What's Happening

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

WVI: Maybe I'm just being a hardass, but I think this page needs a serious cleanup. Too many of these examples don't fit the trope description, and many of them ramble past the point.

Korval: Man, looking at some of these examples, it's obvious that you all just suck ;)

I'm only kinda half kidding. This should probably be a Subjective Trope, considering how many of these are just "really hard puzzles that you didn't figure out on your own" rather than a clear instance of "no reasonable human being could figure that out without throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks." For example, while the Zelda: Oo T Water Temple was hard, I never needed a guide or even help to complete it.

Seconding this. I'm surprised by some of the examples here that I figured out on my own. The Cave Story one, for example.

FalseSwipe: Thirding. Any time someone mentions 'that goddamn barrel' I just want to grab them and shake them like a newborn infant.

{{01d55}}: That picture is a photograph of my soul. Where did it come from?

Caswin: I have the same question. Who is Tails thinking about?
Andrew Leprich: Love this trope (and the name), props to whoever created it.

Seven Seals: "The various collectibles spread throughout the Grand Theft Auto games are so numerous and well-hidden that just about everyone uses a guide to locate them. Who has the time or inclination to search the vast urban environments for a hundred spray tags and fifty horseshoes?"

The people who write guides? :-) It's clear you'll be more likely to go: "Guide Dang It!" if what you're doing is necessary to finish the game at all. The kind of people who obsess over 100% Completion aren't likely to complain, and those who are serious about it won't even use a guide, since they'll insist on finding out for themselves.

Andrew Leprich: Well, the fact of the matter is that many of those collectibles would be nearly impossible to find without the use of a guide. Granted, it isn't the most clear cut example of this trope, but I contend it still applies: it's something in the game you would have no idea how to accomplish without consulting outside help. Why should sidequests be exempt from this trope? Same goes for the other two examples (100% Completion in FFX-2, and the bonus ending in Valkyrie Profile). Those aren't things you need to do to finish the game either. I've reworded the example to make it fit better, but I really don't see why this trope should be limited to things that are required to beat the game.

Seven Seals: Sorry I made you feel like you should do something, that really wasn't my intention. :-) I just offered it as an observation; of course they are all valid examples of this trope. In fact, games that have you do this to finish at all are rare for the obvious reason that players hate this. It's worse than Nintendo Hard because it's just not fair. However, when you get there it's subjective whether something is an instance of Guide Dang It or you're just not good enough to figure it out. Getting stuck in an Adventure Game is the obvious example.

Andrew Leprich: I see, my bad, sorry for misconstruing your comments. Examples for this trope can be pretty subjective, so I see where you are coming from, no problem. In my own doing I have edited the GTA example a little bit, because most of the hidden collectibles are locatable with enough dedication, it's just a few that warrant a Guide Dang It moment.

Robin Lionheart: 'In Final Fantasy VII, the complicated, bizarre requirements of breeding a Gold Chocobo are not given or even alluded to in-game.' If I rememeber correctly, the chocobo breeder does gradually give information about breeding chocobos in successive visits, if you keep going off and do other things for a while then coming back.

Andrew Leprich: It's been a long time since I've played the game, but you're probably right.

Mister K: Robin is correct, although if I remember correctly his hints are very vague, and I imagine a player might be disappointed when you have to save and load millions of times when you wait for the fricking chocobos to actually create the damn correct offspring.... Not that I'm bitter.

Andrew Leprich: Because it has been proven inaccurate (it's also been proven that I have a bad memory), I have removed As noted above, The Grand List Of Console Role Playing Game Clichés pokes fun at how the complicated, bizarre requirements of breeding a Gold Chocobo in Final Fantasy VII are not given or even alluded to in-game. Actually, this isn't entirely true. If you go back to the Chocobo Sage repeatedly, he'll generally keep giving you the next step in Gold Chocobo breeding. He gives the next step after a set amount of time has passed, but it usually takes that long to finish the current task, so it's not that bad. The funny quote has been moved to the top of the page, so we really don't need this anymore.

Samael: However, has anyone considered adding the entry for Chocobuckle? I recall testing to see if my strategy guide was accurate or not, but not whether the method given was in fact the necessary method. If it was, then how many people think to stuff a random level 16 chocobo with three doses of greens, then blast it with Lvl 4 Suicide? Especially with there being multiple levels of chocobos...
Tanto: Video games as a medium are too young for their tropes to be The Oldest Ones in the Book, by definition.

Ununnilium: Seriously.

