History Main / UnwinnableByDesign

17th Jan '17 4:03:28 PM captainspycrab
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** in the sequel, Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time, this is generally averted; as a time traveller, you can go back to any of your time zones and re-obtain any item you missed, or even obtained and later lost again (the Grappling Hook, notoriously, had to be used, lost, and retrieved multiple times) at any time, except once you reach the [[spoiler: Krynn embassy in the present day]]. Even then, the two items required in this area are impossible to progress through the game without obtaining[[note]]The Explosive Charge, which is automatically added to your inventory after Arthur disengages it from the door where it's found, and the Spent Power Core, which you have to remove in order to replace it.[[/note]] However, there's one problem: the explosive charge is used to open a pod to find certain items. You get one charge, which can open one pod. There are seven pods, four of which contain items you need[[note]]Two are empty, and one contains a BigLippedAlligatorMoment.[[/note]]. One of those items can be used to open the other pods. Use the charge on the wrong pod, and you're done.


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14th Jan '17 6:22:40 PM nombretomado
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* {{Defied|Trope}} by much every LucasArts adventure game after ''ZakMcKrackenAndTheAlienMindbenders''; these games always allow the player to go back and collect items that they need or refuse to let them continue without the required item. This was often viewed as "dumbing down adventure games for the masses" by [[StopHavingFunGuys hardcore Sierra enthusiasts]]. LucasArts believed that players should not be punished for experimenting in their games, and criticised Sierra's combination of this trope and TrialAndErrorGameplay as "sadistic". All their adventure game manuals explicitly stated their design philosophy as being "We believe that you buy games to be entertained, not to be whacked over the head every time you make a mistake. [...] We think you'd prefer to solve the game's mysteries by exploring and discovering, not by [[TheManyDeathsOfYou dying a thousand deaths]]." (Interestingly, one of the factors that helped create this design philosophy was Ron Gilbert and David Fox's exasperation with Sierra's blatantly ridiculous game design while working on ''VideoGame/ManiacMansion''. Fox cited a moment in a Sierra game where he attempted to pick up a broken mirror but had his player character die as a result, saying "I know that in the real world I can successfully pick up a broken piece of mirror without dying.")
** In ''VideoGame/TheSecretOfMonkeyIsland'', if you stay underwater for more than ten minutes after the sheriff throws you off the pier, then the game not only kills you but also continues, giving you the commands ''float'', ''bloat'', ''bob,'' and ''order hint book''. The last option gives you the LucasArts helpline phone number.
** Of course, the manual for ''ZakMcKrackenAndTheAlienMindbenders'' might be the least appropriate place to state the LucasArts Design Philosophy since it was like a Sierra game. Missed something in ''ManiacMansion''? No problem... you can beat the game with your other partner. But in "[=Zak McKracken,=]" there was only one way to beat the game. Washed the bread crumbs down the drain? Spent your money and got stuck at a place where you can't win the lottery to gain more money? Accidentally killed someone by removing their helmet on Mars? Got Zak ''and'' Annie stuck in jail? Then you can't beat the game. And despite that, ''Zak [=McKracken=]'' is ''still'' more merciful than Sierra by virtue of not murdering you every five minutes.

