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Sequence Breaking
Thinking outside the box.

When a game's development team is designing a game, they often form some specific ideas as to the path the player should take when completing the game. Other ways to progress are usually restricted either by simply not supplying any other options or by placing some sort of impenetrable obstacle in the way of what would otherwise be a valid path. In these ways a path through the game is created. This path manifests to the player as The One True Sequence in which tasks need to be completed.

Sometimes, fans of a game develop ways to complete tasks in an unexpected order, or skip some entirely, contrary to the developer's intentions. Such acts and the attempts to discover them are known as Sequence Breaking.

The act of sequence breaking is accomplished in many different ways. Sometimes, the player exploits a glitch or a bug in the game's programming. Other times they play within the intended boundaries, but still manage to accomplish something intended to be impossible (for instance, jumping a fence using an unforeseen combination of abilities and careful timing).

Or you could do it completely by accident. Luckily, this tends to have little effect on the game's story or progress, and you can usually go back and do what you missed.

Some games eschew the linear path design and opt for a more freeform style, like the Wide Open Sandbox. These games are more resistant to forming Sequence Breaker communities in the fan base, and normally don't get them at all simply because there is no sequence to break.

The phrase Sequence Breaking is most often applied in the context of the Metroid fanbase, who coined the term. The term has since been applied to many other fanbases of other games.

This is a subtrope of Emergent Gameplay, and sometimes of Not the Intended Use. Contrast Script Breaking, which is often done via Sequence Breaking. Sequence breaking may involve the Dungeon Bypass, which is one typical way of breaking the sequence. Also contrast You Can't Thwart Stage One, which is often literally true even in games that allow sequence breaking; even Metroidvanias famous for sequence-breaking opportunities generally require that the first area be traversed or the first item be collected. If the game recognizes your attempt in some fashion, then The Dev Team Thinks of Everything.

Note: We Are Not GameFAQs. Details about specific instances belong there, not here.


Examples:

  • In an old Apple ][ game called The Alpine Encounter, you had to find an urn with spy information in it within two days in a ski resort. The game has an incredibly elaborate sequence of how the urn is passed from enemy agent to enemy agent that remains the same each game; the trick being when you can intercept a drop-off. If you don't go anywhere until 9:45am (you can simply type "wait 2 hours") on the first day, and stay at the front desk entrance, you can steal the first spy's luggage containing the urn and call the Inspector (someone you shouldn't have met yet) and give the urn to him. This should take about 30 seconds.
  • In Ultima IX the player is unable to swim and thus prevented from reaching other islands early in the game. The player can avoid this restriction by using items that float, such as loaves of bread, to create a bridge of stepping "stones". Also, due to the buggy nature of the game, it is actually possible to skip large chunks of it simply by finding the sections of mountain that you can leap over. It is literally as easy as pressing "jump" while the cursor is pointed in the right places.
    • Worlds of Ultima: The Savage Empire required you to kill the Myrmidex queen to finish the game. It was possible to skip large portions of the game by using a vine on one of the entrances to the underworld, and fighting through all the Myrmidex to reach the queen, rather than using the drum. This becomes easier once you figure out that one of the characters (Yunapotli) is invulnerable, and once you've got the radar that tells you where to go.
  • Backdooring in League of Legends and Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars. You are intended to siege first the outer towers and then the inner towers with your minion army, using your champions/heroes to kill the enemy players and buy time to push towers. Or you could just pick a hero with high damage and some sort of global teleport and get started on the enemy's base towers. In Dota, this is difficult but not impossible, due to "Backdoor Protection" regeneration when no minions are around. In League, you simply cannot attack towers if the towers before them are still standing. Neither game prevents the player from picking a character like Furion or Sivir and completely ignoring teamfights and just pushing random lanes until the enemy has no buildings left.
    • Is there a rule that says you have to fight in front of a tower and not behind it? No. Cue Axe in Dota and the proxy Singed strategy in League. Both characters can kill entire creep waves quickly even at level 1, eanbling them to sit behind the enemy tower killing their minions so waves of friendly minions attack the tower until it breaks. Axe has the benefit of being almost impossible to dislodge by enemy melee laners when creeps are around due to his retaliatory spin attack; while proxy Singed benefits from the reduced bounty for players on a death streak, fully expecting to die a bazillion times but giving the enemy player a pittance of gold and then just running back and doing it again.
    • Roshan is a very powerful creep that gives a very high amount of gold to the entire team that kills him, a large amount of exp and the Aegis of the Imortal, which is basically a second life. It's very uncommon for this to happen before most heroes are level 10 at the least. That is unless you bring both Skeleton King and Ursa Warrior in, with the right items they can take down roshan at the start of the game. This gives them both 2 levels, their entire team 200 gold and a very powerful advantage of a 2nd life. Heck, you can have the entire team determined to level 1 Roshan.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is incredibly glitchy, allowing canny players to do almost literally whatever they want. Don't like the Deku Tree? Skip it. Water Temple not your thing? Clip through the boss door and go straight to the boss. Don't like being a child? Clip through the Door of Time! Want to use your favorite items early? A memory-modifying glitch allows one to get most items without collecting them from their normal positions in the game. Don't have a lot of time to play? Perform a glitch that allows a warp from the Deku Tree to the defeat of Ganondorf, skipping almost the entire game and allowing one to finish the game as a child in around twenty minutes. As such, the game is a favorite of Speedrunners. You can also play the temples in several different orders even without backtracking or using gamebreaking glitches. For example, it is possible to access and complete the Spirit Temple without the hoverboots from the Shadow Temple.
    • Concisely put, you can complete the Fire Temple before the Forest Temple, the Water Temple before the Fire Templenote  and complete the Shadow and Spirit temples completely independent of each other. Skipping the Bottom of the Well is technically possible, but requires a virtually photographic memory. This isn't going into certain side quests that can be done out of order, such as getting Biggoron's Sword before setting foot in any temple at all. note 
    • In Master Quest the sequence was tightened to force the order, but it was done badly. In the Fire Temple, you get the Megaton Hammer soon after starting the temple. The temple also has puzzles that require lighting torches with lit arrows. From across rooms. Yay for completing the Water Temple first and gaining Fire Arrows.
    • It should be noted that many of these glitches were kept in the 3DS remake, making it a lot of fun to exploit them on the go.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask you can complete the first dungeon and challenge Odolwa as soon as you're able, resulting in a difficult fight against a fast, hard-hitting enemy with multiple attacks that restrict your movement and/or hit very wide areas and can't be blocked; tends to summon flocks of moths that are very, very hard to avoid taking damage from; and has a blatantly misleading arena which implies you should use the Deku Mask but actually doing so opens you up to instant death. Or, you can go far enough through the first dungeon to gain access to the bow, then reset the clock, head north from Clock Town and finish the second dungeon, grab the Razor Sword (or the Gilded Sword, if you're fast enough to finish its sidequest your first time through Snowpeak or willing to do Snowpeak twice/without a sword), head back to the first dungeon, and proceed to skip 90% of it with fire arrows and kill Odolwa in less than half a minute.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is no slouch either when it comes to sequence breaking. A number of huge glitches can be used. Some of the glitches include: being able to get the Master Sword as early as the first Tears of Light quest, skipping the Temple of Time and most of Snowpeak Ruins by clipping Link's wolf form through the statue you're normally supposed to move with the Dominion Rod (Zant's ice form still needs the ball and chain and Arbiter's Grounds needs to be completed to access the Twilight Realm); and using a glitch to cancel map loading so the trigger that forces you to track the reekfish scent at Snowpeak never loads (allowing you to skip the fishing rod).
  • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, it's possible to get items out of the temples without actually defeating the bosses. This allows the player to visit locations that he shouldn't be able to and get better items or more heart pieces before finishing the first temple. It's also often recommended to do certain dungeons out of order to make the game easier. The only things that can't be broken are that you need to obtain the first pendant to get the pegasus shoes, which are required to reach the book that opens the gate to the Desert Palace, you need the Power Glove to reach the Mountain Tower, you're required to obtain the Moon Pearl in order to do anything useful in the Dark World after defeating Agahnim, you need the hammer to reach Levels 2-4, the Titan's Mitt to reach Levels 5-7, the Hookshot to complete Level 5, the Cane of Somaria to complete Level 7, and finish Levels 1-7 to access Level 8 and finish the game.
    • It is quite possible to glitch oneself into the majority of the Dark World before the confrontation with Agahnim. By combining this with the more traditional "Get item, skip boss" format of Zelda sequence breaking, it can lead to such shenanigans as gaining the Tempered Sword before Zelda's kidnapping, obtaining the Golden Sword, using the Golden Sword to defeat third boss of the Light World, and then retrieving the original Master Sword (which you never received in the first place) and tempering it. Again.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, bringing up the map whilst crossing over screens warps you to the opposite side of the screen you're entering. In underground sections, this can put you on the "roof". Walking around can lead you across many areas of the island, and causes some dramatic glitches. You could skip all the way to the very final boss battle from near the start of the game this way. It generally made a mess of things, as can be seen in this video (or this LP, which uses the glitch to complete the dungeons in reverse order while hilariously pretending that it's a normal playthrough of the game). This bug got fixed in the colour release.
    • In a less game-breaking example, you can back out of the 7th dungeon after acquiring the Mirror Shield, complete the eighth dungeon, and use the Flame Rod for a much easier fight with the 7th Dungeon Boss.
  • Zelda II The Adventure Of Link had a pretty basic sequence-breaking method. You weren't required to defeat any of the bosses until the end of the game, so you could simply grab the item and leave the dungeon, then come back at the end for a laughably easy boss run. This is a pretty effective strategy, since each boss automatically gives you an instant level-up; these are much more valuable if you wait until the end of the game to obtain them.
    • Zelda II has some glitches that allow tool-assisted speed runners to fight the final boss without ever fighting a single other enemy in the game. Witness the carnage here. A less glitched live speed run, which doesn't use the Left+Right glitch (and kills several enemies) but makes use of several other glitches, can be observed here. At this point the game has been broken so thoroughly that speed runners don't have to bother clearing any of the dungeons or fighting any of the bosses except Link's shadow, and the game can be completed collecting only one dungeon item, three magic containers, and two spells. See also the glitched 100% run, which visits dungeons and collects items in no recognisable order. None of these runs resemble normal gameplay in the slightest.
  • In The Legend Of Zelda Oracle Of Seasons, after clearing the third dungeon you're supposed to visit the Sunken City first, obtain the flippers, and then head north to Mt. Cucco. In fact, by using the "Pegasus Jump" technique (in which jumping while under the effect of speed-boosting Pegasus Seeds boosts the jump distance) it is possible to head into the Temple Remains from the west entrance. While the Temple Remains is a high-difficulty endgame area crawling with powerful enemies and most of it is still inaccessible at this point, it's possible to head through the southern portion of the region and use another "Pegasus Jump" to enter Mt. Cucco from the area's east entrance. This sequence break presents the opportunity to obtain a new season ability far earlier than should be possible and triggers a number of new events, minigames, and shops in Subrosia that should still be unavailable.
    • The entire trading sequence can be skipped simply because completing it doesn't yield an item, just directions to GET to the item. So if you remember it, say from previous playthroughs, or you looked it up, you didn't have to do any of it.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, one needs to fight two Moblins in order to obtain the Big Key for the second dungeon. However, the fight can be avoided by simply letting Link die during the battle. The game automatically spawns Link back at the very beginning of the dungeon, where the player can simply make his or her way to the boss room, which has likely already been visited and its Warp Jar unlocked, enabling the player to directly access the boss without fighting the Moblins that guard the key.
    • Wind Waker is quickly becoming very broken. Glass bottles can be obtained whenever the person wants to (you can even replace other items with new glass bottles) or quickly open and close the deku leaf in a method called 'pumping' to gain altitude and avoid entire rooms or puzzles. When you die a certain way, by quickly pressing a button you can float slowly in the air to get onto crevices or doors that would take hours to get to otherwise. There are also plenty of doors kept on islands that can be clipped through. A trick called 'storage' essentially 'stores' your next move, whether it is igniting a stick on fire, filling a bottle or reading a sign, and the next move you do will activate that move again. The uses for this are endless, but it's usually used to bypass puzzles (or make NPCs say ridiculous things that other NPCs said).
      • Unfortunately, Nintendo took the more traditional approach this time and fixed many of the more exploitable things in the Wii U re-release, like storage (it simply no longer works), super swimming (without storage it's not viable), sail pumping (you slow down when trying it, obligating getting the new Speed Sail), skipping Helmaroc (invisible barriers get in the way), and a few others. It's imperfect, but much slower to speedrun.
  • In Final Fantasy I, it is possible to reach the Castle of Ordeals far sooner than the developers intended. At any point after defeating the Lich and winning the canoe, instead of taking the canoe up to the volcano as the Omniscient Council of Vagueness suggests, you can simply take your ship, sail down to the southern continent, and canoe inland onto the river just north of the Castle of Ordeals. As there is nothing keeping the party from going to every dungeon but the last and get every treasure but the Masamune before defeating the second fiend. The programmers may have had that in mind, as fighting the fiends out of order changes their pre-fight dialogue (at least in the more recent versions).
  • The "Crystal Room Warp Trick" in the original release of Final Fantasy IV. Casting Warp in King Giott's throne room, immediately after the Calcobrena/Golbez boss fight, will send you back into the Crystal Room, with an Underground Crystal still there for you to pick up. This Crystal will register as a valid event flag when you step on a tile just outside the Sealed Cave and Kain steals the Crystal, letting you skip the Sealed Cave entirely.
  • In Final Fantasy VI it was possible thanks to a glitch to skip the meeting with Celes entirely. The highly amusing result was that the game replaced her character with Kutan (Moghan in the GBA version), a moogle from the beginning. This was more funny than useful, of course, as Kutan is extremely weak, has very bad equipment until the opera scene, after which he has none at all, cannot learn magic, and cannot have his stats boosted. This is especially a problem at the start of the second half of the game, in which you have to play him solo until you reach the first town.
    • The second half of the game is a Wide Open Sandbox where you spend much of your time Putting the Band Back Together. Since all but three characters are optional, the ending sequences were set up so that each character's vignette only had the three mandatory characters as supporting cast (or has an alternate version where one of those three can replace a character you didn't recruit). Since Terra is also essential to the ending, but is optional to recruit, she awkwardly arrives at The Very Definitely Final Dungeon on her own if you don't recruit her.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, it is possible to outrun the Midgar Zolom in the swamp without a chocobo. Doing so skips the chocobo catching at the chocobo farm. If your party is powerful enough, you can kill it instead. It also has an attack that knocks a character out of battle, which prevents the game from ending if you lose that battle.
  • In one of the first towns of Final Fantasy IX, it is possible to view certain cutscenes out of sequence merely by going to part of the town in the wrong order. This will cause Zidane to already know about things he shouldn't, only to be clueless later.
    • It's easy to exploit a bug in disc three by getting a gold Chocobo early, then skipping nearly to the end of the disc while skipping a few Scrappy Levels and messing your plot up. This results in the resident White Magician Girl staying in a state where she randomly fails to use her commands for the rest of the game unless you hack it back to how it should be at that point.
  • Final Fantasy XII absolutely breathes this trope, and is one of the reasons why a "122333" game is possible. As a simple example, one can fight (and defeat) Cuchulain before even leaving Dalmasca for Jahara. There are countless other examples of sequence breaking into high-level areas or gaining endgame equipment as well.
