Guide Dang It: Survival Horror

  • In The Last of Us, clickers kill you in one hit & you're told that they use echolocation & can't see. You're not told that if any part of your body (other than your fist) touches any part of their body, they'll instantly kill you even if they're stunned or looking the other way. Good luck not touching an enemy you're supposed to beat to death with a brick.
  • In The Dark Meadow, you have to find 10 gems in order to gain additional stats points that will help you beat the White Witch. Good luck trying to find them all without referring to the internet forums.
  • Silent Hill 3. Let's put it this way: when the game gives you the option to set puzzles to "Hard", it is not joking around. You're either spending five minutes with a guide or five hours with the Complete Works of William Shakespeare.
    • The keypad puzzle in the hospital, where the solution is cryptically explained in a poem about mutilating someone's face.
    • Same goes with Silent Hill 2 on the higher riddle difficulties.
      • And the clogged garbage chute in SH 2, which you have to drop a case of soda down to dislodge a critical puzzle item (see Solve the Soup Cans).
    • A Guide Dang It on all difficulties: the scene where Heather holds Claudia at gunpoint. If you shoot her, the God will possess Heather, resulting in a Non Standard Game Over. The solution is to ingest the Aglaophotis pill inside the pendant she's been carrying since the beginning of the game. You only know of its existence by examining the pendant, and like in SH1, the in-game hints only vaguely reference its use.
    • Silent Hill: To get the Good+ ending, you must save Kaufman from a monster in an optional (an easy to miss)building, and you must collect the red liquid (later revealed to be Aglaophotis, a form of Applied Phlebotinum) from the broken vial in a plastic bottle, then, during the fight with the Puppet Cybil, throw it on her to exorcise the demonic parasite from her. The few in-game hints only remotely reference this substance's power, but scenario writer Hiroyuki Owaku stated that Cybil's fate after SH 1 is left to players' imaginations.
      • This is not really a Guide Dang It, because you're not supposed to know how to use it until you get the Good ending, which is the only instance in the game which informs you of its purpose. The Plus endings are intended to be earned in replays.
    • And that's not forget the Crematorium puzzle, also on Silent Hill 3's hard mode. Which requires you to know the real life habits of a particular, obscure bird most people don't know of, let alone know the real life habits of. Oh, and that's not to mention the part of the poem applied to this bird seems to identify an entirely different bird based on the poems provided in game.
      • This is made even worse by a string of subtle clues that have been scattered throughout the hospital. The mysterious telephone voice you encounter in the locker room tells you that the psycho who's been leaving you love letters through the whole level so far is dead, and that his new name is number 7. Lo and behold, 7 is the number of the gurney he's lying on, and the accompanying poem very clearly refers to him. And yet, as noted above, the corresponding clue has nothing to do with any of this, instead giving the aforementioned vague bird clue. Apparently you have to be a member of the Audobon Society to survive in Silent Hill.
      • To be fair, the poem is a nursery rhyme.
    • Pretty much what happens in the games.
    • In order to determine which ending you get in Silent Hill 2 the game keeps track of the player's behaviour, such as how long you spend looking at certain items in your inventory or how you interact with an NPC character. The fact that the game does this is not hinted at anywhere. Made worse by the fact that getting the best ending is more likely by doing two extremely non-intuitive things: allow Maria to be attacked by monsters or otherwise take damage even though normally this is the exact opposite of what you want to do and leave the room before a recording that gives plot-critical information finishes playing near the end of the game. All of these factors combined mean that many people get the worst ending on their first playthrough.
      • Silent Hill 3's ending is determined by a hidden Karma Meter that tracks how many good or evil points you accumulate through the game. Like in Silent Hill 2 the player isn't aware this is happening, but which actions contribute to which meter are fairly understandable (taking a lot of damage makes it more likely you'll get the bad ending, for example). However, at one point the player speaks to a woman in a confession booth who begs for forgiveness. Forgiving her gives you a massive number of dark points even though it seems like it would be the morally correct choice. If you've been paying very close attention to the game's convoluted lore you might be able to work out what the choice is actually about and why forgiving her is a bad idea: Granting absolution is the domain of God. By forgiving the woman, Heather accepts the mantle of God. This is not a good thing.
      • Silent Hill 4: The game has four endings, based on combinations of two factors that the game barely hints at. The first factor is what percentage of hauntings Henry exercised n his apartment (threshold is <80% or 80%+). The second is how much damage Eileen takes while in Henry's care. As Eileen is damaged it is hinted that Walter Sullivan begins to possess her. At the end of the game, when you fight the Big Bad, Eileen will be possessed by Walter Sullivan and will walk to her death, unless the player kills the Big Bad and stops her. The faster she travels, the more damage she took over the course of the game (less damage = higher resistance to possession = slower speed). Note that even if Eileen took no damage throughout the course of the game, she can still die if you fail to save her in time.
