Keep goin'. We'll hold out for Ultimate Fucking Pussy Mode.You've been playing this video game for the past three hours. Your controller has been smashed against the floor several times. Your screams of rage have caused your neighbors to seriously question your sanity. At last, your enemy lies broken before you, and the first level of your Nintendo Hard game is finished. What is your reward? "Easy Mode Unlocked!" In most games, you have to unlock the hardest difficulties. But in certain, usually modern Nintendo Hard games, you actually have to unlock the easy mode. All you usually need to do is die repeatedly until the game will decide to let up on you. See also Rubber Band A.I., Nintendo Hard, Anti-Frustration Features. Contrast Harder Than Hard. Expect heavy Easy-Mode Mockery. When it's applied dynamically to multiplayer, it's a Comeback Mechanic. Subtrope of Dynamic Difficulty.
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- In Enter the Matrix, if you die in the fight in the Dojo, the game skips to around the second to last level.
- Ecco II: Tides of Time had three difficulty levels. Easy, Hard, and a middle level that initially started you off at Hard, but booted you off to Easy if you died a lot (which you usually did), then sent you back to Hard if you did well enough. Given that Easy mode skips a couple stages here and there, beating the entire game on this level is the hardest feat in the game.
- In Alundra, there's a sword that can one shot any monster in the game and make short work of bosses. How do you get it? By dying so often that the spirit of its previous wielder pities you so much that he gives it to you.
- The Simpsons: Hit & Run let you skip a mission after about five failed attempts. However, you can't skip the final mission, which just happens to be the most difficult and frustrating mission in the game.
- Ninja Gaiden Black: A particularly brutal version of this trope, given that there's a cutscene insulting you, you're forced to wear a girly purple ribbon, and it's actually called "ninja dog" mode.
- The Devil May Cry series:
- The most notable game would be the third one. For some reason, Capcom made Hard mode for the Japanese version into Normal mode for the North American and European versions, leading many to criticize the game for its difficulty. Things were so bad that Capcom had to release a second version of the game with rebalanced difficulty. To understand how bad it was, see this Penny Arcade comic.
- The God of War series will give you the choice to play on Easy Mode, which makes combat easier, if you die at the same area more than three times in a row. The problem, of course, is the time you're most likely to die repeatedly is when you're forced to traverse over spinning, chainsaw-edged balance beams, which the Easy Mode has no effect on whatsoever. And in some cases, the only noticeable effect will be to make you die slightly less.
- Triggering Easy Mode gives a trophy in the PS3 re-release.
- Another example from II: By obtaining hidden items called Urns, you could unlock different abilities, like Infinite Mana, Infinite Rage of The Titans, and costumes that enhance different stats (or, if you could beat God difficulty, all of them)... but only for the same difficulty or lower. Of course, if you were capable of beating the game without these enhancements on that difficulty in the first place, you wouldn't need them, which makes each costume a Bragging Rights Reward.
- The Matrix: Path of Neo opens with a dream sequence battle. It's incredibly difficult to survive the whole thing, but if you die really early, the game offers you Easy Mode.
- LEGO Indiana Jones does this during the famous boulder escape in the first level of Raiders of the Lost Ark. If the boulder catches up to you, you have to restart the chase. Take too many tries and the game skips it, showing a different version of the next cutscene where Indy and his partner are stuck to the boulder, then dumped out of the cave when it hits the opening.
- In Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude, if you lose a mini-game three times, you'll be given the Easy Mode option. If you still lose three more times, you'll be given the option to "wimp out" of the mini-game. Although wimping out costs in-game currency, so they're not letting you away completely scot-free.
Beat Em Up
- Spikeout: Battle Street for the Xbox initially offers no difficulty settings. Die three times on any level and it'll offer you the Easy mode. Thing is, though, this doesn't carry over if the system is reset - so you have to kill yourself three times every time you boot up the game if you do want to play in Easy mode.
- Grabbed by the Ghoulies has an option called "Butler's Brew" hidden in the back-sections of the various menus. It will, after multiple player deaths in a single room, offer assistance to the player. As the game puts it though, "this is only intended for younger players or those who are rubbish at games!"
