History Main / UnwinnableByDesign

23rd Aug '17 11:54:36 AM GrammarNavi
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* In UsefulNotes/SovietUnion, candidates of Jewish or any other undesirable extraction received [[https://www.newcriterion.com/issues/2012/10/the-fifth-problem-math-anti-semitism-in-the-soviet-union special tests]] in order to fail them without sounding too much like blatant discrimination.

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* In UsefulNotes/SovietUnion, the [[UsefulNotes/SovietRussiaUkraineAndSoOn Soviet Union]], candidates of Jewish or any other undesirable extraction received [[https://www.newcriterion.com/issues/2012/10/the-fifth-problem-math-anti-semitism-in-the-soviet-union special tests]] in order to fail them without sounding too much like blatant discrimination.
16th Aug '17 11:22:58 AM Rextor
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* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheRaccoons'', wanting to improve sales for his line of potato chips, Cyril comes up with a giveaway contest. He distributes pieces of a jigsaw puzzle into bags of chips, offering a grand prize (an expensive bicycle) to whoever completes the entire puzzle. However, Cyril deliberately produced only one copy of a particular piece, with the intent of never distributing it. Bert, not knowing that the contest is rigged, manages to collect all of the other pieces without too much trouble, but ultimately blows all of his money trying to find the final (impossible) piece. Cyril's plan seems to be working, until the pigs accidentally lose the winning piece in the chip factory's assembly line, leading to it getting packaged into one of the bags.
3rd Aug '17 9:51:21 PM Wyvern76
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** In order to defeat the BigBad in ''Armies of Death'', you need the Crystal of Light. You learn about the Crystal from an Oracle, who will only give you the information in exchange for a golden brooch. The brooch is obtained early on in the game by winning a bar bet. The chance of winning the bet is 50/50. Thus, even if you do ''everything'' right, win every battle and succeed at every other test, you have a 50/50 chance of losing the game less than a quarter of the way through and not even knowing it.
3rd Aug '17 12:41:35 PM DoubleU
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(It should be emphasized that this applies to the whole game, and not just a narrow aspect of it. E.g. if part is Cruel but it's Merciful otherwise, the game is Cruel.)
2nd Aug '17 2:48:05 PM JujuP
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[[folder:Others]]
* The literacy tests used to register voters in the South [[http://www.crmvet.org/info/lithome.htm were often made insanely difficult]] for Blacks asking to become voters. Ssubjective grading ensured even schoolteachers and college graduates failed them.
** Some voters were asked ''[[https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=ySEhAAAAIBAJ&sjid=72QEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4808%2C1541591 the number of bubbles in a bar of soap]]''.
* Similarly to above, in UsefulNotes/{{Australia}}, the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_Restriction_Act_1901 Immigration Restriction Act 1901]] allowed immigration officers to submit prospective migrants a dictation test in any European language. ''Any'' European language. Its purpose was to exclude any undesirable migrants (''i.e.'' Asians and Polynesians) to enter. For exemple, a German would have to pass this test in German before being admitted while a Chinese would have to pass it in English and then, if he suceeded, in any language until he failed, thereby allowing his deportation.
** On 1934, [[DirtyCommie Communist]] and anti-war journalist Egon Kisch was asked to pass this test in English and then in several other European languages until he failed to recopy the Lord's Prayer in ''Scottish Gaelic'' (more about this [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attempted_exclusion_of_Egon_Kisch_from_Australia here]]).
*** A related case was Irishman anti-war activist Gerald Griffin, who was failed after being given a test in Dutch.
* In UsefulNotes/SovietUnion, candidates of Jewish or any other undesirable extraction received [[https://www.newcriterion.com/issues/2012/10/the-fifth-problem-math-anti-semitism-in-the-soviet-union special tests]] in order to fail them without sounding too much like blatant discrimination.
[[/folder]]
1st Aug '17 7:29:54 PM Malady
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* In ''EchoNight'', at one point, you have to enter a sort of flashback and collect a fallen toy before escaping. Escape without the toy and you can't enter the flashback again, leaving you unable to proceed.
* ''EchoNight'' 2: Master of Dreams, the Japanese-exclusive sequel to the first game, is infuriatingly full of these (perhaps not quite, as you can still beat the game in most cases, but [[HundredPercentCompletion 100% completion]], and the good ending, are permanently locked away without warning).

