Missing Secret

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Chrono_Trigger_missing_secret_7440.png
It's not a sidequest. It's just a mistranslation.

So you have a game with lots of hidden areas, secret stashes of powerups, and generally all kinds of rewards for exploring and busting down walls. You're at the end of the game and have every powerup you've seen, but... why is there still an empty slot in your inventory? Why hasn't that bridge been fixed? What did you miss? Where is this undiscovered item? How do you get to that area?!

Turns out, it... doesn't exist. There isn't an item for every box in your inventory screen. That broken bridge was just there for flavor. Not every type of weapon has an ultimate variant. There's no reason to be paranoid because of Interface Spoiler. The game just never tells you this, so you're left to wonder what you're missing out on.

This is often spawned from an Empty Room Psych or something that was Dummied Out, and often creates an Urban Legend of Zelda. For those into 100% Completion, this can end up as a form of Fake Longevity. Last Lousy Point is when it really is just that well hidden.

Can be considered a video game-specific subtrope of Riddle for the Ages. See also Interface Spoiler for another video game meta-trope based on expectations, that often overlaps with this one, or would, if the thing it "spoiled" existed.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Action Adventure 
  • The Rare-developed title Grabbed by the Ghoulies has quite a few secrets just beyond reach and nearly unlockable features like its GoldenEye (1997) counterpart. Touring the game you'll manage to pick up 100 secret collectible 'Rare' tomes called 'Bonus Books', collecting a set number will allow you to unlock certain features and bonus content — so imagine the rancor of players who manage to stumble across a pile of Bonus Books just beyond a thick gate arranged into a question mark. It doesn't help that the 'Jukebox' feature seen in the manual was dummied out in the final game, leading players to believe that if there were some way to get beyond the grate they could unlock the hidden audio feature.
  • Harry Potter licensed games
    • Each level in the second Harry Potter PC game features "secrets" of any kind, but for some reason the Chamber of Secrets level announces one more secret than what you can actually find.
    • Likewise, in the Xbox Chamber of Secrets game, you are told that the alohomora spell will allow you to `unlock all kinds of things'. So long as they're prize chests and not the numerous temptingly locked doors scattered throughout the game.
    • The PlayStation version of the second game has some doors in Hogwarts that can't be unlocked no matter what.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Near the beginning of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Link's wounded uncle tells him "Zelda...is...your..." before passing out. Apparently, many players assumed the missing word was "sister"—since this is never brought up again over the course of the game, people have searched for some hidden sidequest that reveals their relationship. In fact, the line was intended to be "Zelda is your destiny", as stated in the manual.
    • Also in A Link to the Past, there are a number of cracked walls. Some can be blown open by bombs while some can be knocked down by being rammed into with the Pegasus Boots, but others aren't affected at all by either of those. Some players have wasted many hours searching for a bomb upgrade to blow these walls open. The closest thing to a bomb upgrade is the red bomb, which opens up a specific location, and is never a standard inventory item. These cracks are merely for decoration. Generally speaking, if cracks aren't positioned on the center of the wall in any given room, they're just decoration, and the decorative cracks are only seen in dungeons, anyhow. However, there's a cave somewhere on Death Mountain that has a noticeable cracked wall, in a relatively obvious spot, but it can't be broken opened in any way. This is the only instance of this happening in a cave.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap gives you bonuses for finding homes in the village for two of three female travelers to your village. There is no way to get the third one a home. This was apparently an obtuse reference to the planned trilogy of "Oracle" games for the Game Boy Color, of which only two were completed.
      • This is even worse in the European version, where Gorman (the guy who gets the women homes) says that he can build a third house if he could get rid of the stray cats on the lot. The cats disappear after a certain point in the game, but so does Gorman.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is known for this as well:
      • That Triforce-shaped engraving in your inventory doesn't get filled with anythingnote , Zora's Domain never gets unfrozen (unlike every other bad effect Ganondorf causes upon the world)note ... and the Running Man never loses.
      • In addition to being permanently frozen, Zora's Domain also houses two underwater tunnels. One of these tunnels is a shortcut that takes the player to Lake Hylia. The other is inaccessible through normal gameplay, and even if you use hacking tools to reach it, it doesn't lead anywhere. This has caused much speculation about it being the planned door to some Dummied Out content.
      • There's also a hidden staircase inside the windmill in Kakariko Village, which is only reachable by Longshot from a single rooftop. The only thing inside is a Cucco at the top to let you get down without taking Falling Damage.
    • In The Legend of Zelda Oracle games, there are more item slots than items. This is probably to prevent a glitch that occurred in Link's Awakening (which provided the engine for those games) that was caused by filling each slot before getting the last item, even though the situation that caused it does not exist in these games.
  • Tomb Raider:
    • Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider II (and maybe later games too) each have one medikit in a location that's inaccessible (outside of bugs anyway). In the first game's case, someone contacted Core Design and found that it was originally going to be accessible in a part of a level that was removed. The original game also has a literal example, as the very last secret in the game (stated as such from strategy guides) does not register on the counter due to a missing trigger-confirmed by people checking in an editor-which of course led to hunts for if there was something else (which was stopped after people got the tools to check the triggers in levels).
    • Inverted in Tomb Raider III, where the Coastal village level has an extra secret. Each branch of the level has its own unique second secret; if you do some backtracking, you can get both, earning you 4/3 secrets. Played straight with the Cathedral Key, which itself counts as a secret, but doesn't unlock any doors. However the name implies that the key is used to access All Hallows, your reward for finding all of the game's secrets.
  • In LEGO Island, the box screenshots, included comic/instruction manual, and map all show a red car somewhere in the mountain area. Needless to say it isn't there.
  • There are some doors that are just not meant to be opened at all in Iji. Also, you can get a maximum of 60 level-up points unless you use the Null Driver, just three short of the number required to max out all your stats. Lampshaded in one instance where using The Nuke to get accross a certain gap triggers a response from Iji that there is nothing there.
  • The Game Boy Advance version of LEGO Star Wars 2 features a % completion meter that literally stops at 99%. There is no kind of victory screen or end credits rolling, but as far as anyone knows, there's nothing else. And in the first LEGO Star Wars game, there's a brick wall behind a sealed door in one level. There's no way of getting past it.
  • In Darksiders, a bug causes one chest to never register as opened. If the player returns to the location with an item that reveals collectibles on the map, that chest will still show up, even though it's no longer there. Doubly annoying since there are actually a few chests that are marked on map but only appear when some action is performed.
  • In Illusion of Gaia, there's a little hole next to the second dungeon's entrance, just the right size to Psycho Slide through — but you don't get that ability until rather later in the game, and at that point, there's no way back. Using a cheat device to give Will the ability early reveals that the hole is just decoration, as solid as any other wall.
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising, there were a series of AR Cards that you could use with the game, generally distributed at events. A total of 412 cards are programmed into the game, but cards #405 and #411 were never released. That said, they are still in the game's data...
  • In the main waterway of the City of Canals in Beyond Good & Evil, there's a secret side-waterway you can get to by hopping over a laser barrier. There are a few twisty passageways back there, as well as what appears to be a lowered gate that, if opened, would lead to another side-area. The camera even pans over to it as if it's supposed to be important, but there's no way to open it. However, it is possible to glitch you way through it—revealing that it still contains a working warp, which teleports you to a glitchy, unfinished map there's no way to escape from. Whatever was meant to be back there was Dummied Out long ago.
  • Shadow of the Colossus has one section of the overworld that's permanently clouded over on the map screen, and in one area of the game you can clearly see a bridge that leads over to that section, but it is impossible to reach the bridge. As a number of additional Colossi were Dummied Out of the game in development, that area is probably where they would have been fought. In addition, the very top of the Shrine Of Worship is inaccessible, which is a little surprising in a game with so much emphasis on climbing things. You can reach the Secret Garden with enough effort, but that's only about 60% of the way up the tower, and you can't climb any higher than that.
  • This blue orb thing in Avalon Code. It's shiny! It's unique! It looks like one of your standard-issue MacGuffins, and it even has concept art! It has absolutely zero relevance to anything, ever.

