History Main / TrialAndErrorGameplay

24th Mar '17 7:50:45 AM BeerBaron
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* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'' expansion ''Tribunal'' has a nasty end-game sequence of death-puzzles. Most of which involve trial and error using the WASD keys or jumping at 'just' the right time to avoid getting killed, regardless of what defensive precautions you might have taken. The fact that ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series' pathfinding has always been suspect makes this a particularly egregious offender...

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* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'' expansion ''Tribunal'' has a nasty end-game sequence of death-puzzles. Most of which involve trial and error using the WASD keys or jumping at 'just' the right time to avoid getting killed, regardless of what defensive precautions you might have taken. The fact that ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series' pathfinding has always been suspect makes this a particularly egregious offender...
21st Mar '17 7:29:32 PM FurryKef
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** Chapter 14 is particularly bad about this: The briefing says your mission is to capture the enemy camp, but ''nothing'' even remotely hints that, when you ''do'' capture it [[spoiler: two giant tanks appear from the top and bottom of the map, and you're objective now is to destroy both of them.]] If you left your [[spoiler: Anti-Tank]] units behind, you're screwed. There's also Chapter 13, where the only path to the enemy camp [[spoiler: is blocked off by a minefield]]. If you forgot to bring [[spoiler: an Engineer, who can disarm mines.]] you're pretty much forced to restart. There's absolutely no way you can know about that [[spoiler: minefield]] until it's already too late.

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** Chapter 14 is particularly bad about this: The briefing says your mission is to capture the enemy camp, but ''nothing'' even remotely hints that, when you ''do'' capture it [[spoiler: two giant tanks appear from the top and bottom of the map, and you're your objective now is to destroy both of them.]] them]]. If you left your [[spoiler: Anti-Tank]] units behind, you're screwed. There's also Chapter 13, where the only path to the enemy camp [[spoiler: is blocked off by a minefield]]. If you forgot to bring [[spoiler: an Engineer, who can disarm mines.]] mines]], you're pretty much forced to restart. There's absolutely no way you can know about that [[spoiler: minefield]] until it's already too late.
26th Feb '17 11:17:08 AM Ferot_Dreadnaught
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** [[SubvertedTrope Unless you're savvy enough to realize that this time]] [[MyRulesAreNotYourRules your rules really are the computer's rules]], [[GenreSavvy and just decide to get rid of all his MP to keep him from being able to use any magic.]] [[spoiler:Knowing that he can be berserked or that he will spend his MP casting Ultima as he dies, however, does fall under this trope.]]
** What makes the dungeon and boss so badly designed is their gimmicks are entirely recycled from ''FinalFantasyV'', only ridiculously drawn out and with all the hints removed. ''FFV'' had the Fork Tower, made of [[LetsSplitUpGang two very short towers]] each containing a powerful spell to earn. On one side you can only use physical attacks and the other, only magic. The physical side's boss attempts to cast its spell as it dies and [[BossArenaIdiocy fails due to its environment]], [[WarmUpBoss telegraphing]] what the other will try and succeed. Which means you also know what spell is coming. Being a single target, reflectable spell the game has shown you before, you have a lot more options on countering or surviving it, ''including'' [[GenreSavvy breaking him as a boss]]. But who needs [[PuzzleBoss puzzle elements]] or strategy when you can remake it pointlessly cheap and frustrating?

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** [[SubvertedTrope Unless you're savvy enough to realize that this time]] enough]] [[MyRulesAreNotYourRules your rules really are the computer's rules]], [[GenreSavvy and just decide to get rid of all his MP to keep him from being able to use any magic.]] magic. [[spoiler:Knowing that he can be berserked or that he will spend his MP casting Ultima as he dies, however, does fall under this trope.]]
** What makes the dungeon and boss so badly designed is their gimmicks are entirely recycled from ''FinalFantasyV'', only ridiculously drawn out and with all the hints removed. ''FFV'' had the Fork Tower, made of [[LetsSplitUpGang two very short towers]] each containing a powerful spell to earn. On one side you can only use physical attacks and the other, only magic. The physical side's boss attempts to cast its spell as it dies and [[BossArenaIdiocy fails due to its environment]], [[WarmUpBoss telegraphing]] what the other will try and succeed. Which means you also know what spell is coming. Being a single target, reflectable spell the game has shown you before, you have a lot more options on countering or surviving it, ''including'' [[GenreSavvy breaking him as a boss]].boss. But who needs [[PuzzleBoss puzzle elements]] or strategy when you can remake it pointlessly cheap and frustrating?



