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Extended Gameplay
The Hero, having collected The Seven Talismans of Boss Defeat, travels to the Inconveniently Crumbling Temple of Death and defeats the Quirky Miniboss Squad for the last time. Finally, he and his party destroy the Big Bad and the credits roll...

WHAT DO YOU MEAN, THERE'S ANOTHER GREAT EVIL?!

Extended Gameplay is whenever some sort of bonus story or challenge exists even after you've wrapped up the main plot and killed the "Final Boss". Overlaps with 100% Completion. Can manifest itself as a Bonus Dungeon or a Playable Epilogue. Or it could be just a chance to finish the Side Quests, get the Cosmetic Awards and explore the Wide Open Sandbox at your leisure.

It is not New Game+; the story does not start over. It does, however, sometimes reset to the state just before the Final Boss, probably so the developers don't have to write new dialogue for all the NPCs.


Examples:

  • In every 3D Mario platformer, the player gets some special final stage or secret cutscene by collecting all of the stars/sprites.
    • In Super Mario Galaxy, you unlock the Grand Finale Galaxy only by doing this twice: once with Mario, and again with Luigi.
    • Done to extremes in Super Mario Galaxy 2, there's still an another World to beat after Bowser and another 120 green stars to find, one for every regular star in the game.
    • The tradition continues with Super Mario 3D Land, brought to you by the folks who made both Galaxy games, and the extended gameplay goes even further: After beating the game, which consists of eight worlds, eight more worlds show up to keep you busy for a while longer.
  • Happens in every Pokémon game in some form after defeating the Elite Four.
    • In Pokémon Red and Blue, the player gains access to the Unknown Dungeon (known as Cerulean Cave in later games), home to high level Pokémon, including the original Infinity Plus One Mon, Mewtwo. The Updated Re-release, FireRed and LeafGreen, add the Sevii Islands, with a sideplot featuring Team Rocket in the immediate aftermath of their leader's departure and granting access to several extra dungeons, a breeding center, and a Trainer Tower.
    • In Pokémon Gold and Silver, it is possible to visit the Kanto region of the previous game via the Fast Boat after you have defeated the Elite Four. This provides another group of Gym challenges, more Pokémon to catch, and an extremely tough final battle against the main character of the previous generation, though many classic Kanto locales didn't make it into the games due to memory restrictions; the remakes on the DS were able to fully flesh out the Kanto region.
  • Pretty much what happens when you finish the seemingly final mission "Crystal Calamity" in Advance Wars: Dual Strike.
  • Armies of the Night is a game unlocked after you beat The Warriors. It is very fun but ridiculously easy.
  • Baten Kaitos: Origins: Defeat Wiseman 2,000 years in the past and he appears as the final boss in the present after one beats Verus.
  • Devil May Cry 3 had a lot of these: Batttling a swarm of enemies during the credits (kill 100 for an extra scene), extra difficulty levels and Bloody Palace.
  • Dragon Quest III does this, making it possibly the Ur Example (and possibly even the Trope Maker).
    • Dragon Quest VIII: After you defeat Rhapthorne, you can find the quest to the kingdom of Dragovia...and find out the Hero's heritage.
    • Also in Dragon Quest V: Okay, you've grabbed the MacGuffin and used its power, gone on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge and killed the underlings of the evil priest of death who killed your father, and now you finally get to finish him off climactically. Is it over? No. Now you have to go to Hell and kill the devil. Hope you remembered those rings.
    • Dragon Quest IX has a huge focus on this as well. With tons of quests, bonus bosses, and secret party members that require the game to be beaten first.
  • Everlong allows you to access the final side quest in that manner.
  • Done sneakily in the Wii game No More Heroes, where at the end of the game, AND after becoming the #1 Assassin, The player is given the choice to save a clear file and watch one of two endings. The SECOND ending, which is only made available after you buy all the beam katana upgrades, involves you killing one more boss - the same boss that cheated you out of one of your own boss fights, the putative endgame boss being a Anticlimax Boss.
  • All of SSI's old Gold Box games had this. After completing the main quest you could continue playing and do any side quests you'd previously missed. Death Knights of Krynn and Pools of Darkness each had a Bonus Dungeon that was only accessible after completing the main game.
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has the Inverted Castle. This overlaps with Disc One Final Dungeon, as the Inverted Castle is fully as big as the regular one.
    • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin ends your game early if you kill Stella and Loretta instead of curing them. At this point you've covered nearly all of Dracula's castle and four portraits. Should you instead do the latter, you'll discover that you have four more portraits to go and not one, not two, but three final bosses, two of which are fought together.
    • Thought you were almost done when you defeated Albus in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia? Guess again. Welcome to Dracula's castle, which is at least half as big as a typical Metroidvania castle!