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour, losing too many duels increases the chance of meeting Mokuba, one of the weakest opponents in the game.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2004, losing a certain number of duels in a row is the only way to unlock Mokuba... who you can't lose to unless you're really trying.
- The item selection algorithm in the Mario Kart series works like this. If you're in first place, expect nothing useful. If you're in 8th/12th, the game will give you everything short of a instant-win button.
- Since it is still randomly chosen (albeit the chances have changed), it is quite possible (and very interesting) to get a Blue Shell just as you're about to pass the leader...
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl will hand out "pity Final Smashes" to players who are losing quite badly.
- Even if the items are turned off, this can still kick in, making a planned-out long match go sour.
- Not a big deal in shorter matches, though, due to the conditions required. Basically, a player has to die three consecutive times without KO'ing anyone else. KO'ing includes finishing off weakened opponents as well.
- In Classic Mode of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U, the difficulty will lower by 0.5 each time you continue after losing a fight. This can be frustrating if you're trying to go for achievements where you need to beat Classic Mode on a certain difficulty or higher.
- Despite being the trope makers for SNK Bosses, a lot of SNK fighters actually offer you some sort of a handicap vs. the unrelenting AI when you choose to use a continue. These include giving you maxed out or infinite super meters, dropping the enemy's health to 1/3rd of the normal, or making them unable to block your attacks, amongst other things.
- Dying enough during Story boss fights in Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 (some of which — including the final boss — is one long Sequential Boss) will give you the option to retry the last checkpoint from full health at a major hit to your score for the battle.
First Person Shooter
- In Brothers in Arms, your current health is saved whenever you reach a checkpoint. As there is no way to do healing, you can end up with a savegame that makes it nigh impossible to finish the mission. Fortunately, if you fail to reach the next checkpoint (or finish the mission) several times, the game will offer to heal and rearm you, giving you a fighting chance as you continue from the same location. This greatly reduces the difficulty, as it sort of "bypasses" the need for watching your health and ammo. Of course, the game is usually quite difficult, and it also has separate low-difficulty modes which you can select freely anyway.
- Drift City makes each mission slightly easier after you fail it. Make sure you don't crash once? Now it's make sure you don't crash two times. Or three. Etc. Same with time-based missions - the amount of time you have to complete it increases by a few seconds with each failure.
- In Cyber Nations, the penalties you get for being in Peace Mode (in which nations cannot declare war on you or vice versa) don't apply to you for the first several days. Afterwards, however, your daily income and population happiness will start to suffer in if you stay in Peace Mode, with the penalties getting greater with each day as a peaceful nation. It also cuts you off of much of the game economy, as you can no longer send cash or technology to other nations.
- The Wild Hunt dungeon in Warhammer Online has a puzzle section that involves three pairs of players standing next to an engraved monolith and having their partner standing on a symbol that matches. If you fail, an increasingly powerful bolt of lighting strikes all players. If you spend five minutes without either solving the puzzle or dying (or, in the case of taking a 5-man team, simply being unable to complete the section) the boss of the dungeon take pity on you and mockingly sends giant eagles to carry you to the next area.
- Final Fantasy XIV has the Echo, a status buff that increases your attack power, healing potency, and maximum HP. The Echo is granted to you if you fail certain main story and class/job quests several times and the Echo's potency increases should you keep failing. The buff also applies to some of the old content that requires a group of players so that they can catch up and not fall behind everyone else in progression. If you still seek a challenge to clear the content without the extra help, you can disable the buff.
- World of Warcraft with the creation of the Looking for Raid difficulty setting, intended for players with lower skill or time than normal raids required, also introduced the Determination buff, raising each raiding party member's damage, health, and healing by 5% every time the group completely fell to a boss. In rare cases, this can lead to interesting situations.