** [[GenreSavvy Using the Red Vest and Red Mail]] [[ElementalAbsorption to absorb the fire attacks]] that the Son of Sun spams practically makes the fight impossible to lose. If you can't figure out the puzzle, you will continually provoke counterattacks that ''heal'' you.

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** [[GenreSavvy Using the Red Vest and Red Mail]] Mail [[ElementalAbsorption to absorb the fire attacks]] that the Son of Sun spams practically makes the fight impossible to lose. If you can't figure out the puzzle, you will continually provoke counterattacks that ''heal'' you.
18th Feb '17 3:54:49 AM craigj
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** What makes the dungeon and boss so badly designed is they are basically recycled from ''FinalFantasyV'', only ridiculously drawn out and with all the hints removed. ''FFV'' had the Fork Tower, made of [[LetsSplitUpGang two very short towers]] each containing a powerful spell to earn. On one side you can only use physical attacks and the other, only magic. The physical side's boss attempts to cast its spell as it dies and [[BossArenaIdiocy fails due to its environment]], [[WarmUpBoss warning you]] what the other will try and succeed. Which means you also know what spell is coming. Being a single target, reflectable spell, you have a lot more options on countering it, ''including'' [[GenreSavvy breaking him as a boss]].

to:

** What makes the dungeon and boss so badly designed is they their gimmicks are basically entirely recycled from ''FinalFantasyV'', only ridiculously drawn out and with all the hints removed. ''FFV'' had the Fork Tower, made of [[LetsSplitUpGang two very short towers]] each containing a powerful spell to earn. On one side you can only use physical attacks and the other, only magic. The physical side's boss attempts to cast its spell as it dies and [[BossArenaIdiocy fails due to its environment]], [[WarmUpBoss warning you]] telegraphing]] what the other will try and succeed. Which means you also know what spell is coming. Being a single target, reflectable spell, spell the game has shown you before, you have a lot more options on countering or surviving it, ''including'' [[GenreSavvy breaking him as a boss]].boss]]. But who needs [[PuzzleBoss puzzle elements]] or strategy when you can remake it pointlessly cheap and frustrating?
18th Feb '17 3:35:01 AM craigj
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** [[SubvertedTrope Unless you're savvy enough to realize that this time]] [[MyRulesAreNotYourRules your rules really are the computer's rules]], [[GenreSavvy and just decide to get rid of all his MP to keep him from being able to use any magic.]] [[spoiler:Knowing that he can be berserked, however, does fall under this trope.]]
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''[='=]s [[spoiler:Yunalesca]] is ThatOneBoss for a number of reasons, but one of them is just a classic case of this on the part of the developers. The second phase of the battle randomly casts Zombie on party members, and then heals them (which damages party members affected with Zombie). Because there is no way of restoring the hit points of any character with Zombie, the natural impulse of the player will thus naturally be to de-Zombify any character afflicted with the status. So what happens at the third phase of the battle? Naturally, she casts an instant death move that automatically kills any party member not afflicted with Zombie, even if they have Deathproof armour. There is absolutely no way of knowing that she will do this ahead of time. Oh, and there's an unskippable cutscene before the battle. This verges on FakeDifficulty and the fight is almost universally despised even by people who otherwise praise the game.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' has this for its battle system. You can set six different paradigms which will tell your AI what roles they are in and what moves to perform. However, the game can be difficult and certain enemies (bosses in particular) demand a particular strategy or a "Deck" (specific paradigm suits) in order to obtain the five star ranking to increase item drop rates. One of the only ways to know if your paradigms are no good for a particular segment or mission is to get into some fights, get your ass beat, start over, and configure the correct paradigms to suit the mission in general. Thankfully though, many of the enemy team formations in a given area are susceptible to a certain deck or formation (weak to magic? team of Ravagers/Relentless Assault will fix that), so it's not like you have to configure the paradigms that often until you tackle the missions or the endgame bosses, but rather find out the enemies and figure out the proper assault choices to conduct battle.

