"...we're not killing off any of the companions because everybody did. And then everybody cried... People test as they're playing the system and they go... 'I wonder if they're going to let me do this. Oh no! My healer is gone forever'!"Also frequently referred to as being "missable," the dreaded Lost Forever is a gameplay component (such as an item, weapon, Side Quest, character, achievement, or plot event) that can become permanently inaccessible after a certain point in the game, therefore being "lost forever" if you miss them during the period in which they are available. A close relative and often an example of Guide Dang It. The bane of gamers everywhere, especially those shooting for 100% Completion, as it often forces them to start the entire game anew if they're not willing to accept a less-than-perfect run. These items frequently appear in areas that can only be accessed once, or are rendered unavailable after a certain plot event occurs. The early town that is destroyed, the mountainous area that caves in once you leave it, the village that you're banished from, the Load-Bearing Boss's hideout that goes boom after you beat it, the ship that departs after your trip is finished, never to be boarded again, and so forth. More rarely, things are completely random and arbitrary. For example, perhaps once you finish disc two and acquire the airship, the random shopkeeper you needed to talk to in order to acquire the Infinity+1 Sword suddenly closes up shop and disappears without explanation. Forgiving developers will sometimes provide an alternative means to reach what would otherwise be Lost Forever. However, reaching it with this second-chance method is usually much more time-consuming or difficult than if you had just gotten it the first time around. If a player knows such an item is coming, a common tactic is to save immediately beforehand, and restore repeatedly from that save until they manage to get it. This is often true when getting the Lost Forever is based on luck, such as when a boss Randomly Drops a unique piece of equipment. This is infamously present in MMORPGs or any other game with online connectivity, due to one-time events, patch updates, and irreplaceable quest reward items (such as consumables that become Too Awesome to Use) distributed from an online source. While you can simply restart an offline game for another shot at the content, online items that are Lost Forever really can be lost forever. (When it comes to patch updates, however, players who still have the old items are usually allowed to keep them, often displaying them as a badge of honor.) Due to their tendency to induce great frustration, smart developers tend to avoid implementing these, and allow players to collect items or do sidequests at their leisure, whenever and in any order they want. Sometimes, this can result in silly situations where the player is presented with the option of returning to a location where there would be no logical reason to return to, such as, say, the site of a nuclear explosion. But, really, it's the lesser of the two evils. Occasionally, a Lost Forever is intended to be just that: you get a one-shot item or spell that would completely unbalance the game if used elsewhere. You're not supposed to hang on to it, and the game either takes it away immediately or kills you if you try to run away with it. For some, the challenge then becomes cheating or glitching your way out of this restriction. Also see Guest Star Party Member. Conversely, while most Lost Forevers are defined by the limited opportunity to acquire one, sometimes a particular item is acquired readily during a game's progress, but is irreplaceable once it is used up — should it get lost, stolen, or destroyed, you cannot acquire another one. See Too Awesome to Use for examples of some of these. This trope is not to be confused with Final Death, where a character permanently dies and cannot be resurrected. If it's an item deliberately taken away from you, it may be Awesome but Temporary. If something vital to the plot becomes Lost Forever, the game is Unwinnable. Lost Forever should also not be a Point of No Return, where the game cuts off your access to prior areas. Bonus Stage Collectables can always be put in a Lost Forever situation since they are placed in Bonus Stages (unless the stage can be attempted an unlimited number of times). Missable items tend to be found in a One Time Dungeon. If the player has the choice of one item resulting in the others becoming Lost Forever, they are Mutually Exclusive Powerups. Not to be confused with Ruined FOREVER, although it can generate degrees of it. See also Keep Circulating the Tapes when this applies to films and videos that are out of print. If those tapes have been lost as well, then it's a Missing Episode. Please don't Sink Hole to this page when listing something that is, well, lost forever.
Video Game Examples:
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- Should you find yourself at the very beginning of the old Infocom The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game, you will want to get the toothbrush. It's not the only thing you'll need from that first stage, either. Once Earth's destroyed, of course, you're sunk. Similarly, when you're in the Vogon ship, if you don't manage to get the Babel Fish before the Guard drags you away, you might as well quit and restart now, all that happens next is a lengthy lead up to Game Over. In fact, many people don't realize the reason you need the Babel Fish is to get the atomic vector plotter. You only have a few turns to grab it, too, and in a particular twist of evil the thing your aunt gave you that you don't know what it is is likely to have reappeared in your inventory, making your load too heavy to pick it up, forcing you to waste a turn dropping the thing. To make matters worse, you need to put down your towel as part of the convoluted method of getting the Babel Fish. You also need to have the towel with you later in the game,to be able to survive. If you don't remember to pick up your towel once you've got the Babel Fish, you're screwed.
- Hotel Dusk: Room 215 features a sidequest in which you can earn a prize from a vending machine. There is only one very short point in the game in which you can exchange your cash for change; after that, it's lost forever. There is also no warning. There is a kind-of New Game+ mode after completing the game with an extra puzzle and ending, but the scavenger hunt item you get out of the machine changes, making the original Lost Forever unless you start a clean game. In addition, the original scavenger hunt vending item can be given to two different characters, but the only way to give it to one of them is to randomly guess the vending machine number, because there is no opportunity to give it to her after legitimately completing the scavenger hunt.
- The text-based game of The Hobbit required Bilbo to get assistance frequently from either Gandalf or Thorin—most notably, getting out of the goblins' dungeon (you had to be carried out the window) and getting into Smaug's cave via the side entrance (the key broke if Thorin died). The game also depended on the elves' butler to periodically open the door to the wood elves' dungeon. If these parties were killed, various areas became unreachable, and randomly spawning enemies like goblins and the vicious warg often killed them while Bilbo was elsewhere.
- Return To Zork. Most notoriously, if you cut instead of dig up the bonding plant at the very beginning of the game, killing it, you're screwed. Even worse, it's very late in the game when you find this out. Additionally, there are many ways of killing it by accident if you do dig it up. A new Bonding Plant grows in the original location if you completely destroy the cut one by incinerating it in the furnace, so depending on where you are in the game it's possible to recover. It isn't always possible to get back, though.
- ''Enchanter'' Trilogy:
- This trope was omnipresent in the entire Enchanter trilogy. Any scroll that can't be added to your spellbook can be used exactly once, after which it's gone forever. If you used it in the wrong place, the game is now Unwinnable by Design.
- Spellbreaker has a plant that needs to be dug up rather than cut. If it is cut, it dies. To make matters worse, the game placed a pair of shears by the plant.
- In Maniac Mansion, pouring film developer on the Man-Eating Plant will kill it, preventing you from climbing into the observatory for the rest of the game. If a character is up there when the plant keels over:
"The plant's gone. I'm stuck up here!"
- Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within is a huge point-and-click game, six discs large. If you forget to pick up a certain item in the chapter on disc two, you will get stuck at the end of the chapter on disc four.
- In King's Quest V, there is a moment where you MUST throw a boot at a cat chasing a rat, so that when your character is trapped later, the grateful rat will free you. The cat-and-rat chase moment happens quickly, and the game gives no obvious cues that you must throw the boot. If you don't, your character will not be freed, thus culminating in a game over.
- Did you forget to get the rabbit before leaving the first scene in Space Quest IV? It's a shame you won't need it until the end of the game.
- Didn't notice the oil-eating bacteria at the start of Eco Quest? Guess you're plumb out of luck.
- Leisure Suit Larry 2 deserves a special mention for being particularly notorious in this, throwing one requirement after another at the player, with no real discernible cue that any of them are going to be needed later in the game, leading to a plethora of Unwinnable situations, especially since the game has absolutely no qualms with you saving your progress while a doomed scenario is already playing out.
- Luigi's Mansion:
- There are two bonus enemies hidden throughout the mansion: Gold Mice and Speedy Spirits. Speedy Spirits appear in the blink of an eye in certain dark rooms and vanish just as quickly; if Luigi doesn't catch them in one go, they'll vanish forever. Gold Mice are similar, but instead of just vanishing, they move really quickly, and can be vacuumed up in one hit. Both types will disappear if all other enemies in the room are beaten first, because beating the enemies turns on the lights in the room. Both of them drop the same thing: Lots and lots of money, and, in the case of the Speedy Spirits, gems. There is a blackout partway through the game, however, giving Luigi a second chance to catch any Speedy Spirits he missed previously, but there are no more chances after that, and to make matters worse, there are several Speedy Spirits that can only be gotten in random, out-of-the-way rooms during the blackout.
- It also has a plant in the Bone Yard that can be watered after every chapter. Miss it once, and the plant dies, meaning you lose the chance to get one of the giant diamonds worth a lot of money, and a huge amount of assorted coins and bank notes.
- Myst and Riven are very hard to make Unwinnable. However, Myst III: Exile has a snag quite late in the game: if you get the sequence of actions wrong when you confront Saavedro, he'll toss the Releeshan book off a cliff... and you'll never get it back.
- The Pajama Sam series is known for including collection sidequests as an extra activity. The first game has a chance of placing one of the socks in Sam's room though, the very first screen of the game. As soon as you leave this screen, there is no turning back, though since the sock is really easy to notice, it's unlikely. The third game, on the other hand, pulls this off twice in the boxtop sidequest, and unlike the first game, both are very easy to miss since they're tiny and are as far from the middle of the screen as possible. Top it off with the fact that they always appear no matter what are on the second and third screens, they're really easy to miss, and once again, if you do so, there is no turning back. This is especially annoying since the box tops are the hardest items to notice in the series, leaving you running around frantically looking for the last one.
- Simon the Sorcerer: An awful LOT of dialogue in the first game is missed out depending on what choices you make about your response. The player can miss out on some potentially hilarious gossip and satire this way. The only way to get these exchanges is to start over from the beginning.
Card Battle Game
- In Digimon: Digital Card Battle for the PS, you get to choose a partner Digimon at the very start of the game, and you get two more later in the story. What nobody told you is that you have to choose them from a pool of six, and that the decisions are permanent; the three partners you didn't choose are lost forever unless you cheat. To make matters more aggraviating, the plot is set so that you're only offered Wormmon once, so if you didn't choose him when you first saw him, you'll never get another chance. At least the developers had the courtesy of letting the player use "borrowed decks" from certain NPCs in order to get a chance of getting the card data of the partner Digimon you didn't choose, and their respective Armor Evolution data. It's not stated anywhere in the manual or in the game, and you still can't keep the actual cards outside the one duel you'll be lent the deck in question.
- In Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, it is impossible for most cards to be lost forever, since they can always be crafted again if you disenchant them, and the otherwise unavailable basic cards and rewards from the expansion are soulbound and cannot be disenchanted. Legendary cards Gelbin Mekkatorque and Elite Tauren Chieftan may be crafted like any other card, but the golden versions were only available as promotional items (Golden Gelbin Mekkatorque was available by spending real money in the in-game store during the beta, and Golden Elite Tauren Chieftain was only available by buying a ticket to Blizzcon 2013). These golden cards cannot be crafted, meaning they are now likely forever unavailable to players. However, the cards are soulbound, preventing their owners from deleting them and losing them forever.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction, if you fail to activate the Robot Monkey sidequest, it's gone forever from that playthrough, and you can't duel the monkey in the Game Shop. Thankfully, any cards they would give you can still be obtained normally.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour, due to a glitch in the JP and NA versions, Pegasus disappears from the game permanently after you defeat Odion, and you cannot get his Imperial Order trade before he leaves. The EU version fixed the bug.
- Anything related to Norahike in Choro Q HG4 after you beat Otto's grand prix. This includes loads of synthesis parts obtained from him which require you to spam on entering his house until you get everything.
- Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune:
- Many special titles (e.g. those based on mileage and those based on how many wins) are only offered once.
- In the first two games, your Story Mode "undefeated" status, represented by hollow "stage cleared" icons. Lose a single race and you'll have to get a new card if you want it again. 3 remedies this by giving you a second chance on your card after clearing Story Mode.
- Maximum Tune 4 had an event that let you transfer 3DX+ data to 4. This event ended on October 24, 2013, even though Maximum Tune 4 is only available in Eastern and Southeastern Asia, making the temporary nature of the card transfer event a huge slap in the face since the previous games in the series were released worldwide. Players outside of these regions will have to start all over again with none of their old data if Maximum Tune 4 is ever exported to the worldwide market.
- Mortal Kombat: Deception has a chest with one of its unlockable fighters, Kenshi, in the small village where your character begins the game as a child. Leaving the village causes a time-lapse sequence which spans many years and causes your character to grow older, so the game prevents temporal anomalies by locking you out once you've left. If you leave before finding the chest containing the Kenshi unlock, it will be Lost Forever - the only way to get it is to start a new save file.
- Punch-Out!! for Wii:
- The secret Champions Mode, a submode of Exhibition that can be unlocked by winning ten fights in Mac's Last Stand. Problem is, should the player lose three times there before the tenth victory, the game will end and not only will Last Stand be locked, there won't be another chance to unlock Champions Mode.
- Hidden character Donkey Kong can be lost forever if he doesn't appear before losing three times, since Mac's Last Stand picks opponents randomly. Fortunately, if you encounter him, he is automatically unlocked in Exhibition mode, regardless if you beat him or not.
- In December 2013, Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and its Downloadable Content was pulled from Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network services. While both titles are available on discs and other systems, the DLC for the latter will no longer be able to be bought ever again.