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* In ''EchoNight'', ''VideoGame/EchoNight'', at one point, you have to enter a sort of flashback and collect a fallen toy before escaping. Escape without the toy and you can't enter the flashback again, leaving you unable to proceed.
* ''EchoNight'' ''VideoGame/EchoNight'' 2: Master of Dreams, the Japanese-exclusive sequel to the first game, is infuriatingly full of these (perhaps not quite, as you can still beat the game in most cases, but [[HundredPercentCompletion 100% completion]], and the good ending, are permanently locked away without warning).



* ''KGB,'' aka ''Conspiracy,'' was a hugely involved espionage adventure game in which it was recommended and nearly required to take notes in order to make any progress. It was VERY easy to make the game unwinnable:

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* ''KGB,'' aka ''Conspiracy,'' ''VideoGame/{{Conspiracy}}'', was a hugely involved espionage adventure game in which it was recommended and nearly required to take notes in order to make any progress. It was VERY easy to make the game unwinnable:



* In ''[[http://www.wurb.com/if/game/117 Jigsaw]]'', you must collect all sixteen jigsaw pieces to restore history in each time period. While there's a device that tells you if there are jigsaw pieces in your current time period that you haven't found yet, it's sometimes easy to make collecting them impossible, especially when you don't realize that a piece is in an area that later becomes inaccessible. For instance, there are the jigsaw pieces you're supposed to pick up during the mission in "Siberia": fail to press the right button in the missile before it flies out or fail to retrieve the cable you used to get down to the missile so you can use it again on the goose's nest, and at least one of these pieces will be [[PermanentlyMissableContent lost for good]]. But the most {{egregious}} Unwinnable situation involves the drawing competition at the end of the game. If you haven't drawn at least four animals in the sketchbook over the course of the game, then you can't get the competition prize you need to complete the game. Oh, you didn't get the sketchbook from inside the stool or the pencil under the stool before all the historical intrigue began? Then you had better restart.

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* In ''[[http://www.''VideoGame/{{Jigsaw}}'' ([[http://www.wurb.com/if/game/117 Jigsaw]]'', here]]), you must collect all sixteen jigsaw pieces to restore history in each time period. While there's a device that tells you if there are jigsaw pieces in your current time period that you haven't found yet, it's sometimes easy to make collecting them impossible, especially when you don't realize that a piece is in an area that later becomes inaccessible. For instance, there are the jigsaw pieces you're supposed to pick up during the mission in "Siberia": fail to press the right button in the missile before it flies out or fail to retrieve the cable you used to get down to the missile so you can use it again on the goose's nest, and at least one of these pieces will be [[PermanentlyMissableContent lost for good]]. But the most {{egregious}} Unwinnable situation involves the drawing competition at the end of the game. If you haven't drawn at least four animals in the sketchbook over the course of the game, then you can't get the competition prize you need to complete the game. Oh, you didn't get the sketchbook from inside the stool or the pencil under the stool before all the historical intrigue began? Then you had better restart.



* The games of MagneticScrolls tended to be hideously prone to Unwinnable situations, requiring precise courses of action to win, and they invoked a lot of tropes: TrialAndErrorGameplay, {{Timed Mission}}s, GuideDangIt, PermanentlyMissableContent, PointOfNoReturn, MoonLogicPuzzle, and then some. Examples:

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* The games of MagneticScrolls Creator/MagneticScrolls tended to be hideously prone to Unwinnable situations, requiring precise courses of action to win, and they invoked a lot of tropes: TrialAndErrorGameplay, {{Timed Mission}}s, GuideDangIt, PermanentlyMissableContent, PointOfNoReturn, MoonLogicPuzzle, and then some. Examples:



** In ''Corruption'', you must be in several right places at several right times, a series of events must be completed in a specific order, and you must avoid a set of pitfalls that ''you don't know exist'' even '''after''' you lose. Failure to work things out properly can result in anything from long-term imprisonment to your sudden inexplicable death. And then there's The Hospital, where over fifty moves must be done in perfect and precise order without a single indication of what they are.

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** In ''Corruption'', ''VideoGame/{{Corruption}}'', you must be in several right places at several right times, a series of events must be completed in a specific order, and you must avoid a set of pitfalls that ''you don't know exist'' even '''after''' you lose. Failure to work things out properly can result in anything from long-term imprisonment to your sudden inexplicable death. And then there's The Hospital, where over fifty moves must be done in perfect and precise order without a single indication of what they are.



