Achievement System
[Video Games] List of optional tasks the player may accomplish in-game
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(permanent link) added: 2013-04-05 18:15:55 sponsor: Stratadrake (last reply: 2013-08-21 00:26:57)

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Any centralized listing of arbitrary, non-essential Video Game objectives that the player has completed during their play of a game, with little to no reward beyond being a Self-Imposed Challenge on the road to 100% Completion.

While some of these are tasks that the player will accomplish automatically during typical game play (e.g. reach point X in the story or beat boss Y, perform action Z for the first time, defeat W number of enemies), the tasks themselves are not necessarily relevant to gameplay or story completion; some may be related to Side Quests (say, defeating the Bonus Boss), or even obscure things the player might not even think of (like falling for that Shmuck Bait). Others may impose restrictions, like achieving a No Damage Run; and some can be related to specific events within the game and could technically become Lost Forever (well, per playthrough) if the player doesn't know about it ahead of time.

Sometimes the details of an objective are directly available to the player, informing them what is required to earn it. Conversely, sometimes the details are filtered out (e.g. "defeat ??? on level ???") or hidden entirely, to avoid giving potential spoilers away to the player before they reach the relevant portion of the game.

Note that this isn't merely about the Cosmetic Awards themselves, but rather the means of tracking which ones the player has / has not acquired yet.


Platform-wide examples

  • Microsoft requires all Xbox 360 games to provide a list of "Achievements". Each achievement has a specific point value (generally related to its difficulty) and contribute to the player's overall (system-wide) "Gamerscore".
  • Games on Sony's Playstation3 include a "Trophy" list, with individual tasks graded from Bronze through Platinum depending on their relative difficulty. For some trophies, their details may be hidden until the player acquires it (or reaches a certain point in game play) to avoid leaking potential spoilers. The player's Trophy List is also accessible through their online profile.
  • Games distributed via Steam may include achievement systems; this is not required by Valve but it's common for multiplatform titles (ones that may also be released on the 360 or PS3, which do), and it shows up in some of Valve's own titles as well.


Individual game examples

(For sake of brevity, we'll limit this list to only games whose achievement system exceeds requirements imposed by the game platform.)

  • Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War (on the PlayStation 2) included a number of medals that could be earned by completing story missions and beating certain challenges across multiple playthroughs; the medals can be viewed from the main menu.
  • Bayonetta has its "Umbran Tears of Blood", which have their own backstory. Approximately half of them reflect standard Achievements/Trophies (the list of which is accessible in-game and out), while the other half are found by catching crows hidden in each of the game's levels.
  • Final Fantasy XII had the "Sky Pirate's Den", a screen that collects sprites commemorating such tasks as completing the main story, getting all characters to a certain experience level, or defeating Elite Marks. Each sprite's description states the task it was awarded for.
  • FTL: Faster Than Light has an internal system for achievements that also acts as the mechanism for unlocking new ships and deck layouts as they are completed.
  • Indie game Galaxy Saver on the Nintendo DS / 3DS calls its list of achievements "Military Awards", many of which involve destroying X number of a given enemy type.
  • Marvel vs. Capcom 3, in addition to the platform's achievement/trophy system, has a list of "Titles" and "Icons" the player can assign to their in-game profile; these are unlocked primarily by beating the game with various characters.
  • Playstation All Stars Battle Royale (in addition to using the PS3's Trophy system) allows the player to select a variety of icons and backgrounds for their in-game profile and customize each character's intro/outro lines or Minion, which are unlocked primarily by accumulating enough points with specific characters (a few others are purchasable DLC).
  • In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, the player is given a "Medal Box" early and one medal to fill it with. As they progress through the game, an NPC named Mr. Medal may appear in a Pokemon Center to award more medals for completing various achievements, and provide hints about future medals. The medals themselves are color-coded into various categories (battling, trading, etc.) and there are a total of 255.
  • While the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the Skylanders games feature system-standard Trophies and Achievements, the Wii version includes them as a list of "Accolades". In addition, Skylanders: Giants adds "Quests" which are nine achievements specific to each individual figurine (three of them unique to each element, and one unique to that specific character); completing these unlocks metallic Top Hats (bronze, silver, gold) for that specific figure to wear. These Quests are saved with the actual figurine (even the ones not officially included in the Giants lineup).
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl includes a "Challenges" grid, each of which unlocks a cosmetic award such as trophies or music for the player's collection. The player may check details of any achievement that is horizontally adjacent to one they've already acquired, and they also have a limited number of 'hammer' items that can be used to unlock an award without having to complete the objective for it.
  • In Wii Sports Resort, every sporting event has a list of five "stamps" that the player may collect by performing certain tasks like fighting their opponent to a draw in Swordplay, or hitting hidden fruit targets in Archery.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles has a variety of internal achievements that grant Non-Combat EXP when completed.
  • In World in Conflict multiplayer, you gain medals and badges for various scoring points or winning matches, among other things. Medals and badges are tiered bronze, silver, and gold; the screen that displays them also explains (via tooltips) the requirements for unlocking them.
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