A feature created to improve the replayability of some games. Some games are designed so you can reach 100% Completion
in one go, but some others don't make everything the game has to offer available until you've beaten the game (that is, seen the credits) at least once. This is very common in Role-Playing Games
and games with levels, but it can appear in every genre.
The exact things you can unlock vary from game to game. Common unlockables include a Secret Character
, higher difficulty levels
, a new costume
, the True Final Boss
, and many more. Sometimes the game makes the content unlockable by doing a rewind to the last Save Point
before fighting the Final Boss
, but it's quite more common that the unlockables appear only in New Game+
, which is Post-End Game Content
on its own right too.
A subtrope of Unlockable Content
and supertrope to New Game+
, Endgame Plus
and Playable Epilogue
. It will frequenly overlap with the other subtropes, Double Unlock
being the most frustrating and most common one. Necessary for 100% Completion
. Compare with Downloadable Content
. Compare also with Extended Gameplay
- To unlock the hidden Boss Rush level of Ace Combat Zero, you have to complete the game trice.
- In Assassins Creed III, after completing the game and watching the credits, a cutscene and two epilogue missions are unlocked, followed by someone hacking the Animus and opening up the ability to unlock cheat codes and find a bonus Abstergo video.
- In Batman: Arkham City:
- The ability to use alternate Batsuit skins for freeroam is unlocked after beating the story once (although it is also possible if one inputs a cheat code at the main menu screen before beating the game).
- The final chapter of Catwoman's storyline is only available after the ending cutscene and credits. When that mission is finished, the player can switch between her and Batman at any time, as well as finish another Catwoman-only mission where she can retrieve the rest of her diamonds.
- The in-game enemy chatter and menu description changes to reflect the fact that you've beaten the game.
- After defeating the final boss of Breath of Fire IV, a new shop is opened by two characters from the third game, selling various powerful items.
- Some achievements in Brütal Legend are only obtainable after beating the main campaign.
- Castlevania series:
- The Duplicator item and several cheats for a new save become available in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night if you have a Clear or Replay save. If you get a high enough percentage you can unlock the option to play as Richter and Maria.
- The Sisters and Richter modes unlock in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin depending on the ending you get. If you kill 1,000 Old Axe Armors, you can also play as one.
- Aria and Dawn of Sorrow unlock Boss Rush mode, as well as Julius mode (which, in Dawn of Sorrow, becomes how the game continues after the Dark Lord ending).
- Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia unlocks New Game+, Hard Mode, Albus Mode, Boss Rush, and Sound Mode. If you beat the game at Level 1 Hard Mode, you'll unlock level 255 mode.
- Chrono Trigger has New Game+, where you can find many more endings that you couldn't access before unless you level grinded a lot. The DS version exclusive Dimensional Vortex, however, only unlocks in New Game+.
- In the Devil May Cry series, Dante Must Die and the upper difficulties. They later unlock the Super Costumes (not that you need them anymore).
- The Disgaea series. Many Bonus Bosses and Dungeons only become available after killing the final boss, as well as some Secret Characters. Some of the remakes feature gaiden storylines that are only unlocked after completing the game, as well.
- Inward Chaos and Secret Characters Gabranth and Shantotto in Dissidia: Final Fantasy.
- It's been suggested (not inaccurately) that Dragon Quest IX has more post-game content than game content.
- Endless Mode in Duel Savior Destiny doesn't unlock until you've beaten the final route. For every level you clear, you get points to spend. With these points you can unlock more characters to use and the ability to bring in allies. You can't buy certain stuff until you've progressed to a certain point, though, and certain levels have special bonus content.
- The SNES port of Faceball 2000: after beating the main campaign mode, Cyberzone, you're given a code that unlocks a second, full-length campaign, Cyberscape, which contains all the levels from the original Game Boy version of Faceball 2000 just released a year earlier and plays differently from Cyberzone.
- Fallout 2 offers you legitimate cheats that increase all your skills to 300 and give free experience. One is a book given by a priest in New Reno; the other is a download in Vault City's computer. Both are avaiable after you beat the main quest.