to:

** [[SubvertedTrope Unless you're savvy enough to realize that this time]] [[MyRulesAreNotYourRules your rules really are the computer's rules]], [[GenreSavvy and just decide to get rid of all his MP to keep him from being able to use any magic.]] [[spoiler:Knowing that he can be berserked, berserked or that he will spend his MP casting Ultima as he dies, however, does fall under this trope.]]
** What makes the dungeon and boss so badly designed is they are basically recycled from ''FinalFantasyV'', only ridiculously drawn out and with all the hints removed. ''FFV'' had the Fork Tower, made of [[LetsSplitUpGang two very short towers]] each containing a powerful spell to earn. On one side you can only use physical attacks and the other, only magic. The physical side's boss attempts to cast its spell as it dies and [[BossArenaIdiocy fails due to its environment]], [[WarmUpBoss warning you]] what the other will try and succeed. Which means you also know what spell is coming. Being a single target, reflectable spell, you have a lot more options on countering it, ''including'' [[GenreSavvy breaking him as a boss]].
*
''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX''[='=]s [[spoiler:Yunalesca]] is ThatOneBoss for a number of reasons, but one of them is just a classic case of this on the part of the developers. The second phase of the battle randomly casts Zombie on party members, and then heals them (which damages party members affected with Zombie). Because there is no way of restoring the hit points of any character with Zombie, the natural impulse of the player will thus naturally be to de-Zombify any character afflicted with the status. So what happens at the third phase of the battle? Naturally, she casts an instant death move that automatically kills any party member not afflicted with Zombie, even if they have Deathproof armour. There is absolutely no way of knowing that she will do this ahead of time. Oh, and there's an unskippable cutscene before the battle. This verges on FakeDifficulty and the fight is almost universally despised even by people who otherwise praise the game.
** * ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' has this for its battle system. You can set six different paradigms which will tell your AI what roles they are in and what moves to perform. However, the game can be difficult and certain enemies (bosses in particular) demand a particular strategy or a "Deck" (specific paradigm suits) in order to obtain the five star ranking to increase item drop rates. One of the only ways to know if your paradigms are no good for a particular segment or mission is to get into some fights, get your ass beat, start over, and configure the correct paradigms to suit the mission in general. Thankfully though, many of the enemy team formations in a given area are susceptible to a certain deck or formation (weak to magic? team of Ravagers/Relentless Assault will fix that), so it's not like you have to configure the paradigms that often until you tackle the missions or the endgame bosses, but rather find out the enemies and figure out the proper assault choices to conduct battle.
10th Feb '17 8:46:06 AM freefall4242
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* ''{{VideoGame/Undertale}}'' in precisely one instance: [[spoiler: Sans' boss battle. While not technically unwinnable on the first try, many of his attacks come so fast and thick you pretty much have to start moving before they appear.]] {{Justified}} as it's suppose to invoke FakeDifficulty.
20th Jan '17 10:27:08 AM TrollBrutal
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** A particularly harsh example is the time machine in VideoGame/{{Zork}} III. There's only one year you can travel to safely. Too early, and you die one way. Too late, and you die a different way. Unless you somehow correctly ''guess'' the year, you ''have'' to narrow it down through trial and error, saving and restoring.
*** Not necessarily. Read the plaque on the cage and it'll tell you the correct year.
5th Jan '17 10:36:17 AM dancnbna
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* ''VideoGame/XenobladeChroniclesX'' has several missions in which picking the wrong dialogue choice results in an innocent NPC's death. At least three of these missions require you to overhear information from somebody in the massive New Los Angeles or the many BLADE camps scattered across Mira in order to even be ''able'' to make a life-saving choice; one of them requires you to have obtained a certain rare collectible on top of that. Two other missions require you to be able to know the geography of a region and the attacks of a specific enemy type, respectively, from memory.
21st Dec '16 9:04:19 PM Hylarn
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**Mima back in ''Story of Eastern Wonderland'' has a pattern where she'll briefly charge... then ram the area below her. You're not fast enough to get out of the way after she's started moving.
** Yuuka was fond of this back in ''Lotus Land Story''. As a stage five boss, she'd stop and charge up... then hit 90% of the screen with an undodgeable laser (at least undodgeable if you didn't know that it was coming). In stage six, one of her patterns put a circle under the player. Following action-game instinct and moving away would kill you, since it was actually the safe spot.