{{01d55}}: Oldest is a relative term - you can certainly say that there are oldest ones in the video game book.

Dragontamer: Pokemon is not a good example. There are numerous references to "All Pokemon are unique" scattered across the game. In Emerald, there is a guy who gives a rating on your pokemon based on I Vs. E Vs are also referenced. There is of course the pokerus which Nurse Joy explains to the player when a pokemon gets it. Also, the macho brace and other misc. items explain that stats grow differently depending on what you equip them. And not to mention, vitamins are known pretty well in-game. Furthermore, no guide I know tells me that E Vs max out at 510, nor that there are values for I Vs. Finally, while effects of E Vs are massive, I Vs effect stats very little in comparison to stat-ups and whatnot (with exceptions. Blissey, with its abysmal defenses benefits greatly from defense I Vs)

Andrew Leprich: Sure, the game occasionally vaguely alludes to I Vs and E Vs, and there are rewards and items that involve these statistics, but no specific details are ever given. There may be some random NPC who says something like "your Pokemon's growth is affected by the Pokemon it battles," but this is very vague and can be interpreted in many ways, and there's still no in-game indication that, say, Tentacools give one EV point for special defense while Torkorals give two for defense. The current example may be a tad exaggerating, but honestly, tell me it's possible for someone to build a properly-trained battle-ready Pokemon without reading the Advanced Trainer guides on GameFAQs or something.

Tanto: I'm fairly certain that IVs and EVs are mentioned nowhere in the first two generations. I didn't even know they existed until a few years ago (around the release of Ruby/Sapphire, when my interest was peaking again), and I was pretty fanatic at the beginning.

Dragontamer: There are no specifics given in Prima's Pokedex guide for Diamond/Pearl either. The most they give you is the same thing that is referred in the games. Power Brace increases attack scores faster, protein helps Attack stats, etc. etc. I don't know of any guide from Nintendo or Prima that tells you the magic number 510 for EV totals. So whats the point of putting Pokemon as an example when even Prima's guide doesn't tell you that information? Literally, only (white-hat) hackers have found that information and are using it in competitive battling.

Tanto: Because it's something you can't figure out (or have an extremely unlikely chance of figuring out) just from playing the games. Despite the name, the trope does not refer to just official guides. It refers to anything you can't get without looking it up.

Andrew Leprich: Right. It's no surprise that the official Prima and Bradygames guides don't mention IVs and EVs, because, if I'm not mistaken, the information they contain has to be approved by the game's creators, and apparently Nintendo for some reason wants people to believe that Pokémon has a standard leveling-system. Perhaps they're afraid that the complexity of the actual leveling system will confuse a significant part of the fanbase. In any case, I don't see how there's any disputing the fact that it's literally impossible to fully become aware of and understand the complicated EV and IV systems without looking up information on the Internet.

Dragontamer: I see your point. However, I have another argument on this issue as well. In-game, you do not necessarily need to EV train or IV breed your pokemon to beat the Elite Four. Only when you are brought to the competitive online environment does it start to matter. And the fact that Pokemon is such a deep game that you need to read up on it is a tribute to the complexity of Pokemon's battle system. Take Chess for example. It is unlikely a beginner will learn what an Indian Opening, nor the long-term implications of using the Indian Opening in Chess by himself. Furthermore, the ignorant player would be at a disadvantage to the player who has studied the openings and end-game scenarios. Similarly, in any truly fun competitive game, you will be required to read a guide to catch-up with the experts. From common openings in Starcraft (Zergling Rush build, MM&F Terrain builds, Dark Templar Rush, etc. etc.) to Wave-Dashing in Super Smash Brothers: Melee, to the number of frames any fighting-game character takes, _SOMETHING_ is not going to be mentioned in the guide nor in the game. Especially when it is a complex competitive game such as Pokemon, Starcraft, or any fighting game.

(Still) Dragontamer: My point is: I don't think "Guide Dang it" works for competitive games. People will hack the game to find stuff that are not mentioned in-game, or even information not in official guides to gain a slight advantage on their opponent. And its all fair game. And if that is so, then I will give you an example from nearly every competitive game that I've played. From the cooldown rates, precise time-to-builds and openings of Starcraft units, to the frame information in hacked out of the RO Ms in Fighting Games.

Andrew Leprich: Okay, you've raised some good points with your new line of argument and have convinced me. I only disagree with the implication that E Vs and I Vs are comparable to things like wavedashing in SSBM; as we've already established, E Vs and I Vs are repeatedly referenced and alluded to throughout the game, so obviously the developers expected at least some players to know about them at some point. Therefore, isn't the same thing as dedicated players taking advantage of exploits or creating strategies unintended by the game's creators. However, since I Vs and E Vs are only necessary for multiplayer battling, and you can do everything single-player wise without knowing about them, I have no problem if it's taken out.