    Adventure Game 
  • An episode in Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People has one area where your metal detector will beep slowly even when you've cleared out the area.
  • Phantom 2040 has a few examples of this. Though due to its obscurity, maybe the secrets ARE actually that well hidden.
    • Most weapons you missed early on can be acquired in a later chapter. A few, however, simply are Lost Forever.
    • There are three multiplier items you can find in the game. One doubles the damage you do, one halves the damage you take, and a third halves your ammo consumption. The incoming damage multiplier has a stronger and incredibly well-hidden variant that reduces incoming damage to one fourth. There is also a second ammo multiplier, and it reduces ammo consumption to one fourth. It's hidden about as half as well as the second incoming damage multiplier, and only accessible if you return to one particular level as soon as you complete it. There is no upgrade for the remaining multiplier.
    • Even in the Golden Ending, one of the two major villains still manages to escape.
  • The Journeyman Project has one more Bio-Chip slot than obtainable Bio-Chips.
    • Lampshaded at certain points: "This floor/the room behind this door was neither modeled nor rendered".
  • Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales includes a card game with five promotional cards. These cards were distributed wirelessly, but could also be unlocked by entering button codes. However, while all the codes were released in Japan and Europe, only one was released in America. Two and a half years after its release, nobody has found the codes for the other cards.
  • Maniac Mansion featured a broken staircase. You could not fix it, even though you had tools and you just KNOW there would've been something awesome up there. There was also a cabinet you couldn't unlock, and lots of useless items.
    • In the same game, there is also a chainsaw that doesn't work because it's out of gasoline. So you'd figure there would be a cannister of gas to be found somewhere, wouldn't you? It's in Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders on Mars, where you can find a can of gas labeled "for chainsaws".
    • In the edited NES release there's a bit of a secret—there's a keypad hidden on the second floor directly to the left of the Steel Security Door that leads back down to the 2nd Floor Landing. (The sprite is missing, but it's in the second column of the wallpaper, just off the floor. It has a hotspot.) No matter what you enter on the keypad, the mansion will blow up a minute or so later; there is no right code. It's possible that this was the copy protection from the computer versions, though in such an extensive port that would be odd indeed. Alternatively, it could be tied to the abandoned Pepsi promotion (before release, there would have been a Can of Pepsi in the fridge, and it would have had a code on it to win prizes, but Pepsi backed out and the code was excised).
  • The Secret of Monkey Island has the door at the back of the alleyway next to the circus poster. This door is locked for the entire game and you never use it. The sequel LeChuck's Revenge has an area open up onto that door, but the way out of the alleyway is blocked off for space reasons. It was made clear years later that Ron Gilbert originally intended the second game's ending to be used in the first game - the door would have taken you down to the basement area where you face LeChuck, who in the first game would have been meant to have brought Elaine down there. This is the same reason why Fester Shinetop LeChuck in disguise calls you back there - the player would likely not notice the area otherwise.
  • In Loom, there is a room in the first village where you are shown a certain draft. However, the game requires you to get further in the game before you can get the right notes to cast it, and because you can't return to the first island until the very end of the game (where you are basically locked in the room with the Loom in it) it is impossible to find out what this draft does. There is a possibility it would have been used in the game's cancelled sequels, but nobody knows for sure.
  • Colossal Cave: Two rooms with a window facing another window across a room, with a "Shadowy Figure" in that other window. The player would like to know who the heck he is, and what the heck to do with him. Turn's out the two windows are over the giant mirror room, and the "Shadowy Figure" is your own reflection.
  • In the VGA remake of Space Quest I, when you take off in the spaceship you just purchased, something appears just as you leave. You might replay and replay to figure out what you're supposed to do with it. But you only find out in Space Quest IV that the appearing thing is your timepod returning you to Space Quest I.
  • In the Flash game Nicholas' Weird Adventure 2, there's a mansion with locked gates which appears to be logically the next place to go. However, there is no gate key in the game, and the actual path is somewhere else.

    Fighting Game 
  • Mortal Kombat: Deception's Konquest mode has a ton. The most notorious is likely the Shaolin Temple at the beginning of the game, where attempted entry yields a box of text saying that only a Shaolin monk may enter. Even worse, the "Lightning Staff" sidequest, which leads nowhere and ends with Kung Lao proclaiming they are going to "strike down Shao Kahn", but there's nothing to do to follow up on that.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Melee had the weird situation of having 29 playable stages, and not 30. You could say there's a 30th stage (not counting the three trophy stages which are in Event Mode only), but it's the debug stage accessed via cheating.
    • A Fire Emblem stage called "Akaneia" (later translated as Archanea in the North American version of Shadow Dragon, but not the European version) can be found using Action Replay, but it was scrapped. A Fire Emblem-based stage finally appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, however, under the name of Castle Siege.
    • Brawl's event matches come in Easy, Normal, and Hard flavours, but use the same icons as are normally used for a five-difficulty scale, which might make one think that the events can eventually be played on Very Hard and Intense.
    • One of the challenges in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS lists its requirement as clearing Classic mode on intensity 9.0 "or higher". The difficulty slider can't go any higher than 9.0, but one could easily be led to believe there's some secret extreme difficulty.
  • Rotating Tanya's character box in Mortal Kombat Gold reveals a question mark, but nothing is actually unlocked here. It is rumored that this was for the deleted character Belokk.
  • Mortal Kombat 9 has one in the character select screen (in the Xbox 360 version only). The game only has a few unlockable characters, all of which become selectable in the bottom row of the character select screen when unlocked. The PS3 version got the console-specific Kratos in the bottom right corner; the Xbox 360 version gets nothing. The space on the character select screen is always unselectable, and shows a duplicate picture of Cyber Sub-Zero, who is selectable in the bottom left corner. In an odd twist, during multiplayer matches the player on the right can only select the bottom right corner, and the player on the left can only select the bottom left corner (especially odd since these corner spots then expand to show the downloadable characters, which as a result show up mirrored in each corner).