- Portal 2 provides an interesting example of an achievement that doesn't involve servers going down. There's an achievement called "Professor Portal" that you get by beating the co-op mode, and then going through the co-op mode's tutorial with a Steam friend who has never played the co-op mode before. Because of how it works, it's mathematically impossible for every player of the game to get the achievement, because once all but one player has it, they've all played the game before, so the one remaining player doesn't have anyone left to play with to get the achievement. And in practice, even fewer players will be able to get the achievement, since not everyone started playing co-op with a Steam friend.
- In Puzzle Quest: Challenge Of The Warlords, every enemy (and learnable spell) can be attained at leisure... except for the Imp spells (Burn, Taunt, and Zap). The Imps only appear on one spot of the map, which only unlocks after you've completed "The Marriage" subquest in Enmouth, and will disappear the moment you return to report to the Queen. You have to stay there and defeat three Imps in a row before capturing one, and the aforementioned spells turn them into Demonic Spiders if you're playing as a Fighter or Wizard.
- World of Goo has this in a much smaller degree in the form of a Bragging Rights Reward known as an "OCD". There's a glitch in the game preventing the gamer from getting the OCD Achievement in the level "MOM's Computer" after completing that level once. The glitch has been fixed through patches in most versions of the game.
- Professor Layton:
- Almost every game has certain areas where you can never go back past a certain point, so if you happen to miss any of hint coins (and in Miracle Mask, collectibles) that are in those areas, they're gone for good. However, if you happen to miss any puzzle this way, they will be sent to a puzzle keeper, who will keep those puzzles safe for you to solve whenever you speak to them.
- After Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection ended, if you didn't download all the puzzles in the earlier Layton games, you're not getting them. Fortunately, these were only optional in the first place.
- Antichamber: The first pink cube is only accesible at the very beginning of the game. After you've completed a few rooms, the layout of "There's No Way In" changes and you can't access the area where it is. It's particularly bad because it's precisely one of the most Guide Dang It cubes (it requires you to walk among darkness through a passage that, in a first playthrough, you won't learn of its existence until after the point where the layout has changed).
- McPixel has four Mind Screw bonus rounds (one made entirely out of the title character, one set on the rainbow trail of Nyan Cow, one set in a sewer underneath a toilet, and a crazily glitched up one) that can only be accessed a limited number of times while doing the initial runthroughs of each of the official stages note . Once all of the stages are finished, there's no way of accessing these rounds ever again.
Real Time Strategy
- In Medieval II: Total War, generals can sometimes gain Ancillaries, technically characters following them around but essentially a stat boost. Most of them are gained through specific but generic actions like winning battles or being in a town/castle when a given building is completed. However, some of the most powerful ancillaries are historical ones like William Wallace or Machiavelli, and those can only be gained in very specific circumstances, not known to the player unless he has peered through the game files. Joan of Arc, for example, can only be gained during a 20ish year span (1 turn being 6 months in the game), only for French players, only if France and England are at war late in the game (which is unlikely, since both countries are in each other's way, and one usually destroys the other in the early game) and only if the given general wins a battle against the English in which the odds were against him, but not too much.
- Salvaging in Homeworld is tremendously powerful because it allows you to exceed the arbitrary build limits for your fleet. For example, you can build only four heavy cruisers, so any that you fail to capture in the missions they appear are Lost Forever. Due to Cosmetically Different Sides, heavy cruisers are not a true example because you only miss out on extras. Antoher example occurs with the Gardens of Kadesh missions, where the enemy units are unique. Multi-Beam Frigates pack a meaner punch and a much cooler attack than your ion beam frigates. You can nab at least 18 of them, which in a wall formation will make short work of any ship.
- DJMAX Technika's Weekly courses. Each one was available for one week, then was gone permanently, replaced by the next Weekly course. Furthermore, Technika's Platinum Crew service went permanently offline in December 2013, which means nobody will be able to use songs or other items requiring unlocking ever again.
- Rock Band:
- Challenge rewards can only be obtained one time per band. While the "impossible [instrument] challenges" clearly show what the costumes look like (before coloring), the "Impossible Marathon, part 2" challenge has a reward of ONE (not a set. ONE) "crazy instrument" for each active player, corresponding to whatever instrument that player cleared Painkiller with. In order to get all 4 crazy instruments on one character, the entire challenge ladder must be gone through four times, each one in a different band. The amount of time one such run takes is comparable to the time it takes to clear Endless Setlist II. Remedied in Rock Band 3 - unlock once, use on every character you want for that profile.there are a couple of songs
- There are a couple of songs that were pulled from the store due to copyright issues. One Rock Band World goal required pulled songs (the three Metallica songs) and was gone when they were pulled.
- Sound Voltex II has POLICY BREAK songs, straight ports of songs from other BEMANI series in a series that otherwise does not allow non-remixed/arranged ports. The catch is that you can only unlock them for up to one week from the unlock date each, and then you cannot unlock them anymore.
- In Roguelikes (Angband, for example), items are usually unidentified when you first find them, and they can always be generated again later. This includes unique "artifact" items, but only if you don't identify them, since artifacts are only generated once per game. If you ID an item and it turns out to be an artifact, it is Lost Forever when you leave the level and you're not carrying it.
- To ME has a few dungeons with special named levels, which are different in that they aren't randomly generated, and thus the same in every game. They also have the same unique monsters and artifacts in every game. They also disappear if you leave (for example via the down staircase) and if you attempt to go back to it, you'll just get a randomly generated level instead. So, you only get one shot at grabbing those artifacts (whether found on the floor or dropped from a unique) before leaving the level, or they're Lost Forever. Make sure to have some free inventory space when you get there.
- ADOM has too many to count. Two Bonus Dungeons, the Pyramid and the Minotaur Maze, are only open to characters of certain levels (13-16 for the Pyramid, 22-30 for the Minotaur Maze). If you haven't found and killed the Bonus Boss inside when you reach that level, then they close up for good and render everything inside permanently irretrievable. And if you so much as talk to Khelavaster without giving him an Amulet of Life Saving, he'll die a Plotline Death, rendering the Trident of the Red Rooster and the Golden Ending unavailable all at once.
- In Sword of the Stars: The Pit, don't activate something unless you're sure you're going to use it immediately. Some of the devices lying around have only one use and will be unusable afterwards even if you don't do anything with them.
- In StarWarsTieFighter you can be inducted into the Secret Order of the Emperor and progress through multiple ranks within the Order by completing bonus objectives in levels. However, you cannot replay campaign missions outside of the Flight Simulator, and completing bonus objectives in the Flight Simulator does not count towards nabbing a higher rank in the Order. In other words: if you don't complete the bonus objectives the first time you finish missions, you won't be able to progress all the way through the Order's ranks.