Dragontamer: Aight. I got my thoughts on this trope written down. Please review :-)

Andrew Leprich: I really don't think that huge block is necessary, it steals the entry's thunder. It would be simpler and easier just to remove the Pokémon example. We're probably not going to encounter a situation like this again, and if we do, we'll pull it over here to discussion. A paragraph of caveats won't be necessary until we see more than one instance of competitive battling techniques and the like being added as examples. You have made some great observations here, but they are more suited to the discussion page at this point. For now, preserving it here:

This trope should not be confused with the Self-Imposed Challenge or competitive games in general. Self-Imposed Challenge requires the gamer to be at the peak of his skill, and in many cases requires the gamer to pull off undocumented glitches and/or bugs. Similarly in competitive games, players have a history of hacking game data and brining the level of competitive play so high that it is impossible to enter without reading a guide. For instance, Pokemon does not require knowledge of I Vs or E Vs for normal completion or even 100% completion of the game. However, knowledge of these game mechanics give an edge to the competitive battler and the [[Metagame]] almost requires the player to understand these stats. In general, the difference is where a [1] or competitive battles may require the gamer to take advantage of undocumented features, [2] requires the gamer to take advantage of documented features not mentioned in the game to complete the game.

Addendum: It appears that Kayube has edited this back in... I guess I'll leave it with a minor caveat.
umrguy42: I would add this myself, but I haven't quite got the wiki skillz for this place down yet: I wondered if it would be good (or interesting?) to point out the lampshade hanging done in the movie Toy Story 2, when they're in Al's Toy Barn, and Rex finds the guide and finally realizes how to beat Zurg in the Buzz Lightyear video game...

Andrew Leprich: Done.

Kereminde: Nobody has mentioned the Maze Zones in the original Metal Gear? There were two areas in the jungle which were repeating screens; you needed to pass through them to revisit and find important items. But without knowing the pattern of exits to take you could walk endlessly and only theoretically find your way by completely random chance. It's been a while but I know I recall never finding that information in the actual game itself. If anyone can prove me wrong, that would be fine with me!

Einar: The segment about Adom doesn't belong here. Although the ultimate endings are convoluted, they don't require anything you would never think of without a guide - after all, giving a character named "Khelevaster, the dying sage" an Amulet of Life Saving makes perfect sense if you don't want the guy to die.

Andrew Leprich: Removed the Justifying Edit surrounding the Final Fantasy XII example. It's a clear-cut example of this.
Fly: I love Yahtzee, but I'm cutting his quote:

"In the second level I was faced by a number of war-time pill boxes that diced the entire team to festive confetti the moment they came within fifty yards. Eventually one of those helpful hints that games flash up when they feel sorry for you for being so obviously retarded appeared and told be that one of the girls could run up behind the pillbox and drop a grenade behind it if I pressed a certain button while in a certain position. Excuuuuuse me, Jericho, for not posessing the kind of clairvoyant space brain necessary to instinctively know something that has never until this point been mentioned and indeed will never be used again!"
Zero Punctuation, on Clive Barker's Jericho [3]

...because it doesn't make up for its insane length with any article relevance. Yahtzee's describing Fake Difficulty.
My apologies to the person who typed out that long quote from the DK 64 instruction manual, but in my opinion it's more relevant to general gameplay tips than absolutely important information.
Fluid: Does this trope have any relation to You Can't Get Ye Flask?

Dusk: Overabunace of You Can't Get Ye Flask can certainly lead to a Guide Dang It, but the two are not directly related. if you need a relation between them, think something like third cousins as oppsed to siblings.

Cassius335: Toasted a couple of the quotes. Three quotes and a pic is too much (and the three quotes were basically the same as each other).

Lord Seth: Deleted:
  • I don't know about you lot, but to beat Zant in Twilight Princess, by using The Wind Boomerang, an item I hadn't used since the first dungeon, yeah, that sucked.
Because, first, the game gives you a hint by making that form similar to a boss YOU USED THAT ITEM ON. Even if you somehow missed that, it's not hard to try each weapon individually. It is definitely not a Guide Dang It, both due to the fact the game gives you a decent hint and it's not hard to figure out by trial and error even if you miss it.