    First Person Shooter 
  • Doom:
    • In some versions, the Percent kills/secrets/items count at the end of the level will always display 0% if the level doesn't have anything of that category. This gives the impression that the secrets are there, but you just didn't find any of them.
    • Some old level-design books actually suggest making a "secret area" trigger that can't be reached, so that players will continue to search for it.
    • There are also some official levels where it is impossible to get 100% secrets. In Ultimate Doom maps E4M3 and E4M7 due to bad map design; the former has secret sectors with torches on top of them, the latter an invulsphere that you can't reach and a door that's too thin for the secret to register. And in Doom II Maps 15 and 27 due to a peculiarity of the engine; the secrets are on teleport pads, but a teleporter activates when the player crosses the edge, which means you can never enter the sector and trigger the secret. All can be triggered by noclipping, though. It's also impossible to get 100% items on Map 27 in the original Doom 2 engine (though not in some sourceports), because there are two Computer Maps and you can only pick up one.
    • The console ports of the early Doom games, which used somewhat redesigned levels, often didn't bother redoing the secret flags, making tons and tons of non-existent secrets still count as "not found" on the secret counter. Grr.
    • There are also several instances where 100% items isn't possible due to said items not being flagged as multiplayer only in deathmatch areas. Map 6 of 'Requiem' for example has two berserker packs unobtainable in single player mode because of this.
    • One of the many, many, many console versions of DOOM sometimes did this with enemies. One level of the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer port had a hidden Imp you could only kill by shooting into a blank wall.
  • GoldenEye (1997):
    • There are 23 unlockable cheats, not the symmetric 24, generally assumed to be due to a missing level which would give a cheat called "line mode." This is accessible by a button press code, but has no legitimate unlock method in the final game.
    • The game also has the infamous far-off outpost inside the water behind the dam in the first stage. It sits there fully rendered not doing anything, no enemies on it, and no programmed items. It was revealed by the Goldeneye team that it was supposed to be used, but they ran out of time to find a use for it. Rumor has it this is where you were originally supposed to retrieve the bungee jumping equipment.
  • Perfect Dark ran this trope to hell and back. Some of its many, many examples include:
    • The infamous piece of cheese hidden in every level, which did absolutely nothing. Eventually one of the developers admitted they were just there to mess with players.
    • The Pond Punk bar in the Chicago mission, which could only be accessed by disarming a guard, letting him run away, then following him up to the door, which he would unlock. A fully fleshed out area with multiple rooms and decorations, but the only things of interest are a pistol which you already have, and a piece of cheese in the bathroom.
    • One multiplayer map had a grate in the ceiling marked with a large question mark. No way to open it of course. Other multiplayer maps had ammo boxes that could be easily seen in inaccessible locations.
    • Some maps have extensive ventilation shafts. One of these shafts has a wall with a keyhole in it just outside the player's normal vision, but can be seen with the game's x-ray device.
    • When Cassandra De Vries is killed in the Attack Ship mission on Perfect Agent difficulty, her necklace can be obtained from her corpse. Upon examining the necklace in the inventory, it gives the username "cdv780322" and the password "18M0ZYM8ND185" (speculated to mean "I AM OZYMANDIAS", Ozymandias being a sonnet by P.B. Shelley). There is no place where these can be entered in-game.
    • Similarly, attaining the "Perfect" rank in multiplayer mode gives the username "ENTROPICDECAY" and the password "ZERO-TAU".
  • People have not yet found the elusive Item 3 in Gravity Bone.
  • Duke Nukem 3D uses a sector-based engine, like Doom, and this has led to at least one instance of having more than one secret-flagged sector in the same hidden location, and confusing players trying to figure out just where to find all the secrets. Examining the map E2L2 in the BUILD editor shows that two adjacent sectors both have the secret area tag. The line they share also happens to be one used for splitting the area for shading purposes, so given how the BUILD editor handles tagging sectors which have been split (both get the tag of the parent sector), this instance is a clear oversight on the part of the developers.
  • In the Marathon levels "Colony Ship for Sale" and "Low Flying Defense Drones" there are rooms full of weapons and ammo that are inaccessable and just there to tease the player. Also, the rumored "A Good Way To Die" level. There are also many locked doors that never open; looking in a map editor reveals that there's nothing behind them.
  • Serious Sam
    • Due to a few broken triggers, some secrets in Serious Sam: The Second Encounter don't exist but the secret counter still shows like they're there. It also shows up that the game's intro has one stage despite not being playable at all.
    • In some of the games, due to bad counting, it's impossible to get all of the kills in a level. Basically, when the game calculates how many enemies are in a level, it counts all of the pre-placed enemies and all of the spawners. The problem here is that some spawners only spawn their enemies on certain difficulties, meaning that the game counts enemies that you can't kill due to playing on a difficulty where they never appear. In addition, some spawners aren't even connected to anything that activates them, but these spawners are also counted. More info can be found in-depth here.
    • The level "Dunes" in the PC version of Serious Sam Classics: Revolution has a spawner that takes 27 hours, 46 minutes, and 40 seconds to spawn an enemy. (Or at least it used to. After Omgarrett uploaded a video that proved it, one of the developers said in the comments that it would be fixed.)
  • The Quake II level "Pumping Station 2" technically has four secrets, but one of them is lacking a trigger and therefore won't register.

    Maze Game 
  • In The Tower of Druaga, there are a few floors (namely, floors 25 and 55) that don't have a secret item, not even a harmful item.
  • Labyrinth Of Time contains two doors that can never be opened, and half of your inventory can be filled with utterly useless items.