** The photography games are fairly shameless about their use of this trope. Infinite lives means that ZUN doesn't have to hold back and give obvious ways to survive.
** Yuuka was fond of this back in ''Lotus Land Story''. As a stage five boss, she'd stop and charge up... then hit 90% of the screen with an undodgeable laser (at least undodgeable if you didn't know that it was coming). In stage six, one of her patterns put a circle under the player. Following action-game instinct and moving away would kill you, since it was actually the safe spot.

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** The photography games are fairly Anything with infinite lives will be shameless about their use of this trope. Infinite Including ''Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom'', which has on option to play with lives means that ZUN doesn't have to hold back and give obvious ways to survive.
** Yuuka was fond
instead of this back in ''Lotus Land Story''. As a stage five boss, she'd stop and charge up... then hit 90% of the screen with an undodgeable laser (at least undodgeable if you didn't know that it was coming). In stage six, one of her patterns put a circle under the player. Following action-game instinct and moving away would kill you, since it was actually the safe spot.checkpoints.
30th Nov '16 1:42:40 AM LordKelvin
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* ''Franchise/DarkSouls'' has some elements of this: there are many traps and powerful enemies, and players need to be cautious and observant in order to survive them all. Even a highly skilled player is likely be to killed if they're ever caught off-guard. Players can leave messages to one another to warn about upcoming dangers, but beware, for {{Trolls}} like leaving fake messages as well.
** The infamous Bed of Chaos boss, the source of huge amounts of FakeDifficulty in a game normally absent of it. It's the only PuzzleBoss in the entire game, so first you need to figure out how to damage it. Then, BottomlessPits open up in the floor without warning, instantly killing you if you happen to be there. Fortunately, the boss does not reset when you die, so previously collapsed floor sections stay that way, and the boss retains its HP level.
** The Capra Demon is another example. You must pass through a fog gate to get to bosses, and the Capra Demon and two rabid dogs attack you without warning, even before the fog gate stops obscuring your vision. Many players get instantly killed a few times without even finding out what's attacking them.
** ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsII'' features this trope with its Ancient Dragon boss encounter. The first time the player encounters this fight they will have no way of knowing that practically any attack suffered will cause instant death to the player. If the player tries to block with any shield other than the Gyrm's Greatshield, almost maxed out with max stamina, then all fire attacks will break the players guard and instantly kill them. Alternatively the boss's flying, fire breath attack tracks the player for the first 30% of the attack and has massive AOE (area of effect) damage that will instantly kill the player. As a result if the player is not under 25% weight encumbrance they simply are not fast enough to always dodge the breath attack.