** ''{{VideoGame/Driller}}'' also had an AllThereInTheManual moment which probably served as CopyProtection. The game involved erecting drilling rigs on each of the world's 18 square platforms, in order to tap gas pockets and blow off their contents into space, thereby rendering them harmless so the moon doesn't explode and destroy its world when struck by a meteor in a few hours' time. The gas pockets varied in size, the smaller ones being harder to locate, and one of them was so tiny as to be impossible to locate without being told exactly where it was -- which one of the illustrations in the manual did, so those who got a pirate copy without also getting a copy of the manual (or who didn't bother to read the manual) stood no chance of winning.

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** ''{{VideoGame/Driller}}'' ''VideoGame/{{Driller}}'' also had an AllThereInTheManual moment which probably served as CopyProtection. The game involved erecting drilling rigs on each of the world's 18 square platforms, in order to tap gas pockets and blow off their contents into space, thereby rendering them harmless so the moon doesn't explode and destroy its world when struck by a meteor in a few hours' time. The gas pockets varied in size, the smaller ones being harder to locate, and one of them was so tiny as to be impossible to locate without being told exactly where it was -- which one of the illustrations in the manual did, so those who got a pirate copy without also getting a copy of the manual (or who didn't bother to read the manual) stood no chance of winning.



* ''Ravenskull'' features such jollities as floor squares that make gates trap you in or objects disappear from your inventory when stood on. Many of these contain treasures and thus ''have'' to be stood on; the puzzle is working out the correct order to perform certain tasks so as to prevent an {{Unwinnable}} outcome occurring.
* ''Tower of the Sorcerer'' includes an altar where you can give money to raise your stats. The price goes up on a quadratic scale with each use. The catch? Later levels have additional altars that give you a greater stat increase; but each time you use one, the price goes up for all of them. Using the first one too much can make it impossible to progress.
* A game simply known as ''Bow and Arrow'' had a level in which a white dove passes by the main character, followed by swarms of black birds. If the player failed to exterminate even one of the black birds, then a later level is impossible. The game's story between levels does say that the dove is carrying a message from you to a helpful wizard, and the later level does say, "I hope the message got to XYZ". The game did not explicitly say, however, that ''all'' the black birds had to be eliminated.

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* ''Ravenskull'' ''VideoGame/{{Ravenskull}}'' features such jollities as floor squares that make gates trap you in or objects disappear from your inventory when stood on. Many of these contain treasures and thus ''have'' to be stood on; the puzzle is working out the correct order to perform certain tasks so as to prevent an {{Unwinnable}} outcome occurring.
* ''Tower of the Sorcerer'' ''VideoGame/TowerOfTheSorcerer'' includes an altar where you can give money to raise your stats. The price goes up on a quadratic scale with each use. The catch? Later levels have additional altars that give you a greater stat increase; but each time you use one, the price goes up for all of them. Using the first one too much can make it impossible to progress.
* A game simply known as ''Bow and Arrow'' ''VideoGame/BowAndArrow'' had a level in which a white dove passes by the main character, followed by swarms of black birds. If the player failed to exterminate even one of the black birds, then a later level is impossible. The game's story between levels does say that the dove is carrying a message from you to a helpful wizard, and the later level does say, "I hope the message got to XYZ". The game did not explicitly say, however, that ''all'' the black birds had to be eliminated.



* Anyone who's ever heard of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' has heard about [[ThatOneBoss Absolute Virtue]]. It turns out it was originally supposed to be [[HopelessBossFight unbeatable]]. Then people started beating it, but ''every'' time a winning strategy was found against Absolute Virtue, the dev. team [[{{Nerf}} altered]] either its behavior or ''the mechanics of the game'' to break the strategy. They would also occasionally ban the players who won using it.