    Platform Game 
  • Banjo-Kazooie:
    • Stop 'n' Swop one-upped this — you were supposed to be able to collect items in the first game to use in the second, but Rare failed to anticipate changes to undocumented N64 behavior, and the planned means of unlocking the items (power off, switch cartridges, and power back on within about half a minute) had to be abandoned. Apparently, the developers had forgotten about the N64 Controller Pak. The Xbox Live Arcade rereleases fixed this. Of note is the fact that all the secret eggs and the ice key can be obtained in the N64 version of the original Banjo-Kazooie, by going into the sand castle in Treasure Trove Cove and inputting a VERY long code for each of the eggs/key. The codes were most likely going to be given in Banjo-Tooie.
    • When you enter the room in Gruntilda's Lair where Tooty was imprisoned you can see a closed door, but there's no way to open it and it doesn't seem to be linked to the Stop 'n' Swop.
    • In Banjo-Tooie, it had its own share of oddities, both having to do with Bottles. The multiple-choice quiz sequence close to the end of the game uses different character text mugshots, with accompanying voice sounds. These mugshots were chosen randomly, but among them was an angry red mugshot that looked like Bottles and had his sound. Players tried to find this new Bottles to no avail until hacking found it to be part of a Dummied Out Counter-Op mode. The other supposed secret dealt with Bottles' house. During the endgame, a party is held there and the characters won't let you in until you finish the game. However, upon entering the file again afterward, it's obvious the party is over, but the entrance is still blocked off. This connected to the Stop 'n' Swop rumors, but hacked entries would reveal nothing had changed in the house and the continued sealing was most likely a programming oversight.
    • Banjo-Tooie also includes a text string for the title of a supposed 'Ridiculously Secret Area.' No such area has ever been found, and some hackers suspect that Rare included this as a red herring, knowing that gamers would dissect the game.
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog series has a couple of examples.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 3 lists Sandopolis, Mushroom Valley (Mushroom Hill), and Flying Battery in its level select, though you can't choose them. Like the wealth of Sonic and Knuckles tunes heard in the Sonic 3 sound test, these are merely leftovers from before Sonic & Knuckles became its own game. (For the record, Dummied Out versions of these levels do exist in the game's data — and so does Lava Reef Zone.)
    • Scrap Brain Zone's third act in the 8-bit version of the original has only 99 rings.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 had music from a Dummied Out level (specifically, Hidden Palace Zone) left in the Sound Test. More than that, a pre-release feature printed in Electronic Gaming Monthly had a brief description of all levels, including the supposedly secret Hidden Palace Zone, which they promised to give hints about in the next issue. (They didn't.) None of the other beta levels are detailed here, which is not surprising, as Hidden Palace was cut very close to the game's final release, which would explain why its music is in the sound test, as mentioned above.
    • In Sonic: Lost World, you can receive optional mini-quests from Omochao on the world map. These missions range from accumulating a certain number of rings as you play to doing certain stunts with the Wisps or parkour actions to doing no-damage runs of levels and bosses. The prizes for completing a level range from free items to new vehicles and upgrades for Co-Op mode. After you complete all 100 missions, Omochao says "Congratulations! You did them all! I have a present for you!" You then receive absolutely nothing whatsoever.
    • The instruction manual for Knuckles Chaotix depicts a screenshot, using in-game graphics, of the island setting of the game. This image could not be found anywhere in the game whatsoever.
    • When the HD version of Sonic Unleashed first came out, towards the end of the nighttime version of Arid Sands Act 1 was a gigantic stone doorway, and, using camera tricks revealed a path with platforms behind it. This mystery was solved when the DLC stages were released: One of them was Arid Sands Act 2, which begins at that doorway and has Sonic travel down said path.
  • Mega Man 7 has an empty spot in the weapon inventory menu.
    • Interestingly, a prototype ROM shows Proto Man's shield in that slot, and replaces the slot below it with Beat; since Beat was changed into a Bottomless Pit Rescue Service in the final version, it's presumed that Beat was originally intended to show up as a weapon, like in the NES games. (Besides the graphics and menu slot, no code exists for the Beat weapon itself in either the prototype or final version.)
    • Mega Man 9 also has an empty spot in the weapon inventory menu.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Despite the game indicating when all exits have been completed (with a star next to the number of exits completed in the North American version and the number itself turning blue in the PAL version), Super Mario World maxing out at 96 exits had people looking for four more, just in case. It doesn't help that, according to The Mushroom Kingdom, only the North American and PAL releases indicated when all exits have been found, so for Japanese players before the likes of GameFAQs, the confusion is understandable.
    • The deleted level pictured on the back of the Super Mario Bros. 3 box, which isn't even Dummied Out in the ROM.
    • In Super Mario Sunshine, during the Red Coins in a Bottle Challenge in Noki Bay, if one sinks to the bottom of the bottle and looks at the structure from a certain direction, you can spot a mysterious book in the center of it, but can't reach it at all.
    • Super Mario 64 has a sign outside Boo's Mansion that reads "If you walk out of here alive, you deserve... a ghoul medal." Players spent ages trying to determine what it meant. It turns out it's just a reference to an item from Super Mario RPG.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day has three:
    • A gated cave near the entrance to the Uga Buga chapter, where you pay the toll, that looks like it can be entered but never opens.
    • The top of the windmill looks like it has a path to a pressure switch on top of it. Too bad it gets destroyed before you reach it. Lampshaded by Conker saying "The windmill's been destroyed! I thought for sure that was the final level!"
    • Inside the Poo Cabin there appears to be a rather large grate with a piece of chocolate just beyond reach through the bars. It looks as though the tunnel continues off to the left as well, leading players to scour the level to find some way to open the grate and gain access to the tunnel beyond. The grate even managed to appear in the remake, Conker: Live & Reloaded, and once again could not be unlocked to gain access to the chocolate and whatever wild secrets might have been waiting just beyond the corner.
  • Space Station Silicon Valley has a secret trophy in each level, however you're unable to pick up the one in "Fat Bear Mountain", making it impossible to 100% the game and unlock the extra spaceship mini-game.
  • In Flashback, Restricted Area 1 is never accessible.
  • In some version of Rayman 2, a counter will always stay at 99% even if you've found everything in the game.
  • Donkey Kong 64 has a number of these — the most prominent being Cranky's mention of a secret level named Great Girder Grapple in the game's instruction booklet, which fans have hunted for for years. This was most likely a joke reference to the original Donkey Kong game, which is a crucial element of this game. Another example is a barn with a number of doors in its loft, except one door that never opens. Before deciding on infinite lives, Rare intended to hide a 1-up balloon behind this door.
  • Vexx:
    • The game has the mysterious floating tower that appears in the background in nearly every level. Supposedly the player was supposed to be able to go there eventually (there was even an extra level shown in the trailer,) but it was cut out of the game.
    • In one area of the ring of land surrounding the main bubble in The Under, there's a strange pipe that hangs above you. You can wall jump a little ways into it, but usually, you'll just fall. There's nothing up there, you.
  • The Nintendo 64-styled web platformer Kiwi 64 has a presumably intentional example. There's an N64 cartridge locked in a cage, supposedly of the game's cancelled sequel, Kiwi 65; once you free it, it promises to let you play it if you bring it 60 clefs. Except you can't, because there's only 59 clefs in the entire game. A good number of people have wasted a lot of time running around looking for that last lousy clef, not realizing it doesn't exist.
  • There are a few stages in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz's Space Case set that seem to have no Invisible Bananas. Supposedly, a secret character would become unlocked for anyone who can get every Invisible Banana, but no one has found the Invisible Bananas in these two stages. Obviously, finding these Invisible Bananas is Trial-and-Error Gameplay of the highest magnitude, and it's a testament to these players' patience that they found all of the other ones.
  • In Shovel Knight bonus story, Plague of Shadows, you can buy five different bomb cases, five different fuses, five different powders and four different burst jumps. Thus, leaving an annoying open space on the file selection screen.

    Puzzle Game 
  • One door in the kitchen of The 7th Guest never unlocks because it would lead outside, and leaving the mansion just isn't in the cards; same reason the front door never lets you out. The original script states that it would have been able to open, but surreally just lead back into the foyer from the other direction.
  • Many players tried in vain to open the "vitrified" doors that appear in several of the "old Aperture" levels in Portal 2 because they look a lot like they could be opened if you can find the just the right tool or switch... (Using the "noclip" cheat shows that there's nothing behind the doors, though.) Unsurprisingly, when the level editor for the game was published, several people created their own visions of what's behind those doors.
  • One area in Antichamber has a sealed door with the sign "Under Construction" written above it, and a picture panel beside it bearing the caption "Some things don't have a deeper meaning". There is no possible way to open this door at all, and using noclip reveals that there is nothing behind it anyway.