- Dokapon Kingdom has its Darkling class: if a player is losing for long enough, they'll get a little bat flying over their head, and if they visit a particular space while the bat is present, they can choose to be transformed into a Darkling. This class is everything short of invincible in one-on-one combat, and has a whole host of powers designed specifically to screw with the other players. However, Darklings cannot capture towns (the primary scoring vector for the game) but are the only class that can capture already-won castles (the second most important scoring vector), so it generally tends to reduce everyone else's lead without adding much to your own score.
- The kicker here is that you can still die. And if you get killed by an opponent, they can loot your corpse for your Purposely Overpowered equipment. And keep it indefinitely. The Overlord's Crown is a particularly popular choice, as it boosts every stat by absurd amounts, and even lets you capture opponents' towns by landing on them to summon monsters, then defeating your own minion (who will fight back, mind) - It's up to Risqué the Bandit Extraordinare or equipment breaking mooks to save you if this happens.
- The first three Bomberman Land lets you skip the minigame you are playing if you lose often enough
- In Aladdin (Virgin Games), if you die too many times in the Rug Ride level (which is a frustrating reaction test of a level bordering on Battletoads' level 3 in difficulty with no checkpoints and several spots where the game doesn't show which way to go like it usually does, making survival during these parts a Luck-Based Mission on the first time you attempt them), the game will automatically let you skip it, giving you the message "Nice Try". Averted in the DOS version, where the player is given no such luxury.
- In the Genie's level of Aladdin (Capcom), the difficulty of the platforming is proportional to the number of lives you have left. If you have few or no extra lives, the Genie will primarily throw out clouds and playing card trampolines. If you have many lives, you'll be expected to swing off rings that are tied to balloons, and other obstacles that require more precision and skill to navigate.
- In Sonic Adventure 2, every time you die while facing a boss, Omochao will appear at the beginning of your next try, giving you increasingly obvious hints on how to beat the boss with each death. Most characters could also pick him up and throw him at the boss for massive damage, but that was probably not intentional.
- This also happened in Sonic Adventure and Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). Shadow the Hedgehog gave constant hints, as part of the game's nobody-ever-shuts-up theme.
- Also on the subject of Shadow the Hedgehog, if you have 0 lives when you battle the Egg Dealer (one of the game's final bosses), the opening missile attack Eggman launches is, oddly, aimed at himself instead of Shadow.
- Dying too many times in the same spot in Sonic Lost World will spawn a Warp capsule next to the checkpoint that will warp you to the next checkpoint if you get it.
- In the Crash Bandicoot games, dying too many times in a given level will cause you to start re-spawning with mask power ups, which let you survive an extra hit.
- Even more death, even with "pity masks", leads random boxes to turn into checkpoint boxes.
- In Mickey Mania, losing all your lives in the Mad Doctor's trolley stage enough times causes the game to let you through regardless, with the message: "Uh oh! Mickey has broken all the trolleys but he manages to continue..."
- In The Lost Vikings 2, getting yourself killed in the first level unlocks new special abilities for all the characters. Although the game claims to be having mercy on you, it's really a subversion: there are no dangerous obstacles or enemies in the level at all, and so dying doesn't mean that you suck but rather that you found an inventive method of suicide. The trick is to have Olaf stand on high ground and hold up his shield, so Erik can take falling damage by jumping off the upraised shield and down to lower ground.
- The Game Boy Mega Man games played this straight. IV gave the player a high velocity, rapid fire Arm Cannon to replace the default one if the player got a repeated Game Over. V upgraded the Rocket Punch twice in a row with higher flight speed.
- In Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil, when you're down to 2 lives, an extra life is given to you as you respawn. It is only given twice in a row though.
- New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Mini-Land Mayhem, and Donkey Kong Country Returns all have the "Super Guide", a system that allows you to let the game play a level itself for as long as you want after you fail it eight times (but you miss out on certain bragging rights). There's a reason for this.
- Up to Eleven in Super Mario 3D Land. If you die five times, then you can use an invincible Leaf that makes Tanooki Mario invincible for the rest of the level. If you manage to die ten times, then the game gives you the option to just skip the entire level using a P-Wing.
- Super Mario Odyssey has 'Assist Mode' for those that want an easier time getting through the game: double the health that regenerates if Mario is idle, no Oxygen Meter so he can stay underwater indefinitely, the ability to be brought back to the surface if he misses a jump, and arrows that point him in the direction of the next objective.