- In Grand Theft Auto V:
- After completing the main campaign, the surviving characters will receive certain text messages and phone calls based on the chosen ending.
- If Trevor survived the main campaign, a bonus mission, "Mrs. Phillips", will unlock after beating the main campaign.
- The Harvest Moon and Rune Factory series have special crops you can only purchase once you have reached the end credits. Both game franchises allow you to continue playing, even though the main plot has finished.
- As part of its Endgame Plus, I Miss the Sunrise gives you access to Splice i and three new bounty hunts.
- In the Jak and Daxter series:
- Jak II: Renegade offers more mini missions for you to complete, and you also can unlock cheats and Hero Mode with the Precursor Orbs.
- Jak 3: Wastelander unlocks more or less the same as 2, but it let's you choose what you want to buy instead of requiring to reach an specific amount of orbs.
- The Megaman Battle Network series all have a fairly extensive post-game. It basically exists to allow the fairly complex combat system to be fully utilized, as the main game can be completed without too much effort, but the post-game requires you to really understand what you are doing.
- Metal Gear series:
- In the re-released versions of Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, you can get the bandana for infinite ammo only after beating the game.
- In Metal Gear Solid, depending on which of the Multiple Endings you get, you win either the Stealth camoflauge or the infinite ammo bandanna. Beat the game twice on the same save and Snake will wear a tux and the Ninja will look like Spider-Man.
- Metal Gear Solid 2 awards cool sunglasses to whoever beats the game twice on the same save. There are also various post-game rewards that you can take into a New Game+ by collecting dog tags.
- Metal Gear Solid 3 awards The Patriot and a Tuxedo to whoever can beat the game, and depending on your choices in a certain end game cutscene, you can get Ocelot's Revolver. You also carry over all your special camos from beating the Cobras with stamina kills.
- Metal Gear Solid 4 basically has all of the above. Tuxedo? Check. Bandanna? Check. Stealth camo? Check. Special guns? Check. New special guns? Check. Of course, you have to either buy them or do some seriously Nintendo Hard tasks to win it all. You also carry over all of your boss-specific weapons, including the Rail Gun which destroys vehicles, and you carry over all your old guns, ammo and silencer stats.
- However, you only get said items after meeting up with Otacon and the Metal Gear Mk II, forcing you to play the first few maps without them.
- In Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, unlockable weapons will spawn at your location upon replaying each mission, as well as unlocking Hard Mode.
- After the Final Boss is defeated in Ni no Kuni Wrath of the White Witch, the player is allowed to return to a point in time just before the fight, but with new side quests unlocked at Swift Solutions, a new string of Bonus Bosses available to fight, and the ability to claim some rare and powerful familiars from Umbopa.
- The "All Runes Game" and the Challenge Mode of Order Of Twilight, which are unlocked after completing the main game once.
- The Pokémon series:
- The first generation unlocked the Cerulean Cave, home to the most powerful Pokémon Mewtwo. The remakes also unlocked the Sevii Islands.
- The second generation unlocked the Kanto region, with the gym leaders of the first generation ready to fight you again. Many people, however, consider this to be part of the game, and not an unlockable. Mt. Silver, on the other hand, only unlocks when you beat the 8 old gym leaders and lets you fight the True Final Boss, the protagonist of the first generation.
- The third generation unlocks the roaming Pokémon Latios or Latias. Ruby & Sapphire unlock Rayquaza and the Battle Tower, Emerald unlocks the Pokémon Frontier.
- The fourth generation unlocks the upper right part of the map, with the Fight, Survival and Resort Areas, but to unlock the latter two you need to have seen every Pokémon in the Regional Pokédex (which can be a pain in the ass and a Guide Dang It to boot). Turnback Cave also appeared when you unlocked the previous areas. Pokémon swarms started to appear every day too.
- The fifth generation went one step further than any other, as beating the game lets you fight the Champion of the League, something never done before. Other important fights with Bonus Bosses are unlocked too, as well as new areas (the right part of the map) where old generation Pokemon appear. The option to connect with the fourth generation becomes available too.