    Racing Game 
  • In Rage Racer, there are several blocked-off roads and tunnels that are not used by any of the courses. Rumor has it that there was a planned fifth track that was Dummied Out.
  • According to the manual for LEGO Racers, every track in the game has a short-cut. This left people searching and searching for one on Knightmare-athon, only to fail. There was intended to be one there, but it was removed. There is a screenshot that shows it though, and there are still power-ups intact from where it originally was.
  • In Gran Turismo 2, it is impossible to get 100% Completion, due to the planned drag racing mode that was Dummied Out of the final game.
  • Despite what the manual says, the driving subgame of Die Hard Trilogy does not have a dump truck or 18-wheeler, nor skaters in Central Park, nor a West Side Highway level.
  • In Mario Kart 64, there is a Thwomp stuck behind a cage in the Bowser's Castle stage. A yellow light shines on it, making it appear green. It is the only Thwomp in the game to not slam down on the floor as an attack, preferring to hover in place indefinitely. Naturally, rumors about this supposedly green Thwomp spread like wildfire, both about what it could do if set free and why it was caged in the first place. There is still no official explanation for that Thwomp. It even returned when the course was brought back for Mario Kart Wii.
  • If one accesses the sound test in Diddy Kong Racing, there is one song that never shows up anywhere else in the game. Players searched for one last racetrack in the game where this could be used. It turns out the song was originally to be used for an already accessible racetrack whose music was replaced with another one late into production.
    • Spaceport Alpha, in Future Fun Land, features a very conspicuous nook hidden near the beginning of the racetrack, which most players would nevertheless only notice if they did a U-turn out the starting gate and started driving backwards. In all four previous worlds, there's one racetrack per level that features a key hidden away in a similar nook, which unlocks a hidden mini-game for that world. Future Fun Land, however, has no such mini-game... and despite the nook seeming to suggest that one did exist at one point, it's completely gone from the final game.
    • After you beat Adventure, the game says "To be continued." Many assumed this message was referring to Adventure 2 but you get the same message when you beat that. Much confusion happened as a result. It doesn't help that the sound test has a seemingly unused audio track that sounds like dinosaurs being shot by Wizpig's ships and, when choosing a track in Versus Mode, if you go diagonally from the last track of the game to the trophy challenge of the previous round, the screen will scroll across an otherwise offscreen option you can't highlight but you don't get to see what it is because it doesn't have time to load.

    Rail Shooter 

    Rhythm Game 
  • Due to a glitch in one of the dance minigames of the original Raving Rabbids, it's impossible to get 100% Completion, despite rumors it grants a better ending (since the game's ending features Rayman successfully escaping from the Rabbids, only to end up going back to rescue the Globox children).
  • There's a subversion in the American Version of Dance Dance Revolution Extreme, released in 2004. In other games, there was a congratulatory message for completing all the songs in the game on a difficulty, but this one only had it for the Challenge difficulty. Without any official word, it seemed like this was just a bug. However, in 2006, Konami had a cross promotion with Burger King - and as part of that promotion, the secret code to unlock a secret song (Memories, which doesn't contain a Challenge chart) was finally released. Completing this song along with all the others gave the congratulatory message.