- In Freelancer, there is a very good ship called the Anubis that you have exactly four opportunities to obtain: if you don't get it (which is frankly rather silly, as it's dirt cheap) within those four chances, or sell it afterwards, it's Lost Forever.
- Harvest Moon:
- Many of the older games have items and characters that will become unavailable after a certain amount of time. Most famously is Harvest Moon 64, where Cliff and Karen will leave town if you do not get their relationship levels high enough - depriving you of two potential rival marriages and 100% completion on your recipe list. The death of Ellen is avoidable, if you know what to watch out for (if she's sitting on the side of her house, instead of the front, DO NOT APPROACH). But if she dies, she'll take her recipe with her and knock a good chunk of points off Elli's affection levels.
- Another particularly nasty one is the Hot Springs in Harvest Moon DS and its Distaff Counterpart Harvest Moon DS Cute, which can only be found by befriending or partially wooing Flora (regardless of whether or not you intend to marry her), since finding it is one of her Heart Events. The problem? If Flora marries her partner Carter, you're locked out of the event forever. In the girl version, it's based on Friendship instead of Affection, but you're still locked out of the Hot Springs-discovering event if Flora or you marries Carter, for seemingly arbitrary reasons. What do you miss if you don't get the Hot Springs? A different Hot Spring in another area of town, a shippable item (the Spa-Boiled Egg), and a huge chunk of Harvest Sprites, making 100% Completion of the Harvest Sprite teams impossible. On top of it all? The whole thing is a Guide Dang It.
- Animal Crossing:
- In City Folk for the Wii, Katie and Kaitlin were characters that only appeared for an online side-quest. Now that the Wii's internet servers have been shut down, they are no longer be able to support these segments.
- Shampoodle could only be unlocked through online play in Wild World. The Nintendo DS' online capabilities have since been shut down.
- Flight Rising has its exaltation mechanic, where a user can permanently remove a dragon from the game (replacing its page with the dragon's image, lineage, and a generic message about how the dragon is now serving the exalting user's deity) in exchange for some treasure (rarely gems, the site's premium currency, as well) and points towards that week's dominance standings. The mechanic is necessary to keep the dragon population in check, but it can still cause a stir among people who associate exaltation with killing, despite the lore saying otherwise. While most exalts are replaceable, dragons with low IDs (6 digits or fewer) or with interesting ID numbers are both extremely sought-after and can't be replaced once they've been exalted. There's also a person's progenitors (the dragon that users create when they start the game and the random dragon that joins them immediately after), which are not only irreplaceable due to them being account-locked, but don't provide treasure or dominance points when you exalt them.
- In Hometown Story, Sunny the tailor at some point gives you an outfit and suggests that you wear it on a date. You will register of having done this if a bachelor asks you out while you are wearing the outfit and you accept. That will trigger a cutscene if you visit Sunny later on, in which she's pleased you wore it but suggests you to choose your own outfit next time. However, it's possible to go on all dating events before you even get the outfit, thus eliminting the possibility of seeing the cutscene.
Stealth Based Game
- The Metal Gear series often averts this. For instance, if the player misses the SOCOM pistol at the start of MGS1, he will have one sitting in front of him during the first major firefight. In MGS3, if the player fails to locate the Night-Vision Goggles in the cavern, EVA will simply hand him a set in a later cutscene, etc.
- There are still some items that can be Lost Forever, particularly optional items, if they are not picked up as soon as they are available. Examples include the torch from MGS3 (find in the cave before The Pain boss battle or never again) and AKS-74u silencer in MGS2. Neither are overly necessary and both actually require more effort than just leaving them, but for 100% completion...
- Metal Gear Solid The Twin Snakes has a silenced, tranquilizer-shooting M9. On nearly all difficulty levels, it's hidden somewhere in the Cave area. The cargo elevator at the back of the Cave is a one-way trip.
- In Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions, if the player completes all the training missions, the game will show a concept artwork of Metal Gear RAY from the then-upcoming Metal Gear Solid 2. However, there's no way to view picture again once the data has been saved.
- During the post-game of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, there is a mission titled A Quiet Exit, which means exactly what you think it means. Upon completion, Quiet can no longer be selected as a buddy for missions. What's worse is that she goes missing upon completing the previous mission, so even if you've heard that Quiet leaves, you'll have to hold off on two missions if you want to keep her around. The game itself can last for over 100 hours if you're going for full completion, so starting over is less than desirable. There's a patch that requires the player to complete the sniper duel with Quiet 7 times in order to permanently get her back.
- In Yandere Simulator, you can only join a club once in a single playthrough. If you quit or are expelled from the club, you will not be able to join it and reap its benefits again. Clubs can also be shut down if too many of its members, or its leader, die.
- The Fatal Frame games contain quite a few ghosts that only appear once, for a very short period of time, and are often very difficult to capture on film unless you know exactly where and when they will appear and have a lightning-fast shutter finger.
- In the Mario fangame Mario The Music Box, certain areas will be blocked off for good after a certain point in the story, meaning you lose out on journal entries associated with the area or things you learn from them. This becomes problematic in that some rooms are not accessable all of the time and some are even forgotten or passed by because the player needs all journal entries to see the True Ending. If you saved at a certain point, then your only hope of getting the True Ending is to start all over from the beginning.
- Rule of Rose is episodic in nature and as such anything you don't pick up during the current chapter/month you're playing becomes lost forever. This becomes particularly aggravating since many items are part of bigger Chain of Deals that can be easily broken. And then there's that part of the game where the player can choose to play the following three months in any order, yet if you play them in any order but one in particular, the Infinity+1 Sword becomes lost forever.
- Lots of stuff you can cook through alchemy in Haunting Ground can be lost forever if you don't luck out during the alchemy sections.
- In Silent Hill, there are many points of no return that can render items and weapons missable, for example, during the fight with the Twinfeeler (caterpillar, which later becomes a moth) boss, there is a rifle (may be required for the Final Boss) in one of the corners of the fighting arena. If you didn't happen to notice it and pick it up, it will never be available again. Similarly, there is a sledgehammer in the Nightmare Hospital boiler room, which will be Lost Forever once you go back to the "normal" world. And God help you if you passed a Point of No Return without enough ammo or health to fight the upcoming boss.
- The first game will actually reward you for entering the final boss fight with no ammo.
- And if you didn't get the red liquid in the bottle in the hospital, kiss Cybil and the Good+ ending goodbye. If you didn't unlock the motorcycle gas tank in the motel before you traversed the Point of No Return into the nightmare resort area, say goodbye to the Good ending too.
- In Silent Hill 2: There's a pipe in the hood of a car at the gas station, and if you're rushing around a lot or don't know to pull it out, you can easily hop down the hole in the Silent Hill Historical Society and be stuck with nothing to smash a hole in the bricks with except for your piddly wooden plank, which takes a looooong time to do the job.