  • Halo has a major sequence break in the "Assault on the Control Room" level. In a stage about halfway through the level, one can get a Banshee fighter by knocking it off of a ledge with the rocket launcher. If you then fight through the following levels past the exit of the underground complex, you can then use the Banshee to fly up to the center column, where a new Banshee can be gotten to replace the (usually) now-damaged first one (even if you don't need it, you want to go get it to keep from being attacked by it as you pass and trigger that opponent). From there, you can fly over the following map sections to the one where you would normally have to proceed on foot underground; if you instead fly up to the overhead bridges, you can then enter at a much later part of the game, and because the triggers for the opponents have been bypassed, the following scenes will now be empty and you can simply proceed to the end on yet another Banshee that appears as you enter the last group of maps.
    • In fact, it's possible to simply kill the closer Banshee's pilot with the sniper rifle. No one else will climb in, leaving you free to take it. You not only bypass the areas between the top and bottom of the "room", but also avoid most of the enemies, which don't appear until you enter from ground level.
    • Also in fact, you don't even need to kill the pilot. Providing you can run fast enough, you can get to the Banshee before he does and simply fly away.
    • In the remake, Halo: Combat Evolved: Anniversary, you get an achievement for stealing the Banshee.
    • This trick is also used to find the "Siege of Madrigal" Easter Egg music.
    • For a sequence break with slightly less magnitude, it's possible to jump off the bridge (in the latter part of Assault on the Control Room) and onto the large buttress that runs up the front of the Forerunner shrine that houses the control room, allowing you to skip a decent chunk of the level. This one is interesting because it's pretty obvious.
      • You can either walk down the bridge to where the mortar tanks and ghosts are, or walk up it and slide down the side to land yourself in front of the door to the control room.
    • From the self-same bridge, you can also destroy the Covenant mortar-tanks below you, before you're forced to face them, from relative safety (it's very hard for them to get an angle on you: the bridge is in the way). You can eventually kill those mortar tanks by just shooting them repeatedly with small-arms, like the plasma pistols and rifles dropped by all the Covenant you just killed. Sure, it'll take a while, but it's actually a lot less annoying than trying to fight the tank on foot. At least, on Legendary.
    • In fact, with a bit of practice, it's entirely possible to jump down from the very first bridge in Assault on the Control Room to the valley below. This will bypass the enemy spawn triggers and allow the player to saunter through the remaining ~90% of the chapter unopposed.
    • One might also mention getting on top of the map in Silent Cartographer, or getting a Warthog to the entrance to the security facility (in that map), or getting a Warthog down to the Cartographer.
      • If you get the Warthog down in front of the security facility and leave it parked there with 2 marines sitting in it, then during the little later cutscene when a commander elite with a sword runs out of the door, the marine gunner will blow him away and you will sometimes hear the passenger yelling taunts before the cutscene ends.
    • You can also get on top of the ridge that serves as the map boundary in 343 Guilty Spark.
    • In the first game, there's a glitch that lets you keep yourself from getting kicked out of the Pellicans (drop-ships that deploy you at the start of missions).
    • In Halo 2, Bungie cracked down on sequence breaking with instant-kill Invisible Walls, but there were many routes left open for sequence breakers, for example, the sniper alley and much of the courtyard battle on Outskirts could be bypassed by jumping from a little pile of rubble in an easily missed corner to a ledge, and from there to the roof-tops. The first battle of Delta Halo, where you're supposed to neutralize the artillery, can be mostly bypassed without glitches or special tricks, although you don't get a Warthog if you do so, not that it matters much. There are also two spots in the mission where you can shortcut over hills that seem to be unclimbable, this allows you to skip the "Nothing But Jackal" sniper canyon.
      • Even better is that some players are good enough to hijack one of the Banshees and go flying over the level, in which you can find a giant soccer ball and a Scarab Gun.
      • The Oracle: You can skip the Flood-o-vator ride by running around the small ledges on the sides of the shaft, although there is a death trigger that moves with the elevator, preventing you from doing it too soon.
      • Metropolis: Take the Hog instead of the tank, it allows you to skip the Banshees and Wraiths during the bridge sequence. You can even squeeze the warthog through the tunnel into the sniper courtyard. Although it's better to switch to Sgt. Stacker's Gauss Hog there.
    • Careful, sequence breaking in the wrong place can render a mission Unwinnable.
      • It's possible to get a Banshee into the final boss fight by squeezing it through the corridor leading to it, getting out at the right place and entering the boss' room, then going back and getting into it. This makes the final battle much easier, even on the highest difficulty.
      • The same banshee trick is also possible by flying a banshee into a specific point on the building from the outside, which triggers the cutscene before the final boss and allows you to skip a few enemies before the final boss, and puts the banshee in the hallway before the boss after the cutscene is over.
    • For the first Halo, most of the on-line community had at least some interest in and experience with sequence breaking (and pulling off stunts and pushing the game to its limits in general). I dare say that most experienced players spent at least some time on this, and it was probably one of the major sources of replay value in the game.
  • As mentioned, the Metroid series is a sequence breaker's paradise. Some of the best examples:
    • Super Metroid can be broken in many ways, only some of which were planned; the others usually exploit glitches. It's possible, for instance, to fight the four major bosses in any order. Speed Runners routinely skip certain items and minibosses outright. In fact it's possible to get about 75% of all upgrades without fighting any of the bosses or mini-bosses after the first mini-boss.
      • A notably funny one is a glitch that resets the event flags of the game but not the equipment ones, throwing you to the beginning of the plot with all the gear you had previously. This means you basically start sequence broken.
    • In Metroid Prime, lots of sequence breaks were found early on, but the one that broke the game wide open was Space Jump First. The Space Jump is normally acquired about a third of the way through the game, but it's possible to get it as your first item, and this in turn lets you do many other things out of order. Prime proved so malleable in its first release that Retro had to add a number of sequence break blocks in the PAL and Player's Choice versions (Space Jump First survived, but you had to do it differently, and it was much harder.)
    • In Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, it is possible to get a Power-Upnote  before a cutscene, view the cutscene, and get the power up again, thus possibly earning a 101% completion. Another Prime 2 trick allows for the skipping of the cutscene where you lose the items you start with, so several bosses become completely unnecessary.
    • In Metroid: Fusion, which is otherwise near-totally incapable of true sequence breakingnote  there is an Easter Egg that is a prime example of sequence breaking. Normally, the player has to get the Diffusion Missile upgrade to escape from the lower levels of Sector 4. However, it is possible to bypass the upgrade entirely by executing a long chain of "shinesparks". Unfortunately, once you've 'broken' the sequence, the game gives you a congratulatory message and orders you to go back and get in the sequence again.
      • Alternatively, you can see the secret message by performing the normal sequence right up until the room prior to the Diffusion Missiles. Instead of downloading the Diffusion data, freeze the bottommost Powamp (annoying inflatable creature who blocks passageways) in its deflated form by performing a diagonal Ice Missile shot. It's best to stand just underneath the small platform, jumping straight up with Samus locked in the down-left aiming position and firing just as Samus is descending from the apex of her leap. It takes practice, but it's doubtlessly easier than that series of Shinesparks!
    • In Metroid: Zero Mission, it's possible to exploit a Morph Ball tunnel in Norfair to get the Hi-Jump and end up in Ridley extremely early, before you go to Kraid, in fact. This allows you to get quite a few power-ups, such as Super Missiles, earlier than intended. Said experience allows for a highly amusing battle when you finally do tackle Kraid, as you're then powerful enough to kill him with two hits. However, this specific example is one of few cases in video games where the game's designers added in specific sequence breaking pathways on purpose.
    • The original Metroid barely had a sequence to begin with, but the glitch that enabled one to beat the game with a handful of items (morph ball, ice beam, five or so missile packs) and without beating either of the bosses was definitely a sequence breaker.
    • In Metroid Prime: Hunters, you can enter a room containing an Alimbic Artifact from the wrong side with a double bomb jump.
    • Metroid: Other M is considered to be next to Fusion in terms of how much is discourages sequence breaking, of course this hasn't stopped the fans. In particular, a glitch which allows Samus to cancel the spin animation of her jump by firing her cannon allowing her to slowly float down at an angle allows you to get to an area you could normally only get to with the Speed Booster and get an Energy Tank early. The speed booster requirement for the areas after this does prevent you from getting any further though. If you do a certain sequence of events (which is very easy to do) you actually permanently lock a door to the next area, breaking the game (whatever happens, don't backtrack in sector three until after you've left it for the next area the first time!)