    Role Playing Game 
  • Golden Sun:
    • The first game has a door just poking out of a lake. The player would assume that the lake would be drained and the door could be reached, but it never is.
    • The Lost Age has a cellar in Mikasalla, where you can evaporate the water. Usually this leads to treasure or a secret room, but here, you get nothing. Another is Taopo Swamp; the locals tell you it's dried up, but you can't do anything about it. Finally, as you sail the boat along the coast of the continents, you can see towns from the first game, but you can't reach them. They look like you should be able to visit them, but even if you use a certain glitch to get across the mountains, you can't actually enter the towns.
    • In Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, the Mercury Lighthouse from the first game is visible while sailing the heroes' ship on the world map similar to the case from The Lost Age, but it cannot be accessed at all. In addition, the country of Bilibin, despite being mentioned often early on, is also never visited (the Broken Bridge in the second town and the closed border in the border town with Morgal both end up past points of no return) even though the game gives the impression the heroes will travel through there to get to their destination of the country of Morgal (instead they are forced to take a detour through a completely different part of the continent to reach said destination).note 
  • Light Crusader: Gloves, swords, and body armors are all in separate lines in your inventory. However, after finding every possible sword and armor, you find that the "glove" line has a gap right in the middle. That set of gauntlets was never placed in the game.
  • In the Super NES and PlayStation versions of Final Fantasy VI:
    • There is one more Esper slot than there are Espers. A lot of players took this to mean there was a hidden piece of Magicite somewhere out there that they'd overlooked. In reality, the empty slot was just there to allow the player to de-equip an Esper after obtaining all of them. Upon hearing the above explanation, some people continued to believe in this nonexistent Esper, insisting that they wouldn't need such a blank space because you have to lose Odin to obtain Raiden. It's there in case you cheat in all espers.
    • Triangle Island: Home of That One Mook, or something more? It's true that it is in the World of Ruin, where there's a Side Quest to get Gogo to join the party. However, in the World of Balance, it's just an island that only has That One Mook.
  • Final Fantasy VII has a few of these:
    • The 1/35 Soldiers and the Custom Sweepers items both seem to indicate they have some purpose at some point, but don't. For those wondering, 1/35 is the scale of the item, not a note that there's anything significant about having 35 of them ("Collect all 12!"). They still apply, though, as they're prominently hidden, are handed out as rare prizes, and are good for absolutely nothing whatsoever. Selling for one gil a pop, they don't even make worthwhile Vendor Trash.
    • One location has an exit that can't be reached. Naturally, Wild Mass Guessing ensued over what could be beyond that exit, including a rumor that it's where you can resurrect Aerith.
    • Not only is there no way to resurrect Aerith, there's also no way to get back the Holy materia she drops.
  • In Final Fantasy IX, examining a fountain in Lindblum yields the message "There's no place to insert the medal". This appears to be a Shout-Out to Resident Evil 2, which featured a fountain that the player had to insert a medal into, but that didn't stop eager item collectors searching for both the "medal" and a place to insert it...
  • Final Fantasy Type-0 has ten Fire spells and their Blizzard equivalents, with nine of them having Thunder versions. Thunder-RFII does not exist.
  • The identity of Yan Angwa in Exit Fate is never revealed. A comic made does reveal some of his backstory. He once searched for the secrets of demons and in that pursuit Clint's master ended up dying.
  • Secret of Mana:
    • You can find seven hidden orbs (to reach level 8) for each of the weapons lying around... except the axe and glove, which mysteriously only have six. Turns out that monsters in the Very Definitely Final Dungeon drop weapon orbs randomly, and this is the only way to get the axe and glove up to level 8. Then it does it again: Using those final dungeon random drops, it's possible to bring any weapon to level 9 (despite most of the game revolving around the number eight)... except the sword, because no monster randomly drops a Sword Orb. The ninth level sword is actually the fully powered Mana Sword, which can only legitimately be attained by casting two different temporary buffs on an eighth level sword. (And it's the only weapon that can defeat the final boss, naturally.)
    • This game could also cause a lot of frustration for players because each spell caster could only get seven kinds of magic. Which meant each of the characters had an empty slot on the spell page. Cue many Epileptic Trees and even a hoax that circulated for a while online suggesting that it was possible to reseal each seed a second time to get a ninth magic.
    • One of the dungeons has what appears to be a sealed door in the northern wall. Nothing the player can do will open it.
  • In Devil Survivor a Kudlak X Kresnik fusion has unique dialog (appearing only in this fusion) by the components, but has the normal fusion results for demons of their race and level. Making this stand out more is that Shiva is always made by fusing the similarly opposing Barong and Rangda.
  • Breath of Fire I has the infamously Dummied Out bar in Nanai, as well as other stuff that is inaccessable and unfinished, although you can view parts of it by hacking the Dr Warp into your inventory.
  • Breath of Fire II has the game dropping loads of hints that Patty is actually Ryu's lost sister Yua. Before the final dungeon, she's tossed into some tall grass, never to be seen again. Some of the hints are dropped after that part. Cue players looking for a way to actually get any kind of acknowledgement from the game. There is none. No cutscene, no way to ever talk to her again.
    • Not the case in the GBA remake, though all the fans get is a panorama still of Patty over the hills of Gate, admiring the sunset... And that's all.
  • In the North American and PAL Releases of Wild AR Ms 4, two of the monsters were removed from the game, therefore making 100% Completion impossible.
  • Dragon Quest VII has a four-character party. You lose one of the characters fairly soon. And then you stay that way for a very long time. You do eventually find another fourth party member, but not before you've unlocked many islands, killed many bosses, and probably assumed you missed something and checked a guide.
  • The North American version of Dark Cloud has a key to the Back Floor of every dungeon... except the Gallery of Time. The entrances (rugs on staircases) are perfectly intact, able to be examined, and like every other dungeon they give you clues as to what item to look for, but the actual item doesn't exist. Why? They forgot to include it when they dubbed the game into English. The Back Floor key is supposed to be a feather duster but it's not even in the game's coding, so any player unlucky enough not to read the web FAQs will wonder why the hell it never shows up.
  • From Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Red and Blue:
      • The infamous truck in Vermilion Port. In a game with sparse decoration, and where almost nothing else—not even legendary species of Pokémon—has a unique overworld sprite, there is exactly one truck that, unless you get creative, you can't get to, or even see! Many people thought that it was special when, nope, it in fact does absolutely nothing.
      • There appears to be a pathway behind Bill's house that leads somewhere but is impossible to reach. This has been linked to one of the many myths of where Mew lurks, the belief being that if you get there you reach "Bill's Secret Garden" and can catch Mew there.
      • Two large patches of grass parallel to Route 1 are never accessible. This had many people guessing as to what could possibly appear in that grass. A simple "walk through walls" code for emulators/game cheat cartridges reveals the secret!note 
      • In Fuchsia City, there's a man wandering around the zoo who's looking for his girlfriend. His girlfriend is hanging out in the Safari Zone, looking for her boyfriend. There's no way to help the two of them to meet, but that hasn't stopped people from trying to figure out how to get them together.note 
    • Pokémon Gold and Silver:
      • The Unown Dex used an interface that places all caught Unown as symbols. After catching all 26 Unown, there seems to be a vacant spot at the end, which lead to rumors of a 27th Unown called the Unown King.note 
      • There were also rumors about being able to get the GS Ball and catch Celebi in non-Japanese versions of Crystal, fueled by the fact that the Celebi event was fully translated and still functional. No such thing is possible; hacking is the only way of accessing the event in international versions.
    • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire
      • There are a total of 69 trainers that you can register in your Trainer's Eyes PokéNav feature that will battle you again after a while. Yep, 69, not 70. Conversely, Professor Birch's kid (the PC you did not pick) doesn't have a Trainer's Eye profile in those games. They do get one in Emerald, though, but not in the Remakes.
      • FireRed and LeafGreen, to implement a feature from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, have a room on one of the Islands with a box blocking a doorway. In the Japanese versions, scanning a battle card for the e-Reader would unblock the door leading to a battle with the Trainer the card is for. However, international releases of everything past Ruby and Sapphire (including their Updated Re-release, Emerald) removed e-Reader functionality due to poor sales in North America and a lack of a European release, but oddly enough the door is still there and due to the removal of the e-Reader features it is always blocked. Interacting with it says that there's wind blowing from behind it, but that's all.
      • Then there's Altering Cave in FireRed, LeafGreen, and Emerald. Normally it only contains Zubat, but the game's code reveals that several other Pokémon, mostly ones from Johto that can't be obtained in FRLG normally, can be found there. Turns out there were supposed to be live Mystery Gift events to change the Pokémon there... which was never held, not even in Japan! And given that the game itself frequently alludes to the mysterious nature of the cave and... you get the idea.
    • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl:
      • Mr. Backlot's mansion consists of a hallway with doors to five rooms and the back garden (which is the only important part anyway). At each end of the hallway, there's a door blocked by a maid who says that the rest of the mansion is private and off limits. They never leave or let you through. The reason for this is probably to demonstrate that the mansion (which does look like a mansion from outside) consists of more than five rooms. Also, one of the rooms contains a statue that you're not allowed to touch. The security guard who won't let you in front of it works 23 hours a day. If you go there between 5 AM and 6 AM, you can touch the statue, but there's still no point in doing so.
      • The Azure Flute, an event item that remains the only way for players to legitimately battle and catch Arceus in the wild, was never distributed, and given two generations have passed since then, it most likely never will be. (While Arceus itself was distributed several times, it was given directly, without the need to catch it) This sadly renders Arceus' battle theme a Long Song, Short Scene situation in HeartGold and SoulSilver, which has a sidequest involving it and the main legendary trio from Diamond and Pearl.
      • Similarly, HeartGold SoulSilver had the Lock Capsule (containing the TM Snarl), which is even more notable since it would have required a quest spanning two games of different generations to unlock, and the NPC who opens it keeps insisting he'll be seeing you later. To add insult to injury, the sequels simply give the player the TM directly, rendering the Capsule completely useless even if it was released.
    • In Pokémon Black and White, a post-game area known as Challenger's Cave is said to have a legend associated with it of a master and student Pokemon. This seems to indicate a connection with the Musketeer Trio and Keldeo, but none of the events involving them have anything to do with Challenger's Cave, and as the area is removed from the sequels, it's unlikely there will be any follow-up on this. In addition, Keldeo doesn't seem to be involved at all because the sequels in question added a location where Keldeo changes into its Resolute Forme with the assistance of the Musketeer Trio, with said location being located near a completely new town, far from where Challenger's Cave was.
    • In X and Y, after beating the main story, two NPCs in Lumiose City change their conversation. One of them mentions that she heard there was a Lava Dome Pokémon in Jaune Plaza (where the NPCs are located). What Heatran (which isn't available in these games, but rather in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire) has to do with that place is unknown, and bringing Heatran there does nothing anyway.
  • Gwen in Guild Wars was originally this. She was a little girl who followed you around in the tutorial area, and would give you a tapestry shred marked as a quest item if you gave her enough flowers. After the tutorial, the player never saw her again, nor found a use for the tapestry, even though one could meet her dead mother in the underworld or find items of hers scattered throughout the world. This was never intended to be expanded upon, but so many players demanded closure that Gwen was eventually reintroduced. She now has more backstory than any other character in the game, most of which the player gets to experience first-hand.
  • Neopets, the online site, has an odd example. There is a Game called NeoQuest that you can play. In that game, there is a door that is locked. It has been 10 years since the game was released, yet no key has been found. The Neopets team that runs the site has made numerous jokes about people being unable to find it, yet these jokes cause users to believe that there is no key and/or it was forgotten.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has the infamous sunken chest item. It's a common item, definitely, and it IS used in conjunction with other items to make a spooky pirate skeleton. However, it still does have an annoyingly alluring "use" link and the text given when it's used almost gives a hint that it should be opened, but the damn thing just will. Not. Open. The game's designers love trolling the users about it, frequently claiming it's the longest-standing undiscovered secret in the game. The worst thing is, they may be telling the truth - or eventually add a use - in which case it isn't this trope.
  • In Quarterstaff: The Tomb of Setmoth, a hollow sound when knocking on a wall indicates a secret room on the other side. One such secret proves unreachable—and examining the game code shows that there's actually nothing there.
  • There are so many plots that dead end in World of Warcraft that a list of them would double the length of the page. There are also quests and areas only available in earlier versions of the game; the plot has moved on and those quests are officially already over.
    • Perhaps the most famous of these was a legendary sword known as the Ashbringer. There were a very small handful of references to the sword in game, leading to many rumors and speculation, including an entire fansite dedicated to searching for it, but it turned out to not actually be in the game. The mass attention did lead to Blizzard introducing a corrupted version, but then the rumors and speculation turned to ways on how to purify the weapon, which couldn't actually be done. At this point, the weapon became so iconic that Blizzard handed it to a major character in the canon, who purified it himself and went on to wield it as his signature weapon. Only after all this time, in the Legion expansion, will players finally be able to wield the purified Ashbringer themselves.
  • Persona 4 has a blinking eye that appears mysteriously at the status screen of a party member after maxing his/her Social Link. Apparently, it does nothing, but considering the heavy emphasis of the game on finding out hidden truths, this hasn't stopped the fans.
  • Tales of Symphonia has the lighthouse in the Palmacosta docks. There's a man standing outside it that tells you that anyone who goes in gets sick, which any remotely Genre Savvy player will recognize as a sidequest waiting to happen. Palmacosta is fairly early on in the game, so it's easy to think that you'll come back later and do something with it, but it never happens. Most likely this was something dummied out because they didn't have time to finish it.
  • In Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, about a quarter of the way through the game, you reach the Trading Town of Peterny, which has four gates. Three of them lead to different locations that you will traverse, but the fourth is inaccessible, leading to the Kingdom of Greeton. This region can never be accessed at any point in the game or post-game, and the gate serves only to note that yes, the kingdom does exist in a different part of Elicoor.
  • In Mass Effect 3, there are several areas of the Citadel that appear as if you should be able to enter them - you can see things like door-opening icons and the like - but they are blocked by locked doors, desks, etc. and at no point in the game (or any DLC) do you actually get the chance to enter them. One example is the area behind the security checkpoint in the cargo bay area where the refugees make camp.
  • In the original English version of Chrono Trigger, the Guru of Time tells you of things that are happening around the world in different time periods. It quickly becomes obvious that he's telling you about the sidequests you have left. The problem is, there was one statement that persisted no matter what you did: "One of you is close to someone who needs help. Find this person, fast." As stated in the caption of the page image, this was a translation error; in the Japanese version, Gaspar simply told the party to speak to its members at the End of Time in order to learn about events or sidequests in their respective eras, and later translations made it clearer that he wasn't talking about another quest.
  • Breath of Fire IV has the Soma Forest, an area only Fou-lu gets to explore. There are what look to be side paths blocked by obstacles that it seems like your other characters could remove, but your main party can never visit this area.
  • In Terranigma, the southern half of Africa is inaccessible by land, air or sea. There are areas labeled "Kalahari" and "Cape Town," but not even hacking the game will let you enter them.
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2, you can find NPCs around the world to occupy buildings and plots of land in your keep. You have two farms, but there is only one recruitable farmer; the second farm stays unoccupied. In addition, when you do recruit the farmer, he always says that the farm is in a poor condition, but unlike everything else in the keep, there is no way to improve the situation. Farms don't even have any gameplay effect, so apparently the developers never got to implementing them properly.
  • In the Roguelike Pixel Dungeon, each boss drops the key to a gate that is required to progress to the next section of Pixel Dungeon. The final boss does not drop a key, but there still exists a gate at the bottom of the dungeon that cannot be opened by normal means. Should the player hack a key in, he'll find that there is, in fact, one more floor in the dungeon, but it is completely devoid except for a single sign that says, "What are you doing here?!"
  • The final room of the final dungeon in Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals has a doorframe in the north wall and is the only place in the game where such architecture exists. Rumors claimed that it would be open at 100% Completion or something, but it's just a sprite that calls attention to itself by standing out.
  • Breath of Death VII features a few chests found in towns that you never get a chance to open, despite looking like the usual shiny red-gold Inexplicable Treasure Chests.
  • Cthulhu Saves the World's bonus campaign Cthulhu's Angels features a treasure chest in the final dungeon that just can't be opened for some reason. It doesn't even trigger a message, so it's probably an oversight.
  • Star Ocean: The Second Story has a couple small examples. Every character has a favorite food, which will be displayed on their status screen when/if the item is used on them, and which always fully heals them, regardless of whatever the item's normal effect was. However, Chisato's favorite food, the Fruit Sandwich, was Dummied Out, meaning her Favorite Food entry will always remain blank.
    • A second, lesser instance is in the "Compounding" item creation method, in which you combine two herbal items in order to create new and better medicines. Each combination produces one of four items, except for two Artemis Leaves, which only produces three. Its fourth potential item, the Mint Pot, was likewise Dummied Out.