- Silent Hill 3: if you missed the stungun in Heather's apartment or the submachine gun in the hospital basement, ya missed 'em for good.
- Silent Hill 4 completely averts this by supplying halfway into the game the 'Ever Downward' spiral staircase, which vertically connects all levels in the game, allowing for all the backtracking it takes to retrieve missing items such as the Swords of Obedience and all two Silver Bullets.
- In Resident Evil – Code: Veronica there's a section of the building that is initially only accessible through a functioning metal detector gate which essentially puts the area on lockdown if you don't get rid of any metal items from your inventory. Fortunately there's a sort of baggage check compartment built in. This container is not connected to the other chests throughout the game. Remember to take everything out when you're done with that part, because "leaving town" doesn't begin to cover it. Of surprising significance: an empty fire extinguisher.
- Near the end of Code Veronica, Claire becomes playable until you encounter Steve for the last time. Whatever items or weapons she's carrying will be lost forever when you switch back to Chris near the end of the game.
- In Resident Evil 2, any optional item before the Laboratory is missable, such as the Sparkshot (Claire) and Shotgun Parts (Leon), which are found on a corpse in an easily-missed dead end, the Weapon Box Key found by lighting an easily-ignored flare gun (with the Lighter that Claire doesn't automatically carrynote ), and finally, the Sidepack and Submachine Gun (which you either find in the Weapons Room, or the Culture Experiment Room that you have to unlock with both characters).
- Resident Evil Outbreak had an online mode hosted on Capcom servers. Because the game was a commercial flop, Capcom closed the servers and much of the game's features are Lost Forever. Fans later recreated a private server that would host online play for both Outbreak games. But, this only works for the Japanese version.
- Resident Evil 4 features missable treasures in various parts of the game. While any treasure becomes lost forever if you move on to the next section of the game, the combine-able treasures (beer stein, crown, and golden lynx) in particular are likely to be missed as well as their smaller parts. While this doesn't make the game Unwinnable it does prevent you from making lots of money and thus delaying your weapons progression.
- Resident Evil 5 averts this by allowing the player to select any chapter for replay, which is fortunate considering how difficult it can be to shoot all 30 BSAA Emblems. One of them cannot even be seen except for a second during a cutscene!
- Eternal Darkness had runes et cetera that would not be necessary in one level, but would be needed in another, the Lost Forever rune made the game Unwinnable. Most notably, the game has three different colors of magick - red, green and blue, which beat each other in a Rock-Paper-Scissors cycle. There actually is a purple magick color, the rune of which can very easily be Lost Forever, and any purple magick defeats any other color.
- Deadly Premonition mostly averts this. Many of its sidequests and collectible items appear and disappear throughout the games at important plot points. However, the game allows you to replay any chapter you've beaten, with its sidequests once more available. Some sidequests are even considered easier to finish this way than during a normal playthrough (in particular, Emily's cooking sidequests). However, if you initiate "A Snack for Willie" with anything less than all seven bones already in your inventory, your prize at the end of the sidequest is a generic regular item instead of an infinite-ammo .357 magnum. The quest stays completed even if you revert to an earlier chapter, so there is no second chance once you save, and the game never gives you any indication you messed up.
Turn Based Strategy
- In Final Fantasy Tactics Advance the morpher class requires captured monsters to learn skills from. The goblin and thunder drake monsters become Lost Forever if not captured early on as they only appear in non-random storyline missions and so become "extinct" after those missions are completed.
- Doesn't help that they're two Lost Forevers in one - not only do they need to be captured so that Morphers can become them, but they also teach Blue Mage abilities - and they can't be learned from Morphers.
- Thanks to the limit of holding only 64 mission items, it is possible to keep throwing away extra mission items when you are full (most of them you can get again and again) and wind up accidentally tossing away an item that cannot be obtained again. What's that? Two missions need Black Thread and you tossed one of the two away? Can't complete all 300 missions and can't recruit Cid. Oops!
- Thanks to enemy thieves, mog knights, and snipers, you could potentially lose some of your exclusive equipment forever due to it being broken or stolen. The purple turtle enemies also had the ability to break your equipment by eating it.
- Final Fantasy Tactics generally averts this trope, since many unique weapons and items that appear early on in the game can be acquired later through poaching, or by catching thrown items. However, there are items that can only be obtained by having a character with the Move-Find item skill land on a certain space. Depending on your character's Bravery level you may either find a rare item or a common item. Since an item can only be searched for once, finding the wrong item in battle may result in the item becoming lost forever. Also, since some maps can not be revisited, you may have the chance to miss the item altogether.
- One of these in particular is a Guide Dang It. The Escutheon II is a super version of the first shield you can purchase. However, in addition to only being available on one map, on top of a pillar which can only be accessed in a particular manner. The character with Move-Find Item, must have a sufficiently high jump stat, and bounce off of a large creature, such as one of the cats or a dragon.
- One of the most insidious Lost Forever items is the Snakish sword in Phantom Brave. It can only be accessed once: during the tutorial. And, thanks to the game system, you can't just pick it up and leave with it. You have to confine a spirit to it and wait until the spirit is removed from the board, and even then you're not guaranteed to get it. There is a more sure-fire way to get it, but it's by getting a hidden character, and the opportunity to get that character is all but impossible after that section, making that a Lost Forever too.
- In every game of the Suikoden series, while most of the 108 recruitable characters either join automatically over the course of the story or can be recruited at any time, some have limited windows of opportunity, after which they're Lost Forever. Since recruiting all of them is required to get the best ending, and on top of that these characters tend to be very easy to miss, the result is the definition of a Guide Dang It situation.
- One particular example in Suikoden II is the Clive subquest. He's chasing after a woman. Easy enough, let's help him out. If your total play time is too high, then he loses the trail and will never find it again, giving him the "bad" ending for his character (he chases her for the rest of his life). The problem with this is two fold: first, there's no indication that this will happen at any point, meaning if you lose the trail, you'll have no idea why without a guide. Second, in order to fully complete his quest, you have to reach the last possible village in the game (which is, itself, optional) in less than twenty hours play time (not the easiest accomplishment even if you know from the start to try for it). For most gamers without a specific guide for recruiting characters and level building, this is all but impossible. Thus, most players either don't bother with Clive's subquest (as it's immaterial to whether you get the best ending for the game as a whole), or they cheat.