Zeta: I may be one of the very few people that beat the classic X-MEN sega genesis game without touching the reset button (and without a guide, too). The thing with the stage with the timer and the computer (bolded for a reason) at the end is that after a certain amount of time has elapsed and you have reached the end of the stage, Professor X gives you the "RESET THE COMPUTER NOW" prompt. What you're then supposed to do is attack the comput- oh, wait, you hit it the moment you saw it, didn't you? That would normally turn this into an unwinnable situation if the developers hadn't had the foresight (and good heart) to put in the alternate solution of resetting a different computer altogether - namely, the SEGA Genesis itself. It should be noted that (memory serving correctly) the alternate solution is the only one that brings up the binary screen (which makes it a bit of an easter egg as well)
arromdee: Is that Phantasy Star 2 remake Easter Egg real? Wasn't it just a hospital in the Japanese version, not cloning?
Kayube: Something that just bugs me about this page- why do people keep putting exclamations of "Guide Dang It!" at the end of examples? You're already on the Guide Dang It page, you know that the examples are Guide Dang It examples- isn't there a better way of showing your frustration with puzzles than just repeating the page title? —-

Deleted the following:

  • Some really big Guide Dang Its: the Laser Hallway puzzle in the Super Computer dome. The only in-game hint is that the high-scores of the Ms. Astro Chicken arcade game happen to correspond to the values you need to set in the control panel, but how would a gamer figure that out by themselves? And there's the sewer slime that's unlikely one would think could be scooped up with the jar, a mission-critical item later in the game, and the Energizer Bunny, which looks unimportant, but contains another mission-critical object, the battery for the Pocketpal(and you have to examine it in your inventory to find the battery). So if you missed any of these(they are Lost Forever), you will find out near the end of the game that you are screwed over and can't complete the game.

... because it's not true. The Laser Hallway can be solved without a guide pretty straightforwardly by, first, making the beams visible using smoke, then incrementing the numbers on the keypad until the lasers are safe to walk through. I didn't even know about the high scores. Second, you can return to get the slime later in the game by stowing away on the ship again; ditto for the Energizer bunny. This Troper solved it all without a guide at the age of 8.

It might be true in the CD-ROM version, but Googling for this hasn't given me anything.

  • Somewhat Averted by the fact that there are other ways. Such as making the boy cry, You can punch him and he'll cry. You can get the brochure for Boot Camp and tell him you found it in the parents house. Breaking up the marriage? You can slip lingere into the basement of the man, and either convince the wife he's a crossdresser, or seeing someone else.

Nezumi: Dear god, I have to know what this was in reference to, as I can't find anything that seems to fit, and it's since been deleted.

SenatorJ: It's referring to a main-story quest from Fallout 3. You're being forced to commit acts of sadism such as making a boy cry and ruining a marriage.

AC: I'm wondering if we shouldn't change the introduction. In particular, it seems to suggest that trope exists to sell guides, yet the two games which most come to mind when I consider this trope are both freeware: ADOM and Cave Story (both on this page already); there clearly are other reasons.
Fly: Cutting a bunch of MGS examples:

  • On that note, Metal Gear Solid (and the remake) has the codec number for Meryl on the back of the box. Baker and the Colonel tell you to look at the back of the box for the number. This troper rented the game. Guess what rental places don't give you?
    • Parodied in the ending of Metal Gear Awesome.
    • It didn't help that you receive a data disk just before you have to call Meryl. I spent ten minutes trying to find a way to get the number from that item.
    • This troper's friend called her at 3 AM because he rented the game and had exhausted all other avenues of inquiry regarding the "CD case". He was lucky I still had my copy of MGS.
    • Fun fact: if you never figure that much out on your own, Meryl will eventually call you herself.
    • Other fun fact: If you bother Campell enough, he'll give you the codec number himself.
    • Or one can sit down and try every frequency until hitting the right one (Yep, this troper did so)...

  • Metal Gear Solid had a similar, if better known, gag in the fight with Psycho Mantis that required you to switch the controller to the other port to avoid his mind-reading perfect defense. Of course, Psycho Mantis breaks the fourth wall from the moment you meet him, so it's perhaps a little less of a Guide Dang It. That, and Colonel would outright tell you to swap controller ports if you bothered him enough.
  • MGS4 also have two puzzle bosses. Vamp can semingly regenerate indefinitely, and you'll have to wait quite some time for Otacon to give you the answer if you didn't pay attention to the cutscenes. Screaming Mantis works on the same principle. Either you are genre savvvy enough to understand why Johnny is unnaffected by Mantis power, and you quickly deduce the answer, or you'll need to wait for Otacon brain power. Note that if you try to replicate the Psycho Mantis "controller trick, you won't be able to move... assuming that you call Rose, the Colonel finds out that it's not working because you're on the PlayStation 3. Whoops!