    Shoot-Em-Up 
  • Dariusburst Another Chronicle has 12 Zones/stages labeled A through L used for Original Mode, and 12 stages labeled O through Z used for Original EX mode. Curiously, there is no "Zone M" or "Zone N". This is most likely in order to ensure that the EX set of stages ends in 'Z'.

    Simulation Game 
  • Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life has a small building on your farm with a locked door. You're never able to open it. Furthermore, there are characters mentioned to be 'away' — Duke and Manna's daughter Aja, and Lilia's husband — who never return. This is despite Lilia's husband going to search for a flower that blooms in the desert every seven years, suggesting to many that if one played for seven in-game years, he would return with the flower and heal her.
  • In Harvest Moon: Magical Melody, the cover of the game's box shows a number of animals around some of the characters. All of the animals show up in the game, except for the Labrador. Also, one little girl who moves into the town constantly alludes to being frightened of something, considers herself evil and not going to heaven, and has a profile that says she has "some skeletons in her closet". It's never revealed what her deep, dark secret is.
  • Despite Twisted Metal 2's manual listing Santa Claus as a pedestrian, he's nowhere to be found anywhere in the game. Sorry kids, but due to a programming oversight you'll never get to run Santa over in this game.

    Stealth Based Game 
  • In Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, there was going to be a weapon which would have served as an alternate fiber wire on replays of the game- a rosary (crucifix!). It was taken out at the last minute, but the space for it in the weapon collection area was noticable in the final version of the game.
  • Metal Gear Solid had one leftover space on the codec menu, but there's no one to fill it.