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* {{Defied|Trope}} by much every LucasArts Creator/LucasArts adventure game after ''ZakMcKrackenAndTheAlienMindbenders''; these games always allow the player to go back and collect items that they need or refuse to let them continue without the required item. This was often viewed as "dumbing down adventure games for the masses" by [[StopHavingFunGuys hardcore Sierra enthusiasts]]. LucasArts [=LucasArts=] believed that players should not be punished for experimenting in their games, and criticised Sierra's combination of this trope and TrialAndErrorGameplay as "sadistic". All their adventure game manuals explicitly stated their design philosophy as being "We believe that you buy games to be entertained, not to be whacked over the head every time you make a mistake. [...] We think you'd prefer to solve the game's mysteries by exploring and discovering, not by [[TheManyDeathsOfYou dying a thousand deaths]]." (Interestingly, one of the factors that helped create this design philosophy was Ron Gilbert and David Fox's exasperation with Sierra's blatantly ridiculous game design while working on ''VideoGame/ManiacMansion''. Fox cited a moment in a Sierra game where he attempted to pick up a broken mirror but had his player character die as a result, saying "I know that in the real world I can successfully pick up a broken piece of mirror without dying.")
** In ''VideoGame/TheSecretOfMonkeyIsland'', if you stay underwater for more than ten minutes after the sheriff throws you off the pier, then the game not only kills you but also continues, giving you the commands ''float'', ''bloat'', ''bob,'' and ''order hint book''. The last option gives you the LucasArts [=LucasArts=] helpline phone number.
** Of course, the manual for ''ZakMcKrackenAndTheAlienMindbenders'' might be the least appropriate place to state the LucasArts [=LucasArts=] Design Philosophy since it was like a Sierra game. Missed something in ''ManiacMansion''? No problem... you can beat the game with your other partner. But in "[=Zak McKracken,=]" there was only one way to beat the game. Washed the bread crumbs down the drain? Spent your money and got stuck at a place where you can't win the lottery to gain more money? Accidentally killed someone by removing their helmet on Mars? Got Zak ''and'' Annie stuck in jail? Then you can't beat the game. And despite that, ''Zak [=McKracken=]'' is ''still'' more merciful than Sierra by virtue of not murdering you every five minutes.
5th Jan '17 11:46:14 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.
5th Jan '17 3:03:18 AM Freezer
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* In an episode of ''Series/Alice1976'', Mel sets up a "Spell 'M-E-L-S' To Win" contest for a $500 grand prize. After raising the grand prize to $10,000 (to one-up a competitor who offered $1000 on a similar contest), Mel destroys the only "E" game piece to avoid having to pay (He didn't have the money even if he wanted to). Vera reassembled the destroyed piece and discovered that [[VandalismBackfire Mel ripped up an "M", not the "E".]] Cue diner regular Henry finding the "E" piece.[[note]]Henry settles for the original $500.[[/note]]
31st Dec '16 9:57:09 PM DRCEQ
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* ''VideoGame/{{Kingdom}}: New Lands'' has a finite number of resources, which may make it impossible to complete the task of getting off that island and moving onto the next one. Sometime around the 25th day, the forests will wither up and die, and water will run out. This means that you can no longer collect gold by hunting rabbits and deer, or from farming (the farmers themselves eventually throw away their tools and become jobless peasants again.) At this point, there's only one way you can collect gold, which is to pay a single gold coin to the Merchant and have him send off for supplies, which will give you gold upon the start of the next day that he's returned to your camp. However, if you clear out the trees next to the merchant's camp, it'll disappear along with the cleared out woods surrounding it, making it impossible to earn any more coin at that point.
6th Dec '16 8:09:44 PM thirdscenario
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* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG'' is Cruel to completionists. One of the 60 or so collectible item blocks is floating in Princess Peach’s castle, barely out of reach. The only time you can ever reach is it during a cutscene that plays an hour into the game. To reach it, you must jump onto an NPC’s head before they start running down the hallway, then jump off their head as the NPC runs under the block. No indication is ever given after this cutscene that getting that item block has become impossible.

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* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG'' is Cruel to completionists. One of the 60 or so collectible item blocks is floating in Princess Peach’s castle, barely out of reach. The only time you can ever reach is it during a cutscene that plays an hour into the game. To reach it, you must jump onto an NPC’s head before they start running down the hallway, then jump off their head as the NPC runs under the block. No indication is ever given after this cutscene that getting that item block has become impossible. There's an equipable item that pings whenever you're in a room with a hidden chest; it will ping whenever you enter this hallway but no matter where you jump you'll never reach it.
6th Dec '16 9:32:47 AM ShinyManaphy
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* In ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'', killing even one monster locks you out of the True Pacifist ending [[spoiler:because you can't make friends with Undyne]]. Even nastier is what happens if you get the No Mercy ending - which requires you to specifically hunt down and murder ''everything'' - and then reset to do a Pacifist run. [[spoiler:Even if you don't kill a single monster the entire time and befriend everyone, ''you cannot get the True Pacifist ending'', because you gave your soul to the Fallen Child. What you get instead is the "Soulless Pacifist" ending. And unless you play the game on a different Steam account or know how to edit Steam's files, you can never get True Pacifist.]] That's right - this game can make itself ''permanently unwinnable''!
23rd Nov '16 11:46:22 PM WhosAsking
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* ''Propositiones ad Acuendos Juvenes'', 9th century medieval Latin manuscript of math and logic problem, has one. The 43th problem proposes a situation where a man wants to slaughter 300 pigs in three days. However, it says there has be an odd number of pigs for each day, which makes it impossible. TheOtherWiki theorizes this was written to punish troublesome students.