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* ''Franchise/DarkSouls'' ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' has some elements of this: there are many traps and powerful enemies, and players need to be cautious and observant in order to survive them all. As well, the player is ''expected'' to die to bosses on their first (several) attempts, as the game uses death itself as a learning mechanic: get killed by a boss's attack, learn its telegraph, dodge it the next time only to be killed by a different attack, rinse and repeat. Even a highly skilled player who is playing through the game a second time is likely be to killed if they're ever caught off-guard. Players can leave messages to one another to warn about upcoming dangers, but beware, for {{Trolls}} like leaving fake messages as well.
** ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsI'', the first in the series, was notable for a few very problematic areas, above even the normal progression of the game.
*** The Hellkite Dragon/Bridge Wyvern/Red Drake at the cusp of Undead Parish, after defeating the Taurus Demon. At the level that it is encountered at, it can kill the player in a mere one or two attacks, and blocks the way into the Parish. And unless you [[RunOrDie make a break for]] [[CorridorCubbyholeRun the safe spot in the middle of the bridge]] before it gets a chance to roast the length of the bridge, chances are you'll die and have to go through the entire Upper Undead Burg all over again just to unlock the shortcut back to the bonfire. And this isn't even getting into actually fighting the creature itself.
*** The Capra Demon at the end of Lower Undead Burg is notorious for ending most first-timers' runs. You must pass through a fog gate to get to bosses, and the Capra Demon and two rabid dogs attack you without warning, even before the fog gate stops obscuring your vision. Many players get instantly killed a few times without even finding out what's attacking them, and take many more attempts before finding the precise order of actions to take in order to get enough space to kill those two dogs and stand a fighting chance against the Capra Demon itself.
*** Blighttown. The descent down to the bottom is otherwise rather painless, were it not for the almost perfectly-camouflaged blowdart snipers with uncanny range and accuracy who inflict severe Toxic, enough to kill most players in mere seconds if they don't have Toxic curing consumables. In order to survive the level, players will have to equip a poison-blocking shield (that's a missable pick-up), immunize themselves with Dung Pies (which gives them the Toxic status effect but drains HP much more slowly), or try to find and counter-snipe them (which requires having enough Strength/Dexterity to use a bow). Thankfully, the snipers don't respawn, so killing them just once is enough.
*** Sen's Fortress is one of the most notorious areas in the entire game. Not only is it filled to the brim with extremely lethal traps (from swinging blades to pressure-plate traps to rolling boulders), but is also guarded by snake-men that are extremely resistant to physical damage, only becoming easier to defeat once the player finds a specific elemental weapon that's dropped by a specific enemy partway through the dungeon. In the meantime, players will have to learn (the hard way) how to avoid all the traps and beat all the enemies, with each death sending the player back to the start, and the '''only''' bonfire in the entire level being accessible through a hidden drop-down.
***
The infamous Bed of Chaos boss, the source of huge amounts of FakeDifficulty in a game normally absent of it. It's the only PuzzleBoss in the entire game, so first you need to figure out how to damage it. Then, BottomlessPits open up in the floor without warning, instantly killing you if you happen to be there. Fortunately, the boss does not reset when you die, so previously collapsed floor sections stay that way, and the boss retains its HP level.
** The Capra Demon is another example. You must pass through a fog gate to get to bosses, and the Capra Demon and two rabid dogs attack you without warning, even before the fog gate stops obscuring your vision. Many players get instantly killed a few times without even finding out what's attacking them.
** ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsII'' features this trope also has its share of GuideDangIt moments.
*** The Dark Stalkers in No-Man's Wharf can be a pain to deal
with its unless you know what their weakness is ahead of time. They're long-reaching, hard-hitting and their attacks will build up your bleed bar even if blocked. What isn't immediately apparent is that if you shine a light in their faces, they'll recoil and back away, allowing you to cut them down with minimal resistance.