    Survival Horror 
  • In Silent Hill, there's a finite amount of pickups, and the game will tell you how many you got at the end. However, following any official guides will still leave you missing one item, according to the game. At least one person on GameFAQs has reported getting a full score after going through the game clicking at every location. If so, the item may still be in the game, just invisible due to a programming error or Dummied Out.
  • In Corpse Party (PSP) there is one name tag that cannot be gotten in the English Version of the game, due to the translators putting an event in the way of the area it's in.
  • If you enter the bedroom through the deer trophy room in Resident Evil, the bed can be examined to read "These footprints look like they're headed straight through the bed". There's nothing known for sure about what it was meant to be, though a rumor has circulated that it was originally part of an escape route used to flee the labs after activating the Self Destruct Sequence.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • Jet Force Gemini:
    • The game houses a secret level called the Spacestation (whose only playable area is Abandoned Wreck), which tasks players with descending through its charred husk to the floors below. At the final deck, you'll find a mysterious door that slides open to reveal a thin alcove and nothing more. Keep in mind, an entire floor is dedicated to this grand reveal, which seems rather underwhelming when the door offers up little more than a bit of closet space. The developers later stated that "[The Abandoned Space Station] was one of the first levels we prototyped. We abandoned it, then put it back in late on as a hidden level."
    • All three playable characters can separately collect all five types of key (red, yellow, green, blue and magenta), except for the blue key for Lupus. At least he won't require it at all during his errands.
  • MDK 2 has one point in Stage 3 where the doctor finds a fish bowl and a lighter. he then remarks "Now some more jelly and a blowdryer. If only I could find that monkey". This makes the player assume that three items: a jar of jelly, a blowdryer, and a monkey can be found, however none of those three items exist anywhere in the game. Not in stage 3, stage 6, stage 9, or stage 10. Many people believe it may have been an outtake audio file they never removed.
  • Ratchet & Clank has a few of these:
    • In the first game, after you've done all the side missions, there still is an empty slot in the Items menu. That slot is there to hold a Fetch Quest item until you turn it in, after which it is removed from the menu, leading to some confusion. You can however fill it again in the New Game+ by picking up the item again and not turning it in.
    • Also in the original game, you can upgrade ten of your weapons in the two Gold Weapon Rooms... leaving the other five weapons in their vanilla forms. More than a few players assumed those could be upgraded as well, since five of the full ten could be acquired through the second Gold Weapon Room, so there must be a third for the rest of the weapons, right?
    • Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando allows weapons to level up, and then in Challenge Mode, they can go to Mega and then Ultra... but not all weapons can do that. The returning Gadgetron weapons only go up to Meganote , the Sheepinator and Clank Zapper can only level up just the once, and the RYNO II and the Zodiac don't level up at all!
    • A more classic example is the empty slot in Going Commando's Item menu. This was probably the spot for the Hydro-Pack upgrade that fires torpedoes, which was likely cut as the game didn't feature any underwater combat in its downplayed swimming sections.
    • The RYNOCIRATOR in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal is the only weapon that peaks at level 5 instead of level 8.
    • In Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time, if you look at Time Bombs in the pause menu, it says that they're level 1. Time Bombs don't level up at all, so the level number is just misleading.
    • On the Deplanetizer in Ratchet & Clank (2016), there are a bunch of locked doors with red padlock icons on them. You'd think that since the game is so up-front about how these doors are locked, there's some way to open them, right? After all, other doors in the game that can't be opened don't have a giant lock icon on them, so there must be something special about these padlock-sign doors, right? Wrong. There is nothing special about any of those doors, despite the giant lock icon on them.
    • There's also another one in Ratchet & Clank '16; when you have all of the holocards, Raritanium drops are increased by 35% total, but holocard and bolt drops are only increased by 30%.
  • The Killer 7 magnum in Resident Evil 4 doesn't have an Exclusive upgrade when every other upgradeable weapon does.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • Every class (Both humanoids and monsters) in the first Disgaea game has its basic form and five recolored upgrades, except the Prinnies, which only have 4. The final Prinny class shows up as a Bonus Boss in the game - so the class exists but you can't have it in your party. NIS added in a way to get the next tier in the sequels.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Don't try to find more than six "secret" locations in Assassin's Creed II if you didn't buy the game from GameStop and don't use Uplay. Of course, there's nothing in the game that would tell you about that.
  • The yellow marble in Riven's fire marble dome puzzle does nothing but throw you off, there is no hidden sixth island.
  • In Fallout 3, the Vault-Tec computer in the Citadel mentions a Vault 76, but it does not appear in the game, or any other Fallout games to date.
  • In the Mountain Resort in Go Vacation, there's a heart-shaped island in the lake. Several nearby NPCs talk it up, which is usually an indicator that the island is involved in a secret. One even says that couples who vow their love on the island later get married, which has caused some people to think you can get married in the game. But the island doesn't seem to do anything and you can't get married. It appears to just be there for flavor.

    Other 
  • In Ta-Koro of the Mata Nui Online Game, there are two locked doors on each side of the town square, but they never come up in the gameplay. One hut in Onu-Koro isn't locked, however, but you still can't go in. As revealed by some unused game files, this place was to be home of a smith of some sort, but it has been Dummied Out.

    Non Video Game Examples 
  • A probable urban-legend college prank involves releasing three piglets (or chickens, or whatever) with the numbers "1", "2", and "4" painted on their sides. The pranked quickly find all the animals, but continue searching for the non-existent one marked "3". In What's with Andy?, Andy Larkin pulled this prank once. He did also a variation of it... with about one hundred sheep.
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • In the very first set, Alpha, the cards Volcanic Island and Circle of Protection: Black weren't printed due to an error, which meant there was a Circle of Protection for each color but black and a dual land for each two-color combination but blue/red. This was fixed in the next set, Beta.
    • The head designer, Mark Rosewater, has mentioned that he deliberately tries to avoid upsetting player expectations, but sometimes he either doesn't notice a pattern or is overruled. In the case of Goatnapper, which temporarily steals a goat, the card was supposed to be a sly reference to the changelings note . Cue angry letters from fans asking why there weren't any goat cards. Tower of Calamities was printed about a decade after the four Mirrodin towers just so people would stop asking where the fifth tower was.
  • The Planescape Campaign Setting had several of these. Comparable creatures could often be found on each Inner or each Outer Plane, but there were some gaps. For instance, there were mephits on each Inner Plane except the energy planes, except that there was no Vacuum mephit, and Steam had both Steam and Mist mephits. This led to in-universe (or in-multiverse) rumors that there were Inner Planes that were either hidden or lost, and that there had once been a race of Void mephits that had been wiped out. A later sourcebook actually referenced in passing a unique creature that might have been the last void mephit.
  • The standard edition of AC/DC Pinball has a large portrait of Angus Young in the middle, with the electronics to light up his eyes, his mouth, and for some reason, his nose. Despite it having the most official code updates of any pinball machine, none of these lights are ever used in normal gameplay, though they do flash in its Attract Mode.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MissingSecret