because not only is there a hell of a lot of natter, but it's not really Guide Dang It if the instruction is eventually given in game.
SenatorJ: Did anyone else have ridiculous amounts of trouble with finding the Super Battery plans in Day of the Tentacle? The reason I ask is because I literally searched that entire damn house up and down for those plans, and couldn't find them. I had to phone around trying to find a store that sold the guide (this was well before Gamefaqs) to solve the second puzzle in the game. Worse, the drive home was so long that I ended up reading the whole guide before I got back home. STILL worse? The plans are in plain sight one screen over from where you regain control of Bernard—they're just colored like the background and hard to spot.

So, for me that was a literal Guide Dang It moment. Thing is, I don't know if that was just me or not.

Various Things: Re: the earlier questions about where the Sonic barrel illustration came from, I believe it was a header image on Sonic fansite The GHZ a few years ago.

Leaper: Is it appropriate to (rather than just delete it) open it up for discussion whether the reference to the Kingdom of Loathing logic puzzle belongs here? I mean, maybe it's because I grew up reading Raymond Smullyan (though I STILL hate combinatorics logic; it's just so boring and obtuse), but the puzzle doesn't seem all that difficult to me. And, being a logic puzzle, it is, by definition, fairly clued, isn't it?

arromdee: I'd say take it out. You couldn't use a guide to solve a randomly generated logic puzzle anyway, and I don't think "impossibly hard unless you know how to deal with this type of puzzle" is a Guide Dang It.

Leaper: OK, I did it, preserved below just in case someone wants to put it back. Really, there are ten billion better examples from Ko L than that one anyway...

  • That and a mandatory logic puzzle at the final stretch of the game whose specifics are randomly generated...and it's ridiculously difficult.

Leaper: On another subject, anyone have any idea why the JRPG folder isn't working? Someone on the forum says it might just be too long, meaning this thing needs to be namespaced. I'm all for it, myself.

Caswin: While I see why this huge column of Natter was deleted, all things considered, I believe it merits preservation.

    The Carnival Night Barrel 

Removing this from the Tales of Vesperia example: Even if people who have played Symhonia or Abyss would know that there is a very powerful boss to fight somewhere. primarily because the "uber bosses" in To V are NOT the powered up final boss. He's quite powerful, granted, but the fights in the bonus dungeon are considerably harder.

Johnny E: Just out of interest, why "dang"? Is it a reference to something, a bowdlerism, or just an aesthetic choice? (If it's the second one, I think I'm doomed never to understand the trope name censoring policy - bastard is fine, but damn isn't??)

Cambdoranononononono: Anyone else here play Eternal Darkness? I pulled the Edward Roivas one because it seemed like one person complaining that they didn't realize there was a benefit to rescuing NPCs, and I'm tempted to just pull the whole entry. The last two might be difficult to determine on the first playthrough, but they're not particularly insurmountable. (I figured out both without a guide without much trouble.) Calling Guide Dang It because it's difficult to tell how to get Infinity Plus Sword stuff on your first playthrough in a game that encourages you to play multiple times strikes me as silly. I've also seen people complain that different ancients at the start were the 'hardest', so I don't think there's much agreement on that except that Ulyoth is the easy one.

Heroic Jay: Mega Man-related natter:

  • Those of us who decided to try beating Mega Man 2 without leaning on the Game Breaker Metal Blades. Those who tried went "Guide Dang It" until realizing that was the origin of having two boss weakness loops. (Air Man, Crash Man, and Wood Man were intended to be separate from the other five.)
  • And nearly two decades after having first played that game, this troper has JUST NOW LEARNED that Wood Man is weak to Crash Bomber. I always used Atomic Heat.

In addition to being natter, Wood Man is weak to the Atomic Fire; Crash Bombs don't do that much damage to him (but they do go through his shield). Though basically no one uses it, the loop in Mega Man 2 is:

Metal > Bubble > Heat > Wood > Air > Crash > Flash > Quick > Metal

(Flash Man actually takes more damage from the Metal Blade than the Crash Bomb unless you hit him with the full explosion, but it's clear by looking at the damage the weapons do that this is the intent. Since Crash Bombs do go through Wood Man's shield, you can make the argument for the second "loop"... if not for the fact that the Atomic Fire isn't terribly effective against Flash Man AT ALL.)