- The same thing is true of the old Genesis Shining Force games, including one character that you have to speak to over several acts, who never says anything back. However, these characters are not necessary for the overall story or endings, but the characters you could prospectively lose include Joke Character, a defied examplle of Squishy Wizard, the game's best Tank and the two best characters in the game, who are difficult to find without the help of a strategy guide
- Another batch of potential things to Lose Forever was introduced in the GBA remake...cards. Some cards are tucked away in inconspicuous places; Anri's is in a bookcase, and most bookcases in the game simply call up useless flavor text when examined. Others, however, are nicknamed "Friendship Cards" in that you have to build rapport with certain party members to get them. How do you build this rapport? Simple: bring the character in question with you into battle and make sure they never get KO'd; this unlocks more and more of their monologues in headquarters between missions, and eventually they say something to the effect of "take this; we're friends" and reward you with their card.
- Certain enemies have to be finished off by certain characters. A particularly Egregrious example is Balzack, who has to be defeated by a knight named Earnest (who, it should be noted, you just recieved prior to the Balzack battle. Granted, this makes sense, since Earnest exists to Wangst over his beef with Balzack; on the other hand, the mission immediately before that asks you to eliminate a random Hellhound with Guntz.
- Several of the best (or coolest) characters (and one Joke Character) could be missed without ever being seen if you took the direct route over the scenic route. These included the Ninja, Samurai, magic-wielding centaur, healer/monk, mutant egg creature, and a hamster.
- In Advance Wars 2 and Advance Wars Dual Strike, certain levels have cities that, when captured, unlock a bonus mission. If you clear said certain levels without capturing said certain cities, the bonus mission - and the prize for completing it - is Lost Forever...until your next playthrough at least. While the game hints at which levels have these cities, you don't know which city out of several is the one you need to capture. Although...it's up to the player whether or not the prize for completing the bonus missions (The ability to deploy Neotanks) is actually worth the work.
- Fire Emblem:
- Since you cannot replay missions in the series, this goes for everything and almost everyone that is not automatically given to you. Often in ways of Guide Dang It. Watch out for items hidden in deserts or for chests in stages with enemy thieves.
- Other and Partner units can kill enemies that drop items like keys, weapons, or even skill scrolls. Instead of going to you, the items are simply gone.
- In Genealogy of the Holy War, not pairing up the 'right' people in the first half of the game can result in certain weapons becoming unusable or downright lost.
- There are only three characters over the course of the series (read: Twelve Games!) whom you have more than one chance to recruit. You have two chances each to recruit Amelia in Sacred Stones and Percival from Sealed Sword. Cath/Cass from Sealed Sword will appear in every indoors map until you recruit her, but Roy must talk to her over three chapters for that to happen.
- In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, you only get the second chance at Amelia on Eirika's route, and only if you didn't kill her on the first attempt. If you are playing Ephraim's route and fail to recruit her or kill her the first time she appears on Eirika's route, you lose all chances at recruiting her.
- In Fire Emblem Awakening:
- Children characters (except Lucina) are recruited through Paralogues. In order to unlock them, you must get the mothers married, but because Sumia has very few potential husbands (Chrom, Male Avatar, Frederick, Gaius and Henry), it's easy to miss out on Cynthia.
- A bunch of characters are only optional recruitments, and in several cases, it's possible to accidentally kill them instead of recruiting them. Still others have certain requirements that must be fulfilled in their respective recruitment chapters before they join the main party.
- Fire Emblem Fates also has a couple of instances of child characters becoming Lost Forever.
- First, if playing as a male Corrin and marrying anyone besides Flora, Reina, or Scarlet, one of the other men will lose out on a potential wife, and therefore their child will not be available.
- There's one odd instance of this potentially happening even if the father is married. In Birthright Chapter 15, Kaze can suffer a Plotline Death if he does not have at least an A-Support with Corrin, and his child will be rendered lost if this happens.
- And, finally, should you go for either of the bi options for Corrin, you'll lose Kana (regardless) and possibly Nina (if a male Corrin marries Niles).
- They pop up on occasion in Battle for Wesnoth. Capturing certain villages or visiting certain areas in campaign mode will give you free units which usually have no upkeep cost. These can be very useful in some campaigns. On a couple of occasions (the three Heavy Infantry and Burin from the Rise of Wesnoth), missing them renders the whole campaign basically Unwinnable.
- In both versions of Yggdra Union, every item save for starting equipment is missable. Everything requires you to have done a lot of searching and hope that you can find something before you run out of turns. To top it off certain items can only be acquired through various means. Many items require you to have fought and killed them with higher luck, others require you to steal it (your luck should not be high enough to force a drop), others still require you to have done something in previous maps and the oh so impossible to find Fanelia weapon which requires you to have acquired the Hyper drill by collecting 7 hard to find duds (and in the process missing out on certain equipment in the old game unless you saved and reloaded) and stepped on a space 3 times to having to kill an enemy with a specific card ability. And in order to even equip Hyper drill(a requirement to get fanelia), Durant must be at the max level in the game(not an easy thing to do)
- Star Control 2 is full of these. One of the most effective ships in the game is piloted by a race of abject cowards and if you fail to get a supply of them immediately when able, they all disappear under a force shield. Unfortunate and irreversible stuff keeps happening as time goes by and ultimately, if you don't get things done, the Kohr-Ah will genocide every sentient race in the game one by one.
- Some of the dungeons in Eternal Eyes cannot be accessed after you defeat their respective bosses. While in some cases this doesn't seem so bad, some of those dungeons contain randomly dropped equipment that you might want. In particular, Villee Fort (which gets replaced in the tenth and final chapter) has the excellent Ninja Suit in it, which is one of the few equipment that can increase your Movement Points and let you travel farther.
- Super Robot Wars loves this trope. Every secret in the game is missable, and you aren't ever really told about them... however, most of them are logical and there aren't a lot of variations on how to get secrets, so it usually becomes a matter of trial and error. Also, in the games with Skill Points, it generally becomes a matter of having really high or really low Skill Points.
- In Super Robot Wars Alpha Gaiden, fans had to choose between keeping Getter Robo G or Shin Getter Robo once Shin Getter appeared (In Alpha, Mazinger Z was like this instead, but in that case keeping the original is harder than getting the upgrade - of course, with the power up Powered Mazinger Z gets, you won't WANT to upgrade), Impact forced you to choose between Shin Getter Robo and normal Weissritter with the Rampage Ghost or Getter Robo G and Rein Weissritter (it was also possible to get NEITHER of them) and in Compact 3, you either got Getter G and Kouchi Oni early or Shin Getter and Tekkoki Oni later.
- In Warhammer 40,000: Rites of War, it is possible to find valuable artifacts or other war-gear on the various scenario maps of the campaign. But if you complete a scenario without first finding all the available wargear (and there are scenarios where, given the limited number of turns you have to finish, you simply will not be able to look everywhere), that artifact or piece of gear is Lost Forever.