      • A frustrating inversion occurs with the joke UFO Endings, which in most Silent Hill games are intended as hidden bonuses for dedicated players and are therefore very hard to unlock, requiring the player to take a series of non-obvious actions at specific points in the game and are usually only accessible on a second playthrough. The exception to this is Silent Hill: Homecoming, where the UFO ending is no more difficult to get than any of the "real" endings is therefore extremely easy to acquire on your first time playing the game, leading to a nonsensical and unsatisfying Gainax Ending. Particularly bad if the player isn't a Silent Hill fan and isn't aware that the UFO ending is meant to be a joke.
      • In all Silent Hill games you can stomp on enemies to finish them off for good, something you'll generally want to do since they can get back up again and keep attacking otherwise. But in Silent Hill: Downpour doing this makes it more likely you'll get a bad ending, even though it's been standard practice for the previous seven games. At no point is it ever hinted that the game is going to judge you for doing this.
      • Another game where stomping enemies might screw you over is Silent Hill Origins. The game keeps track of 3 types of kills: melee, ranged and unarmed, and each has its own related Accolade. (Basically an Achievement) If you're going for the melee or ranged Accolades, bear in mind that stomping an enemy to finish it off counts as an unarmed kill, something the game fails to tell you until you reach the end and wonder why you have such a massive number of unarmed kills compared to everything else. In order to acually register a melee or ranged kill, you have to have a weapon equipped at the time you deliver the finisher. Since the game uses Breakable Weapons, this is a lot harder than it sounds.
  • Resident Evil Outbreak. Try figuring out how to get all the SP items without a guide, much less try figuring out that they're even there in the first place since it's entirely possible to complete the whole game many times over without ever realising that they're there. And the "set" of items spawned on the map is determined by a random variable and further confusing people, some can only be obtained on certain difficulties and by certain characters. Have fun. Your reward for all of this? Costumes and alternate character models that play identically to existing characters
    • A less annoying example but still valid, is that in order to complete the Event Checklist for each scenario and therefore unlock an extra mode, you are required to kill yourself in a specific way on two separate occasions. One isn't so bad to figure out and might be accomplished by the player for laughs or just out of curiosity but the other requires the player to stand around for close to two minutes while nothing happens with no indication that anything even will happen there.
  • In Rule of Rose many important plot-points are hidden out of the beaten path, and you can miss the introduction of one of the most important characters in the story if you don't know where to look in the first chapter. Also, you can't get the best ending unless you do the most unintuitive thing imaginable in the final bossfight: give the first and only firearm that you have to the Stray Dog. He will shoot himself dead.
  • Ao Oni: Version 5.2 has a puzzle that requires knowledge of counting using a Soroban. This is no trouble for Japanese players, but this isn't the case for western audiences (however, downloading the game provides you with a Readme that tells you to look up a way of deciphering the answer). This puzzle (along with several others) were removed for Version 6.
  • Several unintentional examples in the first Fatal Frame game. One puzzle is focused around the children's game "Kagome-Kagome", which most Western players have never heard of (fortunately, it isn't too tough to solve by trial-and-error). Another came from the number combination locks on some doors. Even if you knew the combination, the lock had the numbers arranged counterclockwise with "zero" in the top position... and written in archaic kanji. Not a big problem for Japanese players, perhaps, but most Western players get totally stumped by what was intended as a very simple puzzle. Remakes of the game address this by replacing the kanji with numerals.
  • Parasite Eve 2 is well-known for this. It has a lot of items and puzzles that can be easily missed.
    • A four-part riddle in Dryfield has one clue that has a very narrow window of availability that can only be examined before you trigger a boss fight in the next room. After that, it's Lost Forever. Another one of the clues can only be read if you do not turn on the lights in a cellar, for it is written in glow-in-the-dark ink.
    • A few factors can influence the score you get at the end of the game, unlocking some great bonus weapons and armor. The game doesn't tell you that these factors including saving items instead of using them, playing on higher difficulties, triggering certain events in the game.
    • An entirely optional and missable item in the very first area, the Akropolis Tower, allows you to enter an armory much later in the game.
    • Beating a certain boss in under three minutes (not easy to do, at least not on your first game) prevents an NPC's loyal pet dog from dying, which also affects the ending. Fail to save the dog, fail to get the best ending.
    • Failing to save another character in the game will also prevent you from getting the best ending.
  • In Unturned, a guide is often necessary when attempting to figure out the in-game crafting system. Made all the more difficult due to a limited inventory.
  • Alone in the Dark: Too many to count in the original trilogy, as well as The New Nightmare, but some examples:
    • Pregzt, the final boss. What in the game hints at burning him with the lamp? Nothing in the game, but the instruction manual has specific directions for what to do, only written backwards, i.e. eert eht fo retnec eht ta ti worht dna pmal eht thgiL. Guide Dang It, indeed, because most people ignore PC game instruction manuals outright, if they got one with the game at all. There's only a painting in the gallery that hints this.
    • In the third game, you find a shotgun...but there are no shotgun shells in the entire game. The only ammo is the gold coins that Jim "Lone Miner" Burris carries, which can only be obtained by hitting him with the whip.