  • The XBLA game Shadow Complex has sequence breaks in it, just like the Metroid series (that it's admittedly very similar to). The developers actually ENCOURAGED this, making an in-game challenge called "The Insurgent" which actually requires you to skip several events and beat the game with only 4% of the items.
  • In Deus Ex you can circumvent most of the first level (Liberty Island), by climbing up the Statue of Liberty using trip mines.
    • Heck, you can open the doors to the UNATCO base early at the start of the game by throwing a gas grenade at it, allowing you to completely skip the first mission.
    • Almost all of the missions can be skipped, including the entire Hong Kong section (a quarter of the whole game), by just keeping track of codes and paths and by making use of the above mine staircase exploit. A guide to this can be found here.
    • A certain boss fight can be bypassed by killing that character earlier, in an aversion of Story-Driven Invulnerability.
  • Many 2D racing games don't properly check that the player has actually gone all the way around the track, they just check if they cross the finish line from the right direction. This leads to you being able to start the race, drive backwards (or make a quick U-turn) over the finish line, and then cross it again forwards. Especially common in homemade games made with the Klik 'n' Play engine (which came with a racer template which exhibited this flaw) but even Nintendo has fallen for this mistake.
    • To explain: Super Mario Kart used a "backwards" counter to prevent this scenario. Any time you cross the finish line backwards, it increases the counter, and any time you cross the finish line properly, it decreases the counter. The only way to get a proper lap is to cross the finish line properly while the counter is zero. On some maps, the finish line stops at the wall, which means a very lucky jump at the wall can bypass this mechanism altogether.
  • Mario Kart 64 also had the infamous Rainbow Road shortcut. There's a steep hill at the very start, which allows you to jump over the rails... and if you make a leap of faith in the right spot, it's possible to land on a portion of track far below, cutting half the course. Given that Rainbow Road is the longest track in the game by far, this is quite an advantage.
    • Wario Raceway in the same game also has a short hill at the beginning that, if used in the correct manner, allows you to skip about half the course from the very beginning. For added fun, this brings you to another area of the track which, with enough skill, can be skipped back to the very end of the course. This leads to a track that generally takes about four minutes to complete having world records of about fifteen seconds.
  • Eventually patched, but Mario Kart 7 had a certain glitch that effectively cut one third of one race track. Maka Wuhu was one of the courses that were really long and cut into three sections instead of laps. However, if you jump off the course at the right area near the beginning of the second section, you'll respawn right near the end, skipping it entirely. Eventually everyone who played the course online did this, necessitating the patch.
  • The Fallout series' freeform nature effectively allow for this en masse:
    • In Fallout, you can skip a good part of the main quest using no glitches at all. Getting the water chip and returning it to the Overseer is not required to finish the game because you can access both the Military Base and the Cathedral early on. Destroying both of these structures will trigger the final cutscene with the Overseer, which will just act like normal. It can be finished in ~10 minutes.
    • It's possible (with luck) to complete Fallout 2 in about a quarter of an hour by using reverse pickpockets to plant timed explosives on certain NPC, circumventing the vast majority of the game.
    • Fallout 3 is notable for the sheer number of ways to break sequence, particularly in the main quest (most of the first half of the game can be skipped outright simply by talking to Dr. Li in Rivet City, which is accessible as soon as you leave the Vault). There's so many that players are likely to just stumble into at least some.
    • Although surprisingly averted with "The Replicated Man" quest. You can find the person who performed the mind-wipe on the android either by accident or as part of another quest. The game doesn't allow you to ask him about it until you've collected the appropriate number of Plot Coupons, even though you probably figured it out on your own.
      • Better yet, you can go straight to Smith Casey's Garage/Vault 112 and skip three entire story quests right after leaving Vault 101. Just beware of the Yao Guai and other deadly enemies. This may be accidentally discovered during the Grady's Package miniquest(found during the early sidequest "Those!"), which points you to the location of Girdershade, just west of the Garage. If you do the Galaxy News Radio sidequest independently of the main quest line, either by passing Three Dog's speech test in "Following in his Footsteps", or bypassing that quest, you earn a key to a weapons stash in Hamilton's Hideaway. However, in the latter case, you will have to fight the Super Mutants at GNR Plaza solo, and won't get the Fatman and mini-nukes, so the Behemoth will take much longer to beat.
      • In many locations, if your skills are high enough, you can pick or hack a door that is otherwise only openable from the other side.
      • One sequence break that will break the game and render the main quest line unwinnable is accessing Little Lamplight and Vault 87 too soon, which locks you out of the Jefferson Memorial and Citadel, the two most story-critical locations.
    • Fallout: New Vegas features Beef Gates between your starting point and Vegas; you're expected to take the long way around. But if you're clever and sneaky enough, you can make a beeline for Vegas.
      • To elaborate, all you really need to do is sneak past the giant wasp infestation north of Goodsprings. They can't be outrun and are very perceptive of your presence... but they can't climb worth a damn, so if you abuse the steep cliffs all over the place, you can simply flip them the bird as you merrily go on your way and leave them buzzing frustratedly in the valley downstairs.
      • Or you can just build a character with 10 END, kill Joe Cobb for his Powder Ganger armor, and just run to New Vegas along the path. You'll take a few nasty stings but you should survive.
      • One can take the same path with a 7 Endurance (the Min Maxer's delight number) and no armor, but just keep running. The cazadores have to stop to attempt to sting you, so you might get stung once or twice, but you should have Antidotes and Stimpacks. Armor...armor? You don't need no stinkin' armor.
      • If you're brave enough to mountaineer past the Quarry Junction Deathclaws at level one, you can get all the way to the New Vegas Strip in less than ten minutes.
      • The other way to do it is to sneak across the roads leading up to Black Mountain from Hidden Valley, making a beeline towards the NCR Ranger Safehouse. Difficult, but certainly doable - especially if you have a Stealthboy.
    • The second half of New Vegas can be completed in very short order by killing House and plugging Yes Man into the mainframe. The independent quest line can be largely skipped (you can even skip upgrading the securitrons if you'd like, although this makes it much harder), although this results in a woefully underpowered character with no allies at Hoover Dam. If you build an INT 10 character and put all your skill points into speech until it reaches 80, take the comprehension perk at level 4, and have a speech magazine handy, a level 5 or 6 character can use the speech option to convince Lanius and Oliver to give up the fight. It's no Golden Ending, but it gets the job done.
  • An example of sequence breaking used in a speedrun: in Half-Life, near the beginning of the chapter 'Power Up' it's possible to create a makeshift ladder out of trip mines to climb the barrier blocking the railway, essentially skipping most of the chapter. This does, though, force you to play through the following chapter ('On A Rail') without the railway car.
    • It's also possible to, with extreme difficulty, grab the scientist at the beginning of 'We've Got Hostiles' so that he opens the security control room and then the blast door, therefore bypassing the entire level and allowing the player to proceed on to 'Blast Pit'.
    • In Half-Life 2, near the end of the chapter Highway 17, you can skip the whole section on the bridge underside by stacking objects to climb over the force fields in your way. You'll have to leave the Scout Car behind, but it's not strictly required at any point from then on.
    • In the chapter Water Hazard, you can bypass the Hunter-Chopper chase by Gate 5 by climbing on your airboat and then onto the walkway. However, it's hard to do and you miss the revolver.
    • Half-Life 2: Lost Coast has a particularly bad sequence break if you use a physics bug to propel yourself half up the side of the cliff, then come right back down. The NPC at the bottom assumes that because you have been to the top of the cliff, you've gone and done all the plot points up there. So the game ends, 46 seconds in.
    • A bug with the gravity gun allows you to levitate by holding a flat piece of, well, anything under you. This allows you to skip large portions of the game simply by climbing over walls you're supposed to walk around.