    • All Castlevania games feature this to an extent, unlocking at least one final area with the True Final Boss by doing something specific during a boss battle (Defeating Graham with the right set of souls, defeating Aguni during the battle with Dario, etc.)
  • The draw of just about every Mega Man Battle Network game. Between the sprawling levels, 100% Completion, Bonus Bosses, Easter Eggs, and extra goodies to collect in the levels to beat the bonus bosses, the bulk of the game invariably happens after you've finished the plot. And, at least in the first few games, the secret area did tie in to the plot, as a sort of aside, explanation, or epilogue. Secret Area in the third game, for example, explained the UnderNet and let you meet the guys in charge, and also gave Bass a sort of alternate ending, since the third game was also the last time he appeared in the games as anything other than a vaguely non-canon Bonus Boss.
  • Another Day from The World Ends with You.
  • Dark Chronicle (or Dark Cloud 2, depending on where you live) does this, with an entire extra chapter past the end of the game. The original Dark Cloud also has a very long bonus dungeon, with its own final boss.
  • The final level in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Shadow of Chernobyl is only accessible if you located certain plot coupons along the way, allowing you to bypass the Wish Granter that gives the false endings. Then if you reject the offer to join the C-Consciousness you get to fight through the last mission and destroy them to get the true ending.
  • Blast Corps does a real whammy. After solving the central problem of the leaking nuclear carrier, the heroes are suddenly given a new assignment to rescue a damaged space shuttle about to make an emergency landing. This seems like the final mission as well, but getting 100% Completion suddenly has the Blast Corps team being sent for a mission to clean up debris on the moon. Beating that mission unlocks more missions throughout the solar system. And then there's the platinum medals...
  • Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels has four more worlds for you to complete after World 8-4. (Five if you beat the first eight without any Warp Zones.)
  • From a story point of view, DonPachi 's second loop fits this trope to a T. You've slaughtered thousands upon thousands of Mooks and navigated Category-5 Bullet Hell storms, all while either getting a high enough combo, scoring 50 million points, or collecting all of the bees in 4 stages. Your commander congratulates you on a job well done, and then..."Psych! You're dead meat!" He reveals that he is the Big Bad and has plans to wipe out humanity; in wiping out masses of said Mooks, you've wiped out what were really your allies. He then introduces you to his special forces (aka: the enemies of the second loop). "See you in Hell!" indeed.
  • Dead Rising has several endings, depending on what you have and have not completed when the timer runs out. All are downer endings. But the A ending is a downer ending which, post-credits, leads to Overtime Mode. Overtime Mode offers a couple more hours of story, introducing along the way several new environments and new kinds of gameplay, finally allowing you to get the "True Ending". Which itself leads to another mode of gameplay (although there is no story after this point).
  • After you beat the main plot in Tales of Legendia, there's character quests that go into the backstory of every single character.
    • The GBA remake of Tales of Phantasia has the "Let's Go Arche" minigame after you beat the game, in which Arche and Suzu have to solve people's problems in five minutes.
    • Similarly in Tales of Vesperia, once you complete the game, there is some more content available around the game world including titles, a Boss Rush Bonus Dungeon and fully unlocking the arena.
  • The Game Boy Advance remake of Final Fantasy II has the "Soul of Rebirth" option which lets you play as the Killed Off for Real party members from one of your completed saves, showing what they were doing while the main game's heroes were beating the Final Boss. It turns out they were in heaven, beating the final boss's light side.
  • After you defeat Stauf in The 7th Guest, the game automatically creates an "Open House" save file in your 0th save game slot, which lets you wander Stauf Manor freely and replay every puzzle and cutscene on demand.
  • Most tri-Ace games feature anywhere from one to four Bonus Dungeons that are only available after the game is finished. This includes Star Ocean (Seven Star Ruins), Star Ocean: The Second Story (Cave of Trials), Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (Maze of Tribulations, Sphere 211; the Director's Cut and all International versions also include the Urssa Cave Temple), and Valkyrie Profile 1 and 2 (Seraphic Gate).
  • Both of the GBA Crash Bandicoot games have this. If you beat the final boss with all the gems in Crash Bandicoot The Huge Adventure, all the bosses in the game fuse together, and you're subjected to a race to the end of an extra level before the boss hits you too many times. In Crash Bandicoot 2 N Tranced, collecting all the gems allows you to subvert N. Tropy's Villain Exit Stage Left and give you a batch of new levels, climaxing with a battle with N. Tropy himself.
  • Done cleverly in The Second Reality Project. When you reach the end of Bowser's castle, you'll find that Bowser escaped to the Second Reality, and you follow him there. Additionally, after clearing World 4, Ludwig's castle crashes into World 3. Upon activating at least the Blue Switch and subsequently exploring the Crashlanded Castle and its secret paths, you'll access the secret dimension, Thirdspace.