- In Valkyria Chronicles, you can get special weapons by killing enemy aces. Each ace only appears in one specific battle, and some of them don't even do anything to draw attention to the fact that they're there at all (The first one in the game is in an alley on the opposite corner of the battlefield from most of the playable units, and stays there the entire battle, making it highly unlikely that a player who doesn't know to look for him will find him, since he appears in a defensive battle). Since plot-related battles cannot be replayed until New Game+, it is easy for them (And their special equipment) to be Lost Forever.
- After you beat Yu-Gi-Oh! Monster Capsule GB, you can't fight Weevil, Bonz, or Mako again, or go into the RPG Worlds. It's also possible to skip rescuing Yugi's friends, rendering them unavailable as figurines.
Turn Based Tactics
- In X-COM:
- The plasma (sniper) rifle, one of the most devastating weapons if put in the right hands, quits spawning around April or so. If you haven't cannibalized and manufactured your own plasma rifles by then, you're up a creek. Your troops will be stuck with the inaccurate laser sniper rifle.
- Terror from the Deep: The Sonic Pistol is phased out by the aliens after a few months. This can screw you over if a) none actually ever spawned during that time, or b) you sold all the ones that did because you didn't know about it. Researching the Sonic Pistol is tremendously important, because it's both the best assault weapon in the game, and a required prerequisite for the Sonic Oscillator, the best craft weapon. It is possible to win without these, so it isn't unwinnable, but it's a lot harder.
- This game also has a couple of research tree bugs:
- These two items, the MC Reader and the Sub Construction store item, are special in that they will only become available for research if and only if a sample is available in your general stores before completing research for their prerequisite technologies.
- Live Deep One, which should only be researched after you have met the other prerequisites for Ion Armour. Without Armours you won't get to research advanced subs; without advanced subs you can't reach T'leth and defeat the aliens once and for all.
- in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, it's possible to miss the plasma pistol research if playing without the Enemy Within expansion. The plasma pistol is carried only by Sectoids, both types of which are phased out of regular missions after a certain point (they DO have an extremely low chance of still showing up late-game, but only once in a blue moon). If there are no story missions to give you a shot at capturing them, then the only guaranteed chance is in the finale, which is too late to actually put them to use. With Enemy Within, however, Mechtoids continue to show up consistently through the whole game, and are always accompanied by regular, plasma pistol-bearing sectoids or sectoid commanders, whom all drop Plasma Pistols; the best sidearm for your high-rank Snipers.
- In Odium, combats and exploration are done on separate maps. Sometimes, combat maps contain a crate with goodies or two. If you do not open and empty a crate before killing all the enemies, everything you failed to grab will be Lost Forever.
- Cecille from Luminous Arc has a particularly plot-relevant Class Change that resets her Relationship Values and opens up a new set of related conversations. Any items you didn't get from raising her Relationship Values before her class change are Lost Forever, along with the special CG for maxing them. Really forever, since her class change is retained going into the New Game+. The items can be acquired by other means, but the CG can't. Also, any equipment she has on when she leaves will also be lost; when she comes back with her new class, it'll have been replaced with other things.
- In Fate/hollow ataraxia if you don't see some of the filler scenes before moving to the plot scenes, they're no longer available. And if you don't get 100% completion you can't unlock a bonus scene.
Wide Open Sandbox
- Entire missions in the original Grand Theft Auto (and its GTA: London expansion packs) are Lost Forever if you fail them. When the jobs you're offered start getting... challenging (think assassination attempts on politicians protected by machinegun-wielding bodyguards), let's just say it's a good thing that level completion is tied to your bank account, not storyline missions.
- In Grand Theft Auto III:
- It's incredibly difficult to complete the police vehicle missions once you leave Portland because all the members of the Mafia that eventually betrayed the protagonist shoot at your vehicle, usually destroying it in a matter of seconds. Since those missions are required for 100% Completion, this screwed many gamers who decided to procrastinate on doing them.
- Missions where you work for Kenji can be lost forever, if you don't complete them before doing a mission for Donald Love where you kill Kenji to start a gang war. However, players surprised that killing somebody makes it impossible to get missions from them should consider the possibility that they've been playing too much Grand Theft Auto III. Same with the entire Leone family; any missions from them that are still hanging around after you off Salvatore are gone for good.
- There was a bug in the PC version that made 100% completion impossible forever on any new games you save. There is a mission on Shoreside Vale where you have to do a drive by on X amount of enemies. If you had completed all the missions for the guy at the phone and attempt to do this particular mission in a new game after saving, the enemies NEVER spawn!
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City has a katana hidden in a cafe that is blown up as part of a mission, rendering it inaccessible for the rest of the game. The player can't even cheat to get it after this happens; if a trainer or similar cheat is used to walk through the rubble, they will simply fall through it, as the interior is no longer solid.
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has several vehicles that can only be obtained in the main missions, such as a Volkswagen bus with a retro hippy paintjob, an armored car, and several modified cars, or cars with vanity license plates. This creates the odd situation where the game plans for you to lose these vehicles forever — the only way to hold onto them id often to park them in a garage, then fail the mission and restart it.
- Grand Theft Auto IV has what can only be a very intentional variation of the above and for once an interesting twist: there are certain missions where you are presented a choice of whether or not to kill someone. The game is even nice enough to tell you that "your choice has consequences for the future." What it doesn't tell you is that the person whose life you're playing with also has missions for you to do should you choose to spare them; if you choose to kill them, well, that means no extra side-mission for you (and that you're a cold, cold bastard).
- Grand Theft Auto V:
- There is an optional Random Event that is unlocked by bringing four people in certain other Random Events to the Altruist Cult's fortress as Trevor. If you play the applicable Random Events as Michael or Franklin, or you haven't brought the required amount by the time you've played through them all as Trevor, then this mission becomes permanently inaccessible.note
- A more insidious example happens if Packie McReary gets killed in his Random Event. Seeing as how he's a Disc One Nuke when it comes to heists, you'll want to avoid this by any means possible.
- There's also player characters. Ending the game with the "Kill Michael" or "Kill Trevor" missions renders them and their assets permanently unavailable in the postgame. This doesn't intentionally lock you out of 100% Completion, but the knock-on effects make it very difficult and any content exclusive to that character is gone for good.
- Inverted in Bully. Chapter 1 features "The Big Prank" side mission, available only during Halloween night. Unlike every other mission in the game, this one's gone for good if you don't do it the minute it shows up (ie. sleep during Halloween). Luckily, it doesn't count for 100% Completion. Also, the game literally texts the uniqueness of the mission and leaves very little margin for the player to miss it.
- In Minecraft, killing the Ender Dragon nets you a lot of experience and the purely decorative Dragon Egg. It can only be collected in a certain and rather tricky way, and if accidentally touched it will teleport in a spot at random, potentially falling off the floating terrain the fight took place on and being destroyed by the Void. You can't fight the Ender Dragon again. Many guides stress the role of renewable resources, as while it's possible to expand one's range of exploration to find more non-renewable resources, they will eventually run out if the player stays in the same zone.