    • In Episode Two, in the area where you get the car, you're supposed to work your way down through an area filled with headcrab zombies and back up the valley wall on the other side to get to the car. If you jump from the right spot with full health, though, it's actually possible to bypass most of the level simply by jumping down to one of the roofs below you, leaving you with just a small portion of radioactive gunk to pass over to get to the other side.
    • The Half-Life 2 "SMOD" gives Gordon a kick attack. When the Freelance Astronauts tried it out on the airboat levels, well... they don't call it the Kickboat Saga for nothing.
    • Due to the cooperative nature of the SvenCoop Half-Life mod, many games that are meant to be played alone can be broken due to tactics like jumping on top of each other to bypass a gate.
  • The first level of the Prince of Persia begins with the Prince only a few screens away from the Level Goal door. However, a guard blocks the passageway leading to this exit, and the Prince is supposed to go all the way to the left side of the level so he can get a sword to fight guards off with. However, this lengthy exercise is not necessary. It is possible to lure the guard to the left, and have the Prince go around and drop to the right of the guard, with a clear path to the exit. (Speed Runners, however, have found an even quicker way: with a well-timed jump, the Prince can end up on the other side of the guard without getting killed as ought to happen.) The strangest thing about doing all this is that the Prince will have his sword in the following levels, despite never having obtained it in the first.
    • Also in the original Prince of Persia, one could skip significant portions of level 7 and level 12 by jumping at certain places that caused convenient physics glitches.
    • Some copies of Prince of Persia 2 had a glitch causing the entrance door to Level 6 to stay open, allowing the player to use it to exit the level a mere second after entering it. Like the previous game, the Prince needs to obtain a short sword in this level (after losing his sword in the previous one), but using this glitch will cause the sword to appear anyway.
  • In Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, it is possible, using the New Game Plus and a few glitches, to skip almost the ENTIRE game and beat the final boss just a few minutes after the beginning. This results in some bizarre events in cutscenes, even more so if you decide to go and explore around the Castle after beating the game.
    • One of the special attacks involves teleporting a short distance, backstabbing an enemy, and teleporting back. This works through walls, so it can be used to press switches which normally must be reached from the other side. Alucard gets this power too in Julius Mode. Combining this with the Succubus Soul can further increase the prospects for breaking sequence, as activating the soul during the teleport will stop you from teleporting back.
    • In Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, the Flying Armor soul slows you down as you fall through the air, letting you cross large gaps. It has other uses as well, such as giving you access to the walk-on-water soul without having to fight the boss before it.
  • In Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, it is also possible to completely skip at least one cutscene using a jumping glitch. Also, using the Suspend Mode Glitch will allow you to skip all the way to the Throne Room, if you properly execute things. Granted unless you get the right equipment, it's REALLY hard.
    • There's also the partner double jump glitch that lets you get to places that you normally need the double jump for early.
  • In Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, the 7th level is the Underground Waterway, which has poisoned water. That can be avoided with a purifier obtained in the previous level. However, you can access the Waterway as early as the 4th level and complete it, as long as you have plenty of potions.
  • In Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, The Sacred Fist + Ice Book combo gives you a few extra pixels of height if you activate it at the height of a jump. This will allow you to get access to several items early, and access to the entrance gateway between Castle A and B, although you can't use the gate until you meet Death in the Clock Tower gateway. At that point, however, you can warp to the entrance and get the lure key much easier, allowing for early access to the Castle A versions of the treasury, in addition to experience point-rich sections of Castle B.
  • Even in the original NES Castlevania game, it was possible to jump into enemies and use the collision kickback to throw you over obstacles or onto platforms that you shouldn't be able to reach, allowing you to skip entire rooms' worth of platforming.
    • This type of sequence breaking is still present in later games in the series, though not to the same extent as they're more about exploration.
  • An example in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night that may possibly have been intended: Once you get the Soul Of Wolf in the Outer Wall, you can use it to get across the crumbling platforms in the Clock Tower and and then traverse it normally, albeit in reverse, to get to what would normally be the final area of the castle. The timing is VERY strict, however, and likely takes multiple tries. You still, however, need to explore the rest of the castle to actually fight the boss, as the stairs are out.
  • Castlevania: Harmony of Despair has a couple of these. Levels have an intended order that you'll rarely see followed perfectly. Raised platforms can be reached by drop kicking off of other people, enemies, or a Yorick skull (which can let you get absurdly high with proper timing.) The DLC mission that takes place in the original 8-bit castle can also be skipped pretty much entirely with a glitch.
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind technically has no sequence at all: the quests are just state sequences that have no effect in the game whatsoever — pretty much the only exception is the corprus disease, which can only be acquired during the main quest — and their effects are entirely stuff you do yourself. This makes it possible, for example, to acquire the Artifact of Death Keening before even finishing the first few missions of the game. It is also possible, by making unexpected use of a joke item (the scrolls of Icarian Flight), to beat the game in about 15 minutes rather than the 50-100 hours it's intended to take.
    • Also, the Cavern of the Incarnate, a plot-essential (not counting the backdoor plot) location that normally shows up around 3/4 of the way through the main quest (after you solve the riddle of its location), is entirely accessible from the very outset of the game if the player knows where to find it.
  • And in Oblivion, if you get into Cloud Ruler Temple early, you can retrieve the Amulet of Kings before it is even stolen, cutting out a significant chunk of the main quest and making the rest make no sense whatsoever.
    • Even worse, due to the floating paint brushes glitch which made brushes hover in mid air but still solid to stand on it's possible to get the very end of the main quest just minutes after you left the sewers.
  • In the first Dragon Quest, you are supposed to rescue the princess so she can give you an item that will help you find a magic item. However, unlike later games where an item wouldn't even be placed on the map until triggered by an event, the magic item is available from the start of the game. Therefore, if you already know where it is, you can skip the rescue and just grab it.
    • In Dragon Quest V, there is a town named Hay that is being assaulted by a monster in a cave. The game expects you to skip over Hay and move right to learn Zoom and get married. When you come back to the port with your wife, a character from Hay will run in and ask that you kill the monster, he'll even give you 1500 gold coins as an advance. However, if you go to the cave immediately when you land on the continent, you can have already taken care of the monster, its your tiger from when you were a kid. So the townspeople of Hay are freaking out over a monster threat you could have taken care of hours ago. They'll still give you the reward money though. Just talk to them again and they'll act you just finished the quest.
    • At one point in Dragon Quest VIII, you have to retrieve the Venus' Tear from a dungeon for Yangus' old 'friend' Red. However, it's possible to go through the dungeon and grab the gem before you ever even meet Red. Doing this leads to a special scene after she makes the request and the group leaves her house: Trode asks Yangus why they didn't just hand her the Tear immediately, and Yangus replies that they've "got to make it look good", or else Red will just send them after something else.
  • In Little Big Adventure, the main character is required to break into a museum, while it is closed, through a sewer entrance, which can only be opened from inside the museum. In order to do that, the player must first retrieve a key card which allows them to enter the museum from a side entrance. Attempting to enter the museum from the front entrance will result in the character being arrested. However, a fast enough player can avoid the guard and reach the sewer entrance before being arrested, thus being able to break into the museum without ever obtaining the key card. This will cause the script to break - the red key card, which is needed again much later in the game, will become unobtainable - thus rendering the game unwinnable.
    • And in the sequel, it's possible to take the ferry which you shouldn't be able to do until it stops raining. You can end up doing things in a very convoluted order, and people end up in two places at once.
      • The sequel also contains a relatively minor sequence break when you're in the Zeelich Undergas; mainly because it's a flaw in the linear storytelling that makes an entire island unintentionally optional. After obtaining the Mosquibee's key fragment, you're told by a nearby Mosquibee to go to the Island of the Volcano so that you can learn the location of their captured queen from a couple Mosquibees in hiding there. The thing is, if you know where the queen is imprisoned already, you do not need to go to Volcano Island to learn the location. You can literally just skip having to go to Volcano Island altogether and just head straight for the building the queen is jailed in.
