Nintendo has filed a patent application in the US for a system that could see gamers assisted by computer controlled characters on particularly tough sections of any future titles.
Shigeru Miyamoto is listed as the inventor of the built-in hint system, which would make itself available to the player to allow the computer to take control of characters to show the correct route through a specific game scene or solution to a puzzle.
The system, installed on the disc or made available online through servers, would be intended as a time saving device for long complex games and serve to convince gamers to finish games they would otherwise drop due to difficulty.
"In some of these games, a volume of the story or the scenario is too large, and therefore a lot of time is needed for clearing the game," reads an explanation on the patent application.
"Further, in some cases, various puzzles are set in the scenario... However, there is a problem that these puzzles and the like are too difficult, and therefore the game may be stuck halfway, and the game may not be cleared to the end."
"As means for solving the problem, disclosed is a game control method for lowering the difficulty level of a game by presenting, while the game is being played, a hint for allowing the game to be continued."