- No More Heroes. The collectible cards scattered around in each of the ranking matches are Lost Forever once you finish that level. The first time through is not a problem, since they're just trading cards of fake Mexican wrestlers, but in New Game+, you lose concept art of the assassin from the current stage, so there's no chance for 100% Completion. Of course, you can always just start another New Game+.
- In The Godfather: The Game there are Thief Bags with cash in every mission that will disappear after the mission is over. Fortunately, it's just cash, which you can easily earn elsewhere.
- Some ships in the X-Universe series can only be obtained at certain points, and are impossible to get afterwards without cheating, such as the #DECA CPU ship.
- Thanks to THQ going bankrupt in 2013, it is now impossible to earn the "Jumped In" achievement (share a character you created online) for Saints Row: The Third due to the servers that hosted the community content going offline. You also can't earn "Saintified" in Saints Row IV for the same reason—the "My Steelport" system was broken in late 2014 and shows no sign of ever coming back up, so there's no uploading or sharing characters.
- Just Cause 2 has the MV Command vehicle, which is only guaranteed to spawn in one main mission. If you don't ride it there, your only other chance is one of the faction missions, but it is not a guarantee. Miss out on it, and you're locked out of the achievement unlocked by driving every vehicle at least once.
- WarioWare D.I.Y.'s medals for entering a contest. Since the game no longer holds said contests though they're gone. Same goes for the games that won these unless you had them.
- Any achievement or unlockable tied to online play. If the servers are turned off, then say goodbye to 100% completion!
- Some pre-order bonuses or crowdfunding rewards may no longer be available once the game starts.
- Exclusive game items from purchasing some other good or service, until the offer is no longer available.
- The most salient point critics of the download-only Playstation Portable Go raised about its lack of a UMD drive was what owners were supposed to do about games that for whatever reason were no longer listed on the Playstation Store. The answer, obviously, is that they're screwed as far as getting a legit copy is concerned; these games can still be had with an unauthorized firmware update and quick internet search, but there's no way to obtain copies by legally paying for them anymore.
- Social and mobile games use this trope to entice players to quest for a limited event item or spend cash to obtain the item. The event offering the item may last a few days or less than a week. Hope a later event offers the item again or it's artificially increasing scarcity of something with unlimited supply in a cheap ploy to extract money with the threat of it being Lost Forever.
- Mafia Wars has achievements that cannot be completed and items that cannot be gotten, including a 7-11 promotion, and promotions from games the developer has since discontinued: Café World, FishVille, Treasure Isle, Mafia Wars 2, Mafia Wars Shakedown, CastleVille, Hidden Chronicles, Bubble Safari, The Ville, ChefVille, CityVille2, CoasterVille, Hidden Shadows — all involved in a MafiaWars promotion before being discontinued, and then there's the rest of Zynga's discontinued games. Here's hoping you didn't pay actual money for virtual items in a game that's Lost Forever.
- Smite has Limited Edition skins, which are only available for a limited period of time, and once obtaining them is disabled they can no longer be obtained through conventional means.
Non-video game examples:
- Parodied with the Blacker Lotus from Magic: The Gathering Unhinged, which has a cost to activate its ability of "Tear Blacker Lotus into pieces". It also says to exile the pieces afterward, showing a lot of forethought for a card in a joke set that is never tournament legal.
- Quite a number of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards are only released as short print in some areas. Usually these are magazine promos for the likes of Shonen Jump, which just went all digital and means its last few promos got even less time to saturate. If you're in the US, good luck getting Slifer, Obelisk, or Ra without forking out some serious cash.
- Y: The Last Man: Done via Continuity Nod. During the One Small Step arc, Escape Artist main character Yorick is stuck in unpickable handcuffs designed by Mossad of Israel's Secret Service. A couple of arcs later, we see a flashback of a magic store owner offering him the only skeleton key that works on those cuffs. Yorick must have been kicking himself.
Choose Your Own Adventure-type books
- Fighting Fantasy could be particularly bad about this. In "Black Vein Prophecy" and "Creature of Havoc", you could miss useful items or powers on a dice roll. ("Black Vein Prophecy" was particularly grim, since the dice roll in question was failing a Luck Stat roll.)
- In the Lone Wolf books:
- The Sommersword is the best weapon in the entire series and has many important plot-points tied to it. If you skip book 2, you'll never get it.
- The same thing goes for the Dagger of Vashna from Book 4, which is lost forever automatically in Book 16 anyway. Likewise for the evil sword Helshezag in book 12.
- The Silver Helmet, which can be missed in Book 3, grants +2 combat skill and (unlike many similar items) can be kept for the entire series. If you miss it in book 3, or skip that book, you'll never get it.
- Similarly, the Jewelled Mace, Bronin Warhammer, and Silver Bow of Duadon are all unique weapons that grant constant or situational advantages in later books, all of which you only have one opportunity to find. On top of this, the Silver Bow and Bronin Warhammer are on mutually-exclusive paths, and the contest you need to win to get the Silver Bow is nearly unwinnable if you are anything but completely perfect at archery competitions.
- Dungeons & Dragons adventure WG6 Isle of the Ape. Near the end of the module six jewels worth a total of 300,000 gold pieces float to the ground. If the party doesn't pick them up within one round (1 minute) they vanish forever.
- Official Pathfinder Society play limits players to a small list of core races for characters, though participating in events may earn the players "boons" which allow them to play certain non-standard races. However, only players at a small number of events in 2014 were offered the boon to play as a goblin. Of the boons distributed, all have since been put to use, and the overwhelming majority of goblin player characters have since been slain. Barring another official event offering the same boon, players are no longer able to make history with goblins.
- The social photo sharing app Snapchat uses this as one of its main gimmicks. When you receive an image from another user and then open it, you can only view the image for how long the sender specifies, up to 10 seconds, and then the image is deleted from your device. Taking a screenshot notifies the sender. If the sender permits, the image can be "replayed"—that is, viewed again, but only once a day. However, Snapchat also has Stories, the images of which are viewable by all users on the poster's friend list for 24 hours each.
- The franchise in itself is set in a fictional MMORPG that regularly gets updates over the course of the story. The novel and comic version have mentioned ephemeral quests that are only available for a limited time before or after a given update and secret quests whose outcome affects the game's plot and apparently can't be repeated.
- Noob: La Quête légendaire reveals that this is the case for the beginning of the questline to learn forbidden spells. The player needs to Hold the Line in a Multi-Mook Melee without getting any kind of assisstance. If the player fails, the forbidden spell master won't give them a second chance.