  • The Fallout 3 "Broken Steel" DLC is pretty much be this trope... but since it's a DLC, that means you'll have to buy it.
  • Modern Warfare has a rather...odd, and very brief, level ("Mile High Club") after the credits have rolled, which doesn't appear to fit into canon and lasts about 60 seconds. The level initially was planned to be the first mission (after training) in the game, but Infinity Ward decided it wasn't very fun, so they severely upped the difficulty and moved it to a post-credits sequence. The man you catch in the mission was the owner of the boat seen in "Crew Expendable".
  • After defeating the final boss in Wario Land: Shake It!, missions are added for each boss, and the levels that contain secret maps that unlock secret levels are revealed (along with a helpful little sparkle at each spot).
  • Nippon Ichi absolutely loves this trope. Every strategy RPG from Disgaea on includes Bonus Dungeons and Bosses in large numbers. Depending on the game, some the challenges may require a New Game Plus to access. La Pucelle has its bonus challenges placed before the final Point of No Return.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy Tactics A2 both have quest chains that are only unlocked after beating the game.
  • Final Fantasy XIII was made from this trope. The final level of the Crystarium doesn't actually get unlocked until after you beat the last boss, meaning it's impossible to max out your characters' stats and abilities before then. And the only major Side Quest in the game is not completable until after you beat that boss, either, as certain locations are barred to you and some of the Missions can't be accessed. Meaning the game can go on for hours and hours even after you've ostensibly "beaten" it.
    • The sequel can be mostly completed before facing the Final Boss. But only mostly. Beating him gives you the Paradox Scope, letting you see alternate endings, and with them fill out your bestiary.
  • Both Saints Row and Saints Row 2 have extra missions after the credits screen that extend the story (and the extra gameplay at the end of Saint's Row actually sets up the story for SR2).
  • Lunar: Eternal Blue has a fully playable epilogue after you beat the final boss where you work with Hiro in his quest to reunite with Lucia.
  • In Metroid: Zero Mission, Samus defeats Mother Brain and escapes the exploding complex on Zebes. She gets back in her ship, leaves the planet....and promptly gets shot down by the Space Pirates, making her lose her suit and forcing her to go on a stealth mission (in Zero Suit) to retrieve it and escape from the pirates' base.
  • In Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Explorers, even after you ascend Temporal Tower and defeat Primal Dialga, saving the world, there's more story afterwards, building up to fighting Darkrai to save the world again.
    • In Gates to Infinity, after destroying the Bittercold and saving the world, you get to take on more dungeons and job requests with new "mysteriosity" mechanics in place... but only as your partner. But after a few of these, they have to trek through a different dungeon to try and allow yourself back in the Pokemon world, after which the story is officially over (and you have the choice of letting you and your partner evolve).
  • Operation Flashpoint has a very tame 'bonus level'. Years after the conflict you fly a Cessna to Everon island to reunite with old war buddies, and you can go wherever you like and explore the island with no threat of combat.
  • Splinter Cell: Double Agent ends with an extra level that's only playable after the credits have rolled. In it, Sam Fisher takes out the remaining terrorists who escaped the JBA stronghold in the final mission, defuses a bomb, then swiftly escapes before the authorities can catch him.
  • The original NES The Legend of Zelda has a "Second Quest" that becomes accessible after you beat the game. Basically, you play the whole game over again with a different set of overworld and dungeon maps. It's just as long as the "main" game and a whole lot harder.
    • Some later releases of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has the Master Quest, which rearranges the dungeons to make the puzzles harder and more confusing and the locations of items such as Golden Skulltulas are changed. The 3DS remake takes it up a notch, as you lose double the hearts, the layout is mirrored, Sheikah Stones are removed AND it's unlocked literally after you finish the basic game.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has Hero Mode, which has the same "lose double the hearts, enemies can take more damage" condition, but takes hearts out of the game entirely, making healing with potions your default option. All of your resources such as raw materials and bugs are carried over, though, meaning that it's easier to upgrade your gear and potions before heading to the surface.
  • In Assassin's Creed II, there is a segment of the game after the final boss where you are allowed to roam free and complete sidequests for as long as you like, which is described in-game as the Assassins letting Desmond play around with the Animus as they relocate. Just don't expect anything exciting to happen.
  • In Shining Force II, if you wait for several minutes after the game credits have finished rolling, there is an optional battle against almost every plot-important boss from the game.
  • Eversion, once you collect all the gems.
  • In Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, you get a To Be Continued message after the credits. The game then gives you more story missions in which you hunt down Vladimir Zadornov after he escapes from Mother Base multiple times, followed by a True Final Boss after you finish Metal Gear ZEKE and hunt down Zadornov one last time in Mother Base's shooting range.
  • Persona 4 in the True Ending route.
  • Both Robot Ninja Haggleman games and Star Prince do this to you in Retro Game Challenge.