- Spyro: Year of the Dragon has this for its bosses, but it doesn't give you an option and in fact doesn't even tell you when it kicks into mercy mode.
- Dying repeatedly in Eversion unlocks the ability to evert (backwards) at will. Just don't Evert past Layer 1, or the game will glitch out for a few layers and eventually crash (which can actually be quite amusing if you enjoy making games glitch out).
- VVVVVV has a particular challenge (Veni Vidi Vici) required to obtain one of twenty 'hidden' disks. It's found behind no fewer than ten save points, it contains enough spikes to make I Wanna Be the Guy weep, and one room in the set (which you have to go through twice) is named 'Easy Mode Unlocked'.
- For an actual Easy Mode you don't even need to unlock, you can tweak the speed of the game to as low as 40% in the accessibility options menu, and even give yourself invulnerability! They're intended for disabled gamers who are incapable of the lightning-fast finger movements the game asks for, but most people will enable them just to get that lousy trinket behind a chest-high wall.
- In Banjo-Tooie, after failing the timed Jiggy challenges (which are just jigsaw puzzles) to unlock new worlds several times, Jiggywiggy will give you the option to remove the timer.
- In Kirby: Triple Deluxe and Planet Robobot, bosses' health and attack speed are lowered slightly each time you lose to them. Bandana Waddle Dee will also supply you with a special Auto-Revive healing item if you're defeated several times in a row.
- In Rabi-Ribi, if you die too many times in a row on Normal or below, the game will offer a "Halo Buff".
- Die often enough on the same level in Chip's Challenge and the game ask you whether or not you want to go to the next level.
- Notably, it actually will only do this if you put a lot of effort into trying the level and you keep dying in your efforts. You could die in a level only a few times before the game asks if you'd like to skip it. You can't just go walking into death 100 times though.
- In Pushmo, the game gives you the option to skip to the next level if you spend enough time on one without clearing it. The time required to unlock the skip option is longer depending on the level's difficulty.
Real Time Strategy
- Warcraft III - Losing any mission gives you the option to restart it or restart with a lower difficulty. And yes, the "Easy" difficulty, which reduces all enemies' HP to 60% of their normal value, can only be accessed in this way. You cannot select this difficulty level from the campaign menu.
- Lose any mission in EndWar on the handhelds, and you're given the option to try again with additional units.
- In Guitar Hero III, if you fail too many times on a boss battle, the game gives you a particularly insulting message allowing you to skip it and get on with the career. You actually get a secret achievement for doing so.
- Just to add insult to injury, the secret achievement is worth zero gamerpoints, and serves just to tell anyone looking at your achievements that you wimped out from a boss battle.
- If you fail a minigame in Rhythm Heaven a certain number of times, you can talk to the barista in the cafe, who will offer to let you skip that particular game and let you progress anyway.
- Pump It Up
- There are many arcade versions that will protect you from yourself. If you are not using a thumb drive (Pum Bi) to save data and fail out of a song, the final song of your set will be either cut short or removed entirely. This is because the game is assuming you are tired and is making sure you do not injure yourself.
- There is a "Short Cut" Channel unlockable on some machines that shortens all songs to about half length. This is for beginner players who do not have the stamina for full songs. Short Cut sets often have two songs instead of three to further assure the player does not harm themself.
- In a 2-player "Versus" game of Dance Dance Revolution, if your Life Meter empties out, you'll be allowed to play the rest of the chart if the other player is still going, although your score won't increase anymore. Averted if you're playing on an Extra Stage or Challenge course, however; if you run out of life, the chart on your side of the screen disappears and is replaced with a "GAME OVER" sign.
- In beatmania IIDX 20 tricoro, the LIMIT BURST series of boss songs start off requiring fulfilling exceptionally difficult conditions to unlocknote , and even then can only be played on Another difficulty. However, every week, each song's unlock conditions will loosen up, and more charts will become available, until eventually the only requirement to unlock any of the song's charts is to play songs from the song's origin series (e.g. playing songs from Dance Dance Revolution will unlock "New Decade IIDX Edition").