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* ''Propositiones ad Acuendos Juvenes'', 9th century medieval Latin manuscript of math and logic problem, has one. The 43th problem proposes a situation where a man wants to slaughter 300 pigs in three days. However, it says there has be an odd number of pigs for each day, which makes it impossible. TheOtherWiki theorizes this was written to punish troublesome students. [[note]]It's a parity puzzle. Odd (pigs) times Odd (days) always equals Odd, and 300 is Even. See "Video Games" below for more information.[[/note]]
10th Nov '16 7:00:37 AM WhosAsking
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* In the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/15_puzzle 15-puzzle]] or "boss" puzzle (one of the first group-theory puzzles, if not ''the'' first), only half the possible arrangements of the tiles can be reached from the solved position by sliding the tiles as one is supposed to do to solve the puzzle. For this reason the boss puzzle is called a ''parity'' puzzle: meaning one with two distinct sets of configurations that determine how or if they can be solved.[[note]]Transposing any two adjacent numbers flips the puzzle's parity in this case.[[/note]] Sam Loyd exploited this to publicize the puzzle by offering a cash prize for solving [[http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:15-puzzle-loyd.svg a position]] which he knew to have the wrong (unsolvable) parity. Many other parity puzzles (like the RubiksCube) have a similar situation.

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* In the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/15_puzzle 15-puzzle]] or "boss" puzzle (one of the first group-theory puzzles, if not ''the'' first), only half the possible arrangements of the tiles can be reached from the solved position by sliding the tiles as one is supposed to do to solve the puzzle. For this reason the boss puzzle is called a ''parity'' puzzle: meaning one with two distinct sets of configurations that determine how or if they can be solved.[[note]]Transposing any two adjacent numbers flips the puzzle's parity in this case.[[/note]] Sam Loyd exploited this to publicize the puzzle by offering a cash prize for solving [[http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:15-puzzle-loyd.svg a position]] which he knew to have the wrong (unsolvable) parity. Many other parity puzzles (like the RubiksCube) Rubiks Cube) have a similar situation.
10th Nov '16 7:00:15 AM WhosAsking
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* In the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/15_puzzle 15-puzzle]] or "boss" puzzle (one of the first group-theory puzzles, if not ''the'' first), only half the possible arrangements of the tiles can be reached from the solved position by sliding the tiles as one is supposed to do to solve the puzzle. Sam Loyd exploited this to publicise the puzzle by offering a cash prize for solving [[http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:15-puzzle-loyd.svg a position]] which he knew to be in the unsolvable group.

to:

* In the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/15_puzzle 15-puzzle]] or "boss" puzzle (one of the first group-theory puzzles, if not ''the'' first), only half the possible arrangements of the tiles can be reached from the solved position by sliding the tiles as one is supposed to do to solve the puzzle. For this reason the boss puzzle is called a ''parity'' puzzle: meaning one with two distinct sets of configurations that determine how or if they can be solved.[[note]]Transposing any two adjacent numbers flips the puzzle's parity in this case.[[/note]] Sam Loyd exploited this to publicise publicize the puzzle by offering a cash prize for solving [[http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:15-puzzle-loyd.svg a position]] which he knew to be in have the unsolvable group.wrong (unsolvable) parity. Many other parity puzzles (like the RubiksCube) have a similar situation.
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