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* Anyone who's ever heard of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' has heard about ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'': [[ThatOneBoss Absolute Virtue]]. It turns out it was originally supposed to be [[HopelessBossFight unbeatable]]. Then people started beating it, but ''every'' time a winning strategy was found against Absolute Virtue, the dev. team [[{{Nerf}} altered]] either its behavior or ''the mechanics of the game'' to break the strategy. They would also occasionally ban the players who won using it.
26th Jul '17 1:30:22 PM butterflygrrl
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* ''VideoGame/QuestForGlory'' I: So You Want to Be a Hero? gives thieves the opportunity to steal from the Healer. Though once you do, she bars her door and refuses you service from that point onward. You'll need her assistance to concoct a Dispel potion, which without renders the game unwinnable if you haven't already. In fairness you ''are'' supposed to be a hero.
25th Jul '17 7:59:28 PM BackgroundGuy
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* ''Ninja Gaiden II'' on Xbox 360 is a tricky little devil. While not exactly a sandbox-type game, there are plenty of places you can explore - and you'll have to if you want to have any hope whatsoever of beating the bosses, since you'll have to search high & low for ammo, health upgrades, new weapons, and cash. You can get stuck as early as the boss fight of Chapter 3 which is ''impossible'' if you didn't equip yourself properly. If you play it right, you can level up a weapon all the way to the third and highest level in the same level you found it, which you will desperately need since the game is ''[[NintendoHard stupid]]'' [[NintendoHard hard]], befitting the series' notorious legacy. But this is not a game you should approach with the mentality of merely getting to the end of each level - each level holds secrets you ''must'' unlock to have any hope of finishing the game, or even beating the current boss - which can actually be fairly easy to beat if you have the right equipment.

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* ''Ninja Gaiden II'' on Xbox 360 is a tricky little devil. While not exactly a sandbox-type game, there are plenty of places you can explore - and you'll have to if you want to have any hope whatsoever of beating the bosses, since you'll have to search high & low for ammo, health upgrades, new weapons, and cash. And make ''damn'' sure you're thorough, as [[PointOfNoReturn you will likely not be able to backtrack]]. You can get stuck as early as the boss fight of Chapter 3 which is ''impossible'' if you didn't equip yourself properly. If you play it right, you can level up upgrade a weapon all the way to the third and highest level in the same level chapter you found it, which you will desperately need since the game is ''[[NintendoHard stupid]]'' [[NintendoHard hard]], befitting the series' notorious legacy. But this This is not a game you should approach with the mentality of merely getting to the end of each level - level; each level holds secrets you ''must'' unlock to have any hope of finishing the game, or even beating the current boss - which can actually be fairly easy to beat if you have the right equipment.equipment. This is definitely one for the [[SaveScumming save scummers]] among us, and the game's files enable save scumming quite easily.
11th Jul '17 2:19:26 PM Arha
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** Arguably, the only real win is Bean's decision not to play at all, and even that is probably a bad move. He doesn't refuse to play to avoid the scenario; he'd just in the habit of not giving people anything that can be used to understand him or predict his actions. Being unwilling to play a computer game helps lead to his being put in life-threatening danger later.

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** Arguably, the only real win is Bean's decision not to play at all, and even that is probably a bad move. He doesn't refuse to play to avoid the scenario; he'd just in the habit of not giving people anything that can be used to understand him or predict his actions. Being unwilling to play a computer game helps lead to his being put in life-threatening danger later. It's also a factor in him [[ForegoneConclusion not being put in command at the end]] because the instructors didn't know what he was thinking, what his values were or how he would behave under pressure.
8th Jul '17 4:42:42 PM nombretomado
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* ''Propositiones ad Acuendos Juvenes'', a 9th century medieval Latin manuscript of math and logic problem, has one. The 43rd problem proposes a situation where a man wants to slaughter 300 pigs in 3 days. However, it says there has to be an odd number of pigs on each day, which makes it impossible. TheOtherWiki theorizes this was written to punish troublesome students.[[labelnote:note]]It's a parity puzzle. Odd (pigs) times Odd (days) always equals Odd, and 300 is Even.[[/labelnote]]

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* ''Propositiones ad Acuendos Juvenes'', a 9th century medieval Latin manuscript of math and logic problem, has one. The 43rd problem proposes a situation where a man wants to slaughter 300 pigs in 3 days. However, it says there has to be an odd number of pigs on each day, which makes it impossible. TheOtherWiki Wiki/TheOtherWiki theorizes this was written to punish troublesome students.[[labelnote:note]]It's a parity puzzle. Odd (pigs) times Odd (days) always equals Odd, and 300 is Even.[[/labelnote]]
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