- If you fail a chart in Neon FM, the song will continue but you will be switched down to an easier chart. Unless you're playing on Pro Mode, which forces you on the song's hardest chart and causes an instant Game Over if you fail.
- Desktop Dungeons, a browser based roguelike, inverts this; The game starts out on 'easy mode' (enemy health and damage at 80%) and automatically switches over to 'normal mode' after the first time you beat it.
Role Playing Game
- Similar to the Final Fantasy VII example below, Tales of the Abyss includes a brief stealth section. You're supposed to have your party sneak through a forest while avoiding soldiers and guard dog patrols. If you're caught, you fight off the enemies, but return to the start of the area. However, if you get caught too many times, the game will let you brute force your way through, fighting the enemies and not bothering with stealth.
- In the Dragon Quest series spinoff Torneko: The Last Hope, the titular character's wife will give him the powerful Metabble Sword and Shield if he fails to clear the first dungeon eight times.
- Repeatedly fail the awful Stealth-Based Mission in Summoner and you'll unlock the chance to skip it by dressing as a maid.
- In The World Ends with You, once you obtain the "Retry" sticker, losing a battle lets you retry (naturally), quit the game (which was the default action before getting the sticker), run away (if possible, of course), or retry on Easy Mode (this trope). Once the battle ended, your difficulty would be returned to normal, but your time and level wouldn't be recorded for that battle.
- In one particular quest in Legend of Mana, you need to make your way through several rooms full of Shadoles (mook-like NPC's) and coming into contact with any of them sends you back to the beginning. Some of the later rooms can be a bit frustrating since the Shadoles turn invisible and you have to remember exactly where they all are. However, every time you're sent back, there's one less Shadole per room the next time you try. Do this enough times and you can get it down to one or two of them per room, making this mission really easy.
- If you are defeated by specific bosses in Kingdom Hearts II, rather than restarting the battle or giving up, there's a chance you're given an option to instead continue the battle playing as Mickey Mouse, who is actually stronger than Sora. However, since Mickey has no combo finishers, he can't actually finish off the boss and so the real aim of playing as Mickey is to fill up the Drive gauge and use it to revive Sora. He can help you multiple times per boss, but the said chance of him doing so decreases from the initial 100% every time you use it, ultimately dropping down to 20% or so.
- In 358/2 Days, dying gives you the option to Continue (exactly what it says on the tin) or Retire (leave the mission so you can go into the menu or shop). Dying repeatedly opens up a third option, "Easy Continue".
- There's one section of Fullmetal Alchemist and the Broken Angel where Ed is required to jump into a rather small stone pillar that breaks down shortly after landing. Faling on reaching the other end forces the player to restore the pillar with alchemy and try again. After many attempts, the game will skip forward and show a cutscene where Ed comments on finally achieving it after thirty-something tries, and Al compliments him on being persistent.
- At one point in Final Fantasy VII while infiltrating Shinra, the player must maneuver the characters behind statues to hide from guards. If the timing is botched enough times, the game cuts to Barret berating Cloud. At this point the guards are gone, and the player can simply walk past.
- Basically every minigame in a Final Fantasy game that must be cleared to continue is either (near) impossible to lose or lets you skip it if you screw up enough.
- Inverted in Demon's Souls, where every time you die in your real body, the games gets even harder. Because of this, and how hard it is to get the difficulty back to where it was before, some guides suggest killing yourself in the Hub Level, which is the only place Mercy Mode does not kick in.
- Pokemon Yellow has a subtle example. You start with a Pikachu (Electric-type), and your rival starts with an Eevee. What he evolves it into depends on whether you win the first two battles with him:
- If you win both battles, he evolves it into Jolteon, which is resistant to Electricity.
- If you win one battle and lose or forfeit the other, he evolves it into Flareon, which takes normal damage from Electricity.
- If you lose or forfeit both battles, he evolves it into Vaporeon, which is weak to Electricity.