  • Various levels of Duke Nukem 3D can be defeated earlier than intended by exploiting glitches that allow you to, among other things, warp into rooms that overlap one another, crawl through spaces that are normally too small for anyone but a shrunken player to walk through, and pass through certain barriers. Even without using those, however, "Hotel Hell" (episode 3, level 8) can be completed just by throwing a Pipe Bomb through the crack at the beginning and setting it off, opening immediate access to the exit. (See this site for more information.)
    • Also, generally the only levels designed with the jetpack in mind were the levels which contain a jetpack, not the levels after them. Though mostly this isn't too bad since there's only a few places in the game where you do get it (unless you use cheat codes), the jetpack in the hidden level from episode one can be used to skip the first half of the final level because it relies on a sequence of earthquake setpieces which each lower the terrain around the next trigger to somewhere you could reach on foot (and moreover on a lot of ledges overlooking the same area, so reaching any place you want is trivial). This may have been intentional, though, since it does require you to find and beat a secret penultimate level.
    • Also, many buttons can be pressed form the wrong side of a wall, and in many cases the mere act of jumping on top of an enemy can get one the boost needed to surpass the bulk of a level (such as the entirety of the first level; the number of enemies the player even needs to see before finishing can be counted on one hand)/
  • In the Genesis / Mega Drive version of Flashback, a collision detection glitch allows the player to run through walls, creating several massive shortcuts and drastically cutting down the time needed to finish the game. Like the Prince of Persia example above, if you complete a level without any of the items you need, the next stage will assume you have them anyway... to the extent that you can even finish the game and see Conrad escape as the Morphs' planet explodes... even if you didn't set the Time Bomb anywhere, much less acquire it! See this tool-assisted speedrun for a demonstration. The same glitch is possible in the DOS floppy version, but has been fixed in a later CD re-release.
  • Tales of the Abyss is possibly the all-time champion for traditional console RPGs, thanks to a glitch that lets you go anywhere on the world map whenever you want. It's possible to skip ahead in the plot, get critical items and vehicles early, and so on.
  • Tales of Vesperia has an incident that wholly ignores Sequence Breaking entirely in New Game Plus runs. When you visit Halure, you find the barrier tree dying, and one party member suggests getting a panacea bottle in order to heal it. If you recovered your items from the last playthrough it's possible to have multiple panacea bottles which you will conveniently forget about in order to learn about how to synthesise items all over again.
  • Not even Game Mods are safe from this trope. Examples:
    • "Protean Cybex," the sixteenth level of the Doom II total conversion HacX, requires you to push a series of buttons, eventually revealing a switch in the center which ends the level when pressed. Problem is, it's located right behind where the player starts, and because of how the engine handles switches, you can end the level right after it begins just by turning around and clicking at the air.
    • "Mind Swamp That WORKS LOL," highlighted in the NUMA new user guide as one example of a bad N map, seems to be ridiculously tough to finish... unless you exploit a bug that lets you activate the exit long before you ever get there.
  • Postal 2 has several of these. When the library is set on fire, the fastest way out is blocked by a wall of flames which is instant death to touch. However, if you set yourself on fire with gasoline (which is only damage over time), the game reads you as already taking fire damage and the wall of flames becomes harmless, giving you a speedy exit. Likewise, in the junkyard, the guard dogs throw you high in the air when you take a hit... letting you "jump" over a downed ladder and quickly get out.
    • At one point, the Postal Dude is kidnapped by rednecks and put into a gimp outfit (part of a Pulp Fiction parody). There's a cutscene where he realizes this and adds "Pick up laundry" to his errand list. During the escape from the redneck cabin, a very well-timed crouching jump allows the player to skip the "I'm the gimp!" cutscene, which prevents the "Pick up laundry" errand from activating and allows a quick completion of the level.
  • Super Mario 64 features a few examples, exploited with almost comical frequency in this glitch-tastic tool-assisted run. Most notably, an 'endless staircase' to the final boss level can only be climbed after the player has picked up 70 Power Stars. A trick used in many runs, including this one, involves long-jumping backwards up the staircase to clear the whole thing in one go. TASVideos explains the history of breaking the game:
    At first there were 70 Stars because Bowser demanded it. Then there were 16 stars because MIPS the rabbit demanded it. Then there was 1 star because Bowser's Sub demanded it. Now there are none because the viewers are impatient and demanded the game be quicker.
  • In Super Mario Sunshine, it is possible to skip the first Bianca Hills level by climbing up the big windmill and beating the boss of the second level before beating the first, either by using the tightropes scattered across the first level and some fancy jumping or by beating the boss of the first level and going straight up the path instead of getting the Shine Sprite. It's even lampshaded by an NPC when you do so.
    • It is also possible to enter Pianta Village as early as the beginning of the game. Normally you need the Rocket Nozzle to reach it but its entirely possible to use triple jumps and walk kicks to reach the warp pipe leading to the world.
  • Levels in Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel typically consist of a linear sequence of small planets which must be cleared in order, but the combination of the game's semi-realistic modeling of gravity and the protagonist's super jumping abilities sometimes makes it possible to skip entire sequences by taking a leap of faith through the void from one planet to another. This is Turned Up to Eleven when you unlock Luigi, who can jump longer and higher than Mario (for whom the game was most meticulously playtested) or if you exploit Yoshi's Infinite Flutter glitch.
  • Donkey Kong '94 (and, by extension, Mario vs. Donkey Kong) had one in Forest Level 3. Instead of climbing up to activate a lever to gain access to the exit door, simply run to the left and use the summonable ladder to block the lock from closing, grab the key next to you and run off. Not a great effect but still useful.
  • It's possible to skip the first major boss in Super Mario RPG by pulling off a very precise jump. The only major side effect of the glitch is that the Star Piece option never shows up in the menu; the game can still be completed despite missing one of the seven titular Plot Coupons.
    • In one spot in Kero Sewers, you can jump on a Boo's head, run away, and exploit the brief period of invincibility to use the Boo as a platform to a pipe that leads to Bean Valley, more than 75% through the game. The dev team actually coded in a reaction for this.
  • Shining Force is mostly pretty well-protected against Sequence Breaking (Broken Bridges are properly placed, etc.), but there is one opportunity to sequence-break that makes the game harder, by skipping the first group of characters that are supposed to join you. It gets funny later, since the characters you were supposed to get have lines in some of the dialogue scenes, and those lines will show up even if you never got the characters. Similarly, it is very easy to skip recruiting Anri if you are so inclined. She has lines in at least one dialogue scene. Luckily, all other characters that can be skipped do not have dialogue except when you're talking directly to them.
  • Several obstacles in the various Pokémon games require you to beat a Gym Leader, then get an HM from a separate area to use to advance. However, trading from another copy of the game can let you bypass the areas where the HMs are obtained. For instance, trading a Pokémon with Cut into the original games could let you bypass the S.S. Anne, beat the game, then go back and hear your rival boast about his Mons that are 30-40 levels lower than they were a few hours ago.
    • The Flash HM is completely optional as you can still go through the dark caves by looking closely at the screen (or memorizing the way).
    • In Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow you can skip getting the Silph Scope entirely, simply by using a Poké Doll on the Marowak Ghost in the Pokémon Tower. Fixed in the remake.
    • The Seafoam Islands can be skipped entirely by surfing down Route 21 from Pallet Town instead of surfing down Routes 19-20 from Fuchsia City.
    • In Pokemon Red And Blue, the plot-barriers for most of the game are mostly contingent on your progress towards defeating Team Rocket, rather than on defeating Gym Leaders. As a result, it's possible (and in fact so trivially easy that players often do it by accident!) to fight Lt. Surge, Erika, Sabrina, Koga, and Blaine in almost any order, the only requirement being that Koga (who gives you the ability to cross water) has to come before Blaine (who's on an island). Even the anime adaptation has Ash fighting Sabrina before Erika. Brock, however, must be defeated first, as a NPC will keep on showing you to the gym if you try to head to Mt. Moon before getting the badge, and there is no way around this, while Giovanni must be defeated last, as he doesn't return to his gym until after you've obtained the other 7 badges, which requires Team Rocket to have been defeated at Silph Co anyway.
