammo like it's going out of style. A second player can control Sheva, instead of letting her doofus up the whole game, but having two players in the same room is a bit of a luxury for the loner gamer. You wouldn't have to escort Sheva if RE5 was programmed correctly, but instead, you just get a curvy burden.

Lord of the Rings Online: slow Sara Oakheart

It's the longest five minutes in all of gaming. Helping old lady Sara Oakheart walk slowly out of a cave initially doesn't seem too Lord of the Rings-y but, when you think about it, the entire trilogy was dedicated to one excruciatingly long escort mission for a piece of fancy jewelry. But unlike the One Ring, Sara is a useless old prune with footsteps that can be measured in microns. It's not difficult to help her escape the cave, but it's immensely frustrating once she demonstrates that she can, in fact, break into a sprint near the cave's exit ... and that she might not be such a nice old lady after all. When your Elven name means "Daughter of Doom," you're just bad news all around.