- On a strange note, Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 has an unlockable Easy Mode for beating the game on the White 2 version.
- In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, you get the option to try a battle on Easy Mode if you lose, which massively increases the player's stats for that fight while also decreasing those of their enemies. Additionally, you also get a hint block which gives you tips on how to avoid said enemy/boss' attacks. Tough luck if you die in a giant battle though, none of these exist in those.
- Except in the final battle during the "Star Driver" sequence. If you fail the Star Driver several times, the game will offer to make it easier. However, it only makes it visually easier.
- There's also Slow Attack mode, which is unlocked for a given Bros. or Luiginary Attack if you do badly enough at it. It slows down the action allowing you to better time your moves.
- Shin Megami Tensei IV initially only has the "Prentice" difficulty available. If you die, ask to be resurrected, then die again, you'll get a special not-exactly-Game Over sequence where Charon is absent and his two minions unlock the easier "Fellow" difficulty for you. Moreover, they'll resurrect you free of charge.
- A few key boss battles in Sengoku Rance provide this option; rather than a Game Over, dying will result in the battle starting over with the boss' level decreased. Seeing how the final sequence in the game is a Boss Bonanza and the final boss No Sells your entire party except for the two main characters, this is welcomed by most players.
- In Undertale, if you lose to Papyrus three times, he lets you skip his fight.
- There's also the Temmie Armor, which has the highest defense in the game (Apart from one item that can only be obtained in the Kill 'em All route). However, to unlock it, you have to find where Temmie Village is, have enough money to send the shopkeeper to college, and even then, it will be very expensive...but the price decreases every time you die, making it this trope.
- Xenoblade Chronicles X will give you, during an Affinity or Story Mission, the option of reducing the levels of enemies in mandatory fights by 5 if you die too many times to it.
- Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin does this deep into the hidden painting aptly named "Nest of Evil", in one particular chamber you are expected to fight TWO The Creatures at the same time. The game so does not expect you to survive that it opens the gates forward if you survive for one minute.
Shoot Em Up
- The NES shooter Dragon Spirit would determine whether you would play as the blue dragon (which goes through all levels) or the gold dragon (which skips most even-numbered levels and has perpetual auto-fire) depending on whether you won or lost at the intro level as the blue dragon.
- Many Shoot 'em Up games have what is called a "rank system," a hidden value in the game's coding. The rank will slowly rise as the player goes without dying; the higher the rank, the more bullets will be onscreen, and the faster they'll come at you. In most games with the system, such as the fourth through sixth Touhou games, dying lowers the rank, making it easier to survive.
- In Hellsinker, if you are on your last life in the first two Segments, you'll enter Regen Assist mode and gradually get life pieces, so as to help prevent a premature Game Over. Additionally, if you play Segment 1 Behind or 2 Behind, your Terra is locked so that it won't decrease, allowing you to stave off going to the Shrine of Farewell.
- In Project Sylpheed, you can skip any mission, even the final boss after failing it repeatedly. You miss out on upgrade points and achievements from the mission however.
- The Descent: Freespace series gives you the option to skip any mission by dying three times in a row (but not by failing the mission objectives). However, any ships or weapons that may be unlocked by completing that mission are permanently missed. There's also a "Do Not Show This Again" option for the more hardcore players.
- Losing 100 fights in the Punch-Out!! sequel on the Wii lets players wear Glass Joe's headgear that allows them to take much less damage from all attacks... and reminds them that they suck just as bad (or worse!) as Glass Joe.
Stealth Based Game
- Normal and up modes in both Tenchu 3 and Kurenai force the player to start from scratch after being killed. Playing on Easy, however, gives the option to respawn on the spot at full health to continue the mission.
- In the Tanker episode of Metal Gear Solid 2, you are supposed to take 4 pictures of the new Metal Gear prototype within a given time limit. If you run out of time, the game will actually give you some more. Also, if the time is running short, Otacon will settle for three photos.
- Interesting in that it also possesses not one, but ten Extreme Mode settings, Silent Hill 3 also has an unlockable "Beginner Mode" which it will announce to you in mid-gameplay after dying a few times.