    • If you have access to Pokemon Stadium (which lets you transfer items), you can get into Saffron City with one Badge. Doing so lets you entirely skip the Rock Tunnel, and skip Misty (the second leader) until you've beaten other Gyms; she has to come before Erika (and either Misty or Koga is needed to fight Surge), but it's entirely possible to beat Blaine (the seventh leader) before her.
    • Some more severe sequence breaking in Pokémon Red and Blue allows you to fight the Gym Leaders in almost any order and to permanently skip the first and last Leaders.
  • Pokémon Gold and Silver has a fork in the road at Ecruteak City. Going west to Olivine City is the 'canonical' course, but everything you need to go east to Mahogany Town is available in Ecruteak City. By doing this, you can get to the Lake of Rage and even the last Gym's city much earlier than you're supposed to. The Trainers on both courses are of similar difficulty, so you could easily do this without trying. This was partly addressed in Crystal: you can't get to the last city until you're supposed to, but other than that, the same applies.
  • In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, the Dewford Gym's badge lets you use Flash outside of battle. The nearby cave contains an important Key Item, but most of it is almost completely dark. However, Flash isn't required to navigate, just strongly recommended. If you want to, you can go through the cave in the dark, skip the Gym and leave it for later in the game, when you can probably win the battle in two or three turns (possibly helped by the partially-Ghost-type Sableye, which can be found deep in the cavenote  and is immune to the element that Brawly specializes in). You still need to defeat Brawly in order to challenge Norman, however — instead of checking for the fourth badge alone, he checks for all four to that point. The remakes changed Granite Cave completely, however, so you can't do much in there until after you've beaten the gym, and can't go far in until later.
    • Similarly, you can bypass the Fortree Gym until after you've defeated the Sootopolis Gym Leader — though again, all eight badges are required to progress to the Pokémon League. Due to the high amount of Water Routes in the games (which have high random encounter rates), and Fortree Gym's HM activation is for Fly, it is wiser to just get the badge as soon as you get the Devon Scope.
  • In Thief: The Dark Project you can skip most of the "Return To The Cathedral" level by simply using a skull as a door-stop. If you prevent the entrance door from closing, then when the intelligent gem you have to steal locks the doors on you it doesn't do anything and you don't have to appease a priest ghost to get the explosives needed to blow open the side door. This lowers the difficulty of the level from much harder than the rest of the game to simply very hard.
    • You have to be careful about sequence breaking in this game. In an earlier level "The Lost City", you can get the water talisman early by jumping across a moat of lava without the bridge extended. Doing so leaves you in an unwinnable situation, since you cannot jump back. This is not an issue in the gold version, where the water talisman isn't in the lost city.
  • One of the reasons the NES port of Metal Gear was hated so much was because it replaced a linear sequence where your CO would start lying to you and trying to trick you with an irritating puzzle involving trucks, which meant you could end up places you really shouldn't be in yet. And, thanks to bad programming, you can actually walk past any boss which doesn't drop an item (Machinegun Kid, the Twin Shot, and the Tank) allowing you to skip most of the game, including rescuing the Mad Scientist and his daughter. When you reach the Super Computer at the end, the programmers actually made it impossible to blow it up without having done everything. That said, a glitch made it possible to skip the Super Computer as well.
  • Notably averted in Metal Gear Solid: even though you have the level 5 card, you can't go back to the armory and grab a PSG-1 with it until after you learn that you need one.
    • The GameCube remake does allow for some skips by way of the expanded hanging mechanics from MGS2, though - in particular, there are now a pair of steam and nitrogen pipes in REX's hangar that one can drop down to to skip the whole freezing and warming the PAL key sequence.
  • Chrono Trigger and games like it, not only encourage some degree of sequence breaking, but reward it. Largely this comes from allowing the player to attempt to beat the game at any time (and with a new game plus, it can be beaten just a few minutes in with only one or two party members).
    • As a lesser example, you can skip half of the derelict factory if you already know the "zabie" code.
    • It also inverts it, by using the theme of time to give you some incentive for not accidentally breaking the sequence. Namely, if you realize that The Dev Team Thinks of Everything and actually made it so that if you took an item from a later period, and then returned to an earlier period, you are rewarded with an additional item. This is very important since it applies to the aeon-transcending Black Omen, which the boss at the end can be fought a total of 3 times and yields powerful equips, should you do it in sequence.
    • More true to the spirit of the trope, at some point in 12,000 B.C., a woman asks the party if she should follow the queen's order to burn a sapling. After a certain event, the party is asked again what to do with it. This is supposed to kick off one of the quests in the Fated Hour portion of the game. However, the game only checks the first time you're asked. When you've answered appropriately, you can take on that quest right away.
  • Myst can be completed mere minutes from starting a new game.
    • The bad endings can also be reached through this method (in fact, it takes fewer steps) and, similarly to the Prince of Persia example, the game assumes you've obtained several pages you never collected. This strange scenario can also be set up through "legitimate" means, no matter which brother you give the pages to they'll always send you to the same place with the final red and blue pages.
    • The good ending part is somewhat justified, as it really is that simple (you just shouldn't know some of the required information yet).
  • Portal let you bypass a puzzle by shooting a portal at the foot of a deactivated lift, shooting another at the top of a long drop, and jumping down the drop, bouncing over the elevator.
    • In levels consisting of mostly moving storage cubes, with good timing you could just fling them to the megawatt buttons on the other side of the level.
    • The in-game commentary actually states that, when beta testers found ways to sequence break around puzzles, they would often leave them in, especially if the break required more thought and ingenuity than the actual puzzle.
    • The time trials/challenges actually require sequence breaking to achieve "Gold". The aforementioned bypass requiring 2 portals is the Gold target for that particular test chamber. As mentioned above, this is a case of the creators specifically rewarding sequence breakers.
  • A Terran mission in Starcraft requires you to rescue a crashed Battlecruiser and its crew. The game expects you to take the long way along the outside edge of the map, through two enemy bases, and head down into the crater from there. Or, you can use a flying building or comsat sweeps to reveal the cliffs around the crater, destroy the enemy turrets there, then use Dropships to ferry units onto the cliff and clear out the defenders with ease since they're mostly anti-air defenses unprepared for ground attacks.
    • The second Protoss mission has you wait 15 minutes to receive reinforcements from an ally before you destroy the enemy base, but with determination you can still do it on your own and receive message of congratulations from him.
    • The first Terran mission of the expansion Brood War pits you against a heavily defended enemy outpost, and you have no Vespene Gas and are thus restricted to only the most basic units. The game expects you to make contact with another officer who gives you gas and access to the base's much more lightly defended back door. By taking advantage of the fact Terrans can lift off and fly their buildings, you can fly a Barracks or two to this "backdoor" route and then go and take out the enemy base without ever meeting the other officer. This results in you winning the mission and receiving the "congratulations" message from the officer you never met.
    • In the final Protoss mission you are supposed to deliver your heroes to the Xel-Naga Temple and then protect it until it charges up. Naturally, by the time it happens, the temple will be nearly overrun by the Zerg, which matches the ending cinematic. However you can instead scour the area clear of all Zerg, then activate the temple, wait out the timer and still be treated to the same cinematic where it's being besieged by them.
    • Similar to various Command & Conquer examples below, a Zerg mission allows you to hide some units in the initial scripted destruction of your various bases, and then use them to intercept the units coming to build new enemy bases. There are four bases to intercept, but each one you succeed at makes the mission considerably easier.
    • In complete turnabout from some of other C&C examples below, a certain Terran mission in the Expansion (you recognise it by being given Valkyries at the beginning aganist a mutalisk swarm) allows you to play it as a Stealth Mission. In a manner similar to some missions, your enemies do not do anything until you perform a certain action. In this case, it's completing a building (or landing one). With Science Vessels, Valkyries, Dropships, SC Vs and Siege Tanks at your disposal it's entirely possible to completely wipe the three enemy bases and win the mission without building anything.