*** The Lost Sinner can be one of the harder early-game bosses to beat without proper preparations. When fighting her head-on, the poor lighting in the room will reduce the player's lock-on range, making it easy for her to simply jump over you, break target lock and bring her greatsword into your back while you're wondering where the hell she went. So you'll have to light the torches outside of the arena first, which proves impossible without the Bastille Key (which, in the original PS3/360/DX9 version, requires beating an optional boss to get).
*** Dragon Aerie can prove to be plain impossible to get through without learning the real trick to getting to the end. While the enemies are certainly not insurmountable, the entire level is littered with dragon eggs that seem to serve no purpose other than to be destructible objects; destroy any number of them, and the dragons will get '''pissed''' at you, to the point where if you try to leave to go to the next area, ''they will swoop down on you and destroy the bridge you're standing on, dropping you immediately to your death''. Unless you know that these dragon eggs are the source of your problems, you're likely to just keep trying to run through the level and dying at the end because you didn't know to leave them alone.
*** The (optional)
Ancient Dragon boss encounter.is widely considered one of the most frustrating bosses to beat in the base game. The first time the player encounters this fight they will have no way of knowing that practically any attack suffered will cause instant death to the player. If the player tries to block with any shield other than the Gyrm's Greatshield, almost maxed out with max stamina, then all fire attacks will break the players guard and instantly kill them. Alternatively the boss's flying, fire breath attack tracks the player for the first 30% of the attack and has massive AOE (area of effect) damage that will instantly kill the player. As a result if the player is not under 25% weight encumbrance they simply are not fast enough to always dodge the breath attack.attack.
*** [[spoiler:King Vendrick]] can prove nearly insurmountable without the right items on hand. Unless the player knows to collect Giant Souls (only three of which make themselves readily available to the player, with the remaining two hidden behind optional enemies), he'll have an absurd amount of damage resistance, causing two-handed strong attacks with a maxed-out ultra greatsword to deal chip damage to him and rendering any attempt to defeat him futile ([[MarathonBoss unless you're extremely persistent]]).
** ''VideoGame/BloodBorne'' has moments of this like in previous Souls games. Of note is a couple of the chalice dungeon bosses.
*** The Bloodletting Beast often starts the fight launching a difficult to avoid punch that can easily one-hit kill the player. Its easy to see the charge up but almost impossible to know the exact timing of the punch until he is fought a few times meaning the likelihood of many deaths. Also many of his standard attacks can instantly kill low HP builds without forewarning.
*** Pthumerian Descendant has many combos that can instantly kill lower HP builds that come out of seemingly nowhere and are fast to boot. Also he covers an insane distance which will often catch a first time fighters off guard leading to being combo'd to death.
** ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsIII'' learned a lot of lessons from its predecessors, but doesn't quite avoid this trope.
*** Cathedral of the Deep is perhaps one of the most well-designed levels in the game, however it is also one of the more frustrating areas to navigate due to checkpointing and difficulty. The rooftops are full of crossbow archers who launch multiple volleys at the player from range, the inside of the cathedral proper is guarded by two giant slaves whose attacks can easily shave off half a player's health bar in one hit, the lower floors are guarded by extremely tough Cathedral Knights and riddled with all sorts of poison traps, and there is only '''one''' bonfire in the entire cathedral, requiring the player to progressively unlock shortcuts back to the main chapel area.
*** Irithyll Dungeon has earned a deserved reputation as pain incarnate. Beyond the layout of the dungeon itself, it's filled with Jailer enemies that will reduce quickly your health just by looking at you (read: not deal continuous damage to you, but ''lower the maximum number so that you can't heal it back''. If you're not careful and run headfirst into a Jailer, expect him to stun-lock you with his branding iron, and then proceed to kill you in one hit thanks to having reduced your HP down to double digits after chasing you down, sending you back to start.
*** Yhorm the Giant can be this due to the mechanic required to defeat him in a timely manner. As the biggest Lord of Cinder, and as a proper giant, he takes ScratchDamage from almost all of the Ashen One's attacks, unless they're targeted on his arms and head (staggering him will allow the player to perform a visceral-like attack that takes off a big chunk of his health). However, even with this, Yhorm is still a MarathonBoss who can end players in a few successful attacks, unless you take the time to search the boss room and [[spoiler:find the Storm Ruler near his throne, and then equip it and shave off huge swathes of his HP bar at a time using the weapon art]].



* ''VideoGame/BloodBorne'' has moments of this like in previous Souls games. Of note is a couple of the chalice dungeon bosses.
** The Bloodletting Beast often starts the fight launching a difficult to avoid punch that can easily one-hit kill the player. Its easy to see the charge up but almost impossible to know the exact timing of the punch until he is fought a few times meaning the likelihood of many deaths. Also many of his standard attacks can instantly kill low HP builds without forewarning.
** Pthumerian Descendant has many combos that can instantly kill lower HP builds that come out of seemingly nowhere and are fast to boot. Also he covers an insane distance which will often catch a first time fighters off guard leading to being combo'd to death.
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