  • After beating the final boss of Super Meat Boy, the credits roll, but then The Stinger shows you got the bad ending. However, you get sent back to the map screen and (provided you beat enough Dark World levels) unlock the Dark World of The End. Beat that, the credits roll again, and you get the good ending. However, if you go back to the world map after that, you find that you've unlocked The Cotton Alley.
  • Phantasy Star I: So you collected all the legendary weapons, flew to an invisible floating castle, and avenged your brother by defeating the evil king Lassic. All that's left to do is tell your ally, the governor of Motavia, of your success, right? Wrong: Upon arrival the governor is nowhere to be found, and the next moment you are dropped into one more dungeon, leading to a confrontation with what is essentially that world's Satan.
  • God Eater Burst has this, after you beat the Big Bad you still have almost a third of the missions left.
  • Bemani games often have some form of an Extra Stage which you can play if you perform well. In arcade versions, this gives you an extra song for free, and most games usually have one or more secret boss songs which can only be played on Extra Stage (and sometimes only if you fulfill an even stricter set of unlock requirements simultaneously while earning the Extra Stage) for a short while after they're released. In console releases, this usually gives you a single chance to play a boss song even if you haven't unlocked it, and may automatically unlock a boss song if you beat it on Extra Stage (whereas they're usually the hardest or take the longest to unlock normally). Do well on the boss song on Extra Stage and you might get the Encore Extra Stage (a.k.a. "One More Extra Stage" in some games), which usually allows you to select the True Final Boss song (or in some games, forces you to attempt it).
  • The Inazuma Eleven games all allow you to unlock repeatable friendly matches against any story team you've beaten as well as extra teams not found in the story, of which some can only be unlocked by finishing the main story. Beating these can also unlock even more stuff, such as the ability to permanently recruit a previous Guest Star Party Member or previously unplayable NPC into your team. So far, each successive installment has increased the amount of content, with the third game having over a hundred such teams that can only be unlocked post-story.
  • Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories has an entire other game once you beat the final boss as Sora. You play as Riku, who is climbing up from the Basement to the entryway of Castle Oblivion, happening at the exact same time that Sora is climbing from the entryway to the top floor.
  • In The Quest Of Ki, after completing floor 60 and getting the game's ending, the player is invited to play through 40 more floors featuring trickier puzzles and elements borrowed from other Namco games.
  • In Angband, after defeating Morgoth on level 100, you can dive as deep as level 127.
  • In Drawn: Dark Flight, after you help Iris light the three beacons and drive out the evil king, Iris sends you on another quest to save Franklin.
  • In the original Mario vs. Donkey Kong, beating Donkey Kong at the end rolls the credits and congratulates you on a job well done, until he shows up at the factory again to steal more mini-Marios. This gives you another six worlds of levels to figure out, complete with a couple new gameplay mechanics. Beating THAT unlocks Expert mode, which is ANOTHER set of new levels that require stars (perfect scores from the proper game) to open up.
  • Mini Robot Wars. After beating The Destroyer in the main campaign once, peace is achieved... for a few months. The evil machines attack Green Planet again in a fit of revenge, and you have to face off against a stronger army while your more expensive units are disabled (you get them back as you complete the worlds again). After foiling the machines again, they decide to come back in full force, except they're even stronger AND you have natural disasters to deal with. The Minirobots finally get a complete victory once Destroyer Zero is defeated.
  • In Kickle Cubicle for the NES, after beating the game, there is a "Special Game" with 30 additional, more difficult levels.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising has an extra page worth of Treasure Hunt challenges that only open up after you beat the final boss, along with a Boss Rush mode.
  • After beating the final route of Duel Savior Destiny you unlock Endless Mode, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. You progress through level after level earning points to unlock special features and prizes along the way until eventually not only are you fighting against multiple different final bosses, you can even have said bosses as your allies and play as them yourself!
  • The Binding of Isaac has a whole lot of this. It's meant to be played and beaten many times, which is par for the course for a Roguelike, but in this case, every few times you beat it you unlock something, which eventually leads to the game being extended into additional final levels past the original one.
  • Dragon's Dogma subverts this. You spend the whole game building yourself up to slay a dragon. After several in-game hours, quests, and grinding, you finally face the dragon and slay him. But the story doesn't end there. With the dragon's final breath, he opens up the Everfall, a dungeon from a previous quest, and in doing so destroys the capital and unleashes the game's most powerful monsters on a now darkened world. While this portion of the game does allow you to roam the world once again, the subversion is that all of your previous sidequests have been cancelled out. Still, you're free to slay these upgraded mobs for more levels, and there are other hidden goodies to be found only in this segment of the game. From here, you can proceed to the Everfall to finish one final quest and face the true final boss. Another subversion, as defeating the final boss will reset the game's story.


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