- The sixth generation gears the post-end game content towards Tournament Play, with the Friend Safari (where pokémon with two out of six perfect stats and better abilities can be caught) being unlocked, along with the Battle Maison awarding new prizes essential to stat breeding. Mewtwo also makes a comeback, holding his (or her) Mega Stone.
- The Mystery Dungeon series are far from over when you end the game. You'll gain access to many new areas and a second storyline. You'll also be able to fight the boss Legendary Pokémon from the first part.
- The Professor Layton series offers you the Sound Mode, images, the cinematics and descriptions of every character... that is, if you obtained enough picarats from solving puzzles.
- The Silent Hill series:
- Silent Hill 1: If you beat the game once you'll access the chainsaw. Do it twice with a good and bad ending and you get access to a Katana.
- Silent Hill 3: Beating the game gives you access to the HEZZAH BEAM!
- Silent Hill Origins: Doing certain things in game will get you post-game rewards that include a plasma rifle, some Game Breaker gauntlets, and some sweet threads.
- The bonus worlds in the Something Series. Something even advises you to complete the game before taking on the bonus world when you press the Switch Palace in World 4.
- Star Ocean: Till the End of Time: Completing the main quest will unlock the Maze of Tribulations, the Urssa Cave Temple, and allows you to take on the rest of Sphere 211 (which covers the remaining 111 floors). Each dungeon comes complete with their own bonus boss battles. However, Lenneth and Freya cameo as the game's two optional bosses, and have attacks so devastating, they can annihilate even fully leveled parties in record time.
- Super Mario Bros.:
- Completing Super Mario Galaxy 2 with 120 stars unlocks the green star challenge, an additional 120 stars. These range from pathetically easy, to Rage Quit inducing difficulty depending on their location and means required to snag 'em. There's more. If you can get 240 stars (a feat in itself) and deposit 9,999 starbits in the toad bank, you'll unlock the Harder Than Hard Grand Master Galaxy. This level comes with its own comet coin which must be collected along with the course's star. Then you get to take on "The Perfect Run". Good luck with that.
- Beating Super Mario 3D World unlocks a number of secret worlds, the first of which also contains Rosalina, as well as the Luigi Bros. minigame (though it can be unlocked at the start with New Super Luigi U save data).
- Tons and tons of characters in the Tekken series, as well as Tekken Bowl, Force, and Ball in 3.
- The World Ends with You has a "Chapter Select" feature (including a bonus chapter, "Another Day"), optional sidequests for every chapter, Ultimate difficulty, and most of the strongest pins, equipment and key items.
- In Plants vs. Zombies Pinball, beating Dr. Zomboss resets the game status, but all the zombies become slightly harder to kill.
- Williams Electronics' Safe Cracker pinball rewards players who beat the game with a (physical) "Magic Token". Players can use the token to play "Assault On the Vault", where they have 90 seconds and four balls to hit as many drop targets and ramp shots as possible.
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind has a number of faction quests that require completing the main quest of the game first. There is an implicit gameplay consideration in this, since the common element between the quests is that they require you to kill people deemed Essential to the main quest (there were plans for a quest that instead relied on story considerations (using your fame and power as the Nerevarine to get a master wizard to pay his taxes), but it got dropped). There are also a scattered few quests where having completed the main quest opens up new and usually easier options to completing them.
- Might and Magic X gives you access to the joke Limbo Dungeon (it is a science-fiction-y dungeon version of the developer's office, and you get an achievement called "Beyond the Scenes" for beating it) after you beat the game. There is also a a relic (the game's version of artefacts. Worn/used ones level up as you get XP) you can only get after beating the game, though that's the result of it being the reward for a collection sidequest where one of the things you need to collect is in the final dungeon, and you can't leave said dungeon until you beat the game.
- Haunting Ground: Beating the game at least once (that is, getting one of the two good endings) unlocks the ability to change costumes at any point in the game, a couple of extra scenes that make late-game events make more sense, the ability to leave the castle early (yielding a new ending where Fiona avoids ever meeting Riccardo or Lorenzo) and, most significant of all, an optional Hard Mode.