- Resident Evil 4 has multiple difficulty settings, hidden from the player. If you are doing well the difficulty will increase. But if you die and continue there are fewer enemies and more ammunition.
- The first village fight you enter stops when you kill a certain number of Ganados. If you die and continue the threshold is lower. And the number of Ganados that exist simultaneously is decreased.
- Resident Evil 5 has its quick time events become easier to complete if you fail them. For example, a quick time event that makes you button mash to survive will be changed to just a single button tap.
Third Person Shooter
- In the online third person shooter S4 League, the fumbi will gradually decrease the skill points of whoever is holding it. If your team is losing badly enough, the penalty is much less harsh - you still won't regenerate skill points while hanging onto it, but they won't be automatically drained either. The playerbase refers to this as 'pity SP.' Also, the losing team gets steadily increasing damage until they cap out at doing 50% more damage with any hit.
- In a PS2 Armored Core game, if you died or lost enough to go really far into debt, your character would undergo an experimental procedure (or something like that) which would give you a special ability. You could get several abilities in this fashion and it made the game considerably easier.
- The "fugitive" difficulty level of Max Payne employs this. The game constantly adjusts its difficulty based on the player's performance. So if you keep dying in the same spot, the game will go easier on you each time, until you can finally make it. Remember, however, that this works both ways; if you walk through the game with relative ease, you are going to encounter tougher enemies in the upcoming levels.
- The second game mostly adjusted the number of health items laying around. If the player is constantly dying and limping around on the brink, there are pills all over the place. Blitz through levels without injury, and they might only find a couple of drops per level (not that they needed them, apparently).
- In Spec Ops: The Line, if you die multiple times in the same encounter, the game will allow you to go to a lower difficulty level.
Turn Based Strategy
- In the first two X-COM games (UFO Defense and Terror from the Deep), if you fail miserably for 2 game months and your organisation is on the brink of being disbanded, suddenly some "X-COM agents" pop up and pinpoint one or two alien bases for you to destroy and save yourself.
- Unlike the earlier Fire Emblem games, later games feature a Casual Mode that turns off the Final Death mechanic and only has a character 'killed' in battle retreat. Fates goes one further and has a Phoenix Mode where characters that are 'killed' are brought back the next turn. Note, however, that once the player activates Phoenix Mode, he's stuck with it the rest of the game.
- The games of the Yarudora series have a Hint Marker feature appearing after you get two or more Bad Endings, without getting a Normal or Good Ending beforehand. This feature points you out the good choices in the sequences where you have to give an answer to a question, or have to make an action, so you can reach a Normal or Good Ending. The Hint Marker disappears once this goal is fulfilled.
Wide Open Sandbox
- Minor example in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which gives you the option of skipping the commute at the start of the mission after you fail it a few times. This is pretty much just an Anti-Frustration Feature to make up for the fact that so many missions are set halfway across the map from where you have to go to begin them (and if you fail the mission, you'll have to drive all the way back again to restart...)
- In addition, the rather overlong Final Boss (involving, in order, Storming the Castle, killing one boss, Outrunning The Fireball, chasing the next boss, tailing him to avoid injuring your brother, and finally running Samuel L. Jackson off the road) will eventually load from the beginning of the car chase section, if you repeatedly complete the first part but fail the mission.
- In Vice City, if you are wasted or busted during a mission, there's a cab waiting outside the hospital or the police station. If you enter it, it will take you back to the mission trigger. You still have to do all the commuting within the mission, though.
- In addition to having more Anti-Frustration Features than any other title in the series, Grand Theft Auto V allows you to outright skip sections of its missions if you fail them repeatedly.
- L.A. Noire contains both adventure-game sections (looking for clues, interrogating perps, whatnot) and cover-based-shooting sections. If you keep dying during the shooting sections, the game will skip them and move to the next bit of story.
- Bumper bowling, in which the gutters are blocked off by bumpers so the bowling ball will always stay in the lane, and players won't have to worry as much about accuracy. Generally used by very young players, it's also presented as an option for players that are doing very badly during a game.