  • StarCraft II - Wings of Liberty features missions that can be completed out of order. Early on in the "main" storyline (the Artifact missions), there is a mission where you and a Zerg enemy race towards a Protoss-controlled artifact. The game doesn't expect you to try and attack the Zerg directly, and it even chews you out for doing so. In addition the Zerg on this mission get free units and orbital drops. However, if you completed all the side missions prior to continuing the main storyline and pick the right research upgrades, you can have access to tech that allows you to defeat the zerg. Unique to this mission, however, the game does not register defeating the Zerg as a win condition or even a secondary objective (all other "grab and go" missions can be solved via sheer strength if you have the patience for it, and the game will acknowledge if you do so.) Moreover, if you defeat the Zerg and then complete the mission afterwards, a cutscene will trigger where the Zerg base is fully operational.
  • In the original Lemmings, sequence breaks on a level-by-level basis are known as "backroutes". A well-known one is the level Save Me, second-to-last in the original game — it is possible to complete this level on the PC version by building west rather than east, by exploiting a bug that allows lemmings to dig through the edge of a steel platform. This is a bit simpler than the complex blocker/builder structures that are normally necessary on the level, but it's still hard to pull off.
  • In Golden Sun, it was possible for the party to completely bypass the town of people-turned-trees they were supposed to be healing, instead heading north to a village intended for higher-levelled characters. There, a quest could be started that would make the healer Mia join the party. However, instead of completing that quest, the player could then backtrack to the tree town and breeze through a series of events designed for a three-character team. To the game's credit, a few rushed dialogue alterations were made for cutscenes that did not originally have Mia in them; it's likely that the overlooked opportunity was recognized a few days before deadline and it was too late to stick a barrier in between the areas.
    • Since you need Mercury Lighthouse lit anyway before you can get past Kolima, doing Mercury Lighthouse first also saves you a return trip to Kolima Forest.
    • It's also possible to get through Mogall Forest without the Orb of Force from Fuchin Temple (anyone with a map could do it, although it can also be passed through sheer luck, or trial and error.) Since the Orb of Force is never used again until the sequel (unless you're obsessed with winning everything in Colosso), you could easily get through the entire game without realizing anything was wrong, unless you looked at the manual and realized there was still a Psynergy you were missing. You'll need Force to get 100% Completion in the sequel, though, so you'd better get it.
    • A glitch involving setting the Retreat Psynergy to a shortcut and using it when your PP is too low allows the player to skip recruiting Mia in the Mercury Lighthouse. One effect of this glitch include carrying more than seven Djinn per character. An even better effect is that when the game recalculates your party during the Colosso, it'll clone one of your party members, giving him two turns in battle.
    • Then there's the continent of Osenia in the second game. When you first cross the bridge from Madra, you're supposed to go south to Mikasalla, a boring little town that has almost no purpose but to inform you about the village of Garoh, which is where things pick up for Air's Rock. Only once you've finished at Air's Rock are you supposed to go through the Yampi Desert to Alhafra. However, there is nothing in the game to tell you this, and the entrance to Yampi Desert is much easier to find than the path to Mikasalla, meaning that it's quite easy to end up in Yampi Desert much earlier than you ought to. (There's also a southern exit to the Yampi Desert that takes you out to Air's Rock—which will make solving Garoh almost unbelievably easy, and would make Mikasalla all but pointless to visit if it didn't contain a Djinn—which, if you play things in order, would require a return visit to get, since you need Scoop from the Yampi Desert to reach it.)
      • Osenia just had a really floaty sequence overall since most of the subplots were unrelated and there weren't really any significant Broken Bridges. On the upside, it let you tackle Briggs about five levels early.
      • Garoh and Mikasalla are optional and don't really fit into the "sequence" anywhere, even though some dialogue when you get the ship assumes you completed the events in Garoh, but Osenia's seqeuence gets even weirder. You're supposed to beat Briggs to free Piers from prison to meet him in Gondowan, but using the Retreat glitch mentioned above, you can get there early and he'll still be there, ready to join your party. You need to beat Briggs eventually to unlock the forge, but you can take Piers with you into the battle while everyone talks about freeing him from prison, and if you head to the prison before the battle, he'll still be there, even if he's also with you. There's even some different dialogue for if you meet Piers in Gondowan before meeting him in prison, although you can't have the Scoop Psynergy by that point, so you'll have to turn around right after meeting him and leave him behind.
    • There are all sorts of minor skips within dungeons in the first two games, sometimes leading to weird dialogue scenes when you enter rooms from the wrong direction. One big skip even lets you use the Retreat glitch to get to the back of the Lemurian Ship early, bypassing the Aqua Hydra boss.
    • The third game doesn't have options for skipping ahead in the sequence, but instead, it lets you go backwards. At the end of the game, if you stand on a certain raised part of the Endless Wall and save, when you reload your game, you'll fall through the overworld, letting you go anywhere, including areas normally blocked off after certain points in the game to recover things you missed. It's possible to get stuck, though, and you can't get everything.
  • In Enter the Matrix, one level has you evading an army of Smith clones around a city. However the entire level can be bypassed simply by heading right at the start of the level instead of left, as the game tells you. Can save you from a great deal of heartache, believe me.
    • In the office building level you have to navigate the outside of the building on the construction frame. When you reach a specific part the game spawns a Agent Smith dropping down in front of you and breaks the platform you're standing on. But if you are in the middle of a wall-run your character continues the wall run, watches Smith break the platform before reaching the next platform. Doing so allows you to skip the rest of that part of the level, since no Agent Smiths spawn.
    • In the same level, if you simply charge the first Agent that drops down in front of you and do a specific (but short, only 3 moves) string of moves, you'll force the Agent into a knockback animation that sends him falling into a pit he has no way out of. You can then take a leisurely stroll through the rest of the level.
    • Not exactly a gameplay tactic, but sequence breaking is the general idea behind "the back-doors of the Matrix." This use of it is perhaps best illustrated by the Keymaker's Deus ex Machina entrance at the end of the Sewers sequence.
  • Mega Man X: It turns out there are a few quirks in the physics engine that allows for speedrunning shenanigans, to wit:
    • The heart tank in Sting Cameleon's stage can be reached even before it's flooded by using Shotgun Ice's sled, or extremely precise dash-jumping.
    • Ditto the heart tank in Boomer Kuwanger's stage.
    • The cutscene confrontation between Zero and Vile in Sigma's fortress can be skipped, as well as part of the sequence afterwards.
    • The Shotgun Ice sled can also be used to skip the re-fight with Armored Armadillo by taking advantage of screen scroll.
  • Not quite the same, but... When fighting Flame Hyenard in Mega Man X7, it's possible to bypass most of the boss' scripted attacks and freeze him in place to be shot at like a sitting duck. Normally you're supposed to fight him on the back of a giant mechanical horse, where you're harassed by his two clones and a constant bombardment of missles; if you're quick enough, though, you can actually jump on the horse's neck, freezing Hyenard in place on the horse's head and preventing him from using anything other than the missiles and a weak fire attack on you, and you can stop the missile attacks by destroying both of the horse's ears.
  • In the final battle of the arcade version of Double Dragon, Willy sits on top of a wall and sends Mooks after you, only attacking when they're all defeated. However, if you lure Abobo to the wall and let him suplex you, you'll end up on top of the wall and can launch a preempative attack on Willy - he can't attack until he falls off the wall. Defeating him while he still has mooks makes them run away. Have some proof.
  • In A Change in the Weather, Andrew Plotkin's first published text adventure, you can skip the entire game. The game begins with the player character at a picnic, out of earshot of his friends, being moody. He wanders off to be alone, and then a sudden rainstorm occurs and he has to go through a series of events to avoid catching pnuemonia. Having done that, the game is then won by returning to the starting area and going back to the picnic and his friends. It was soon discovered that the same ending can be achieved by simply going back to the picnic at the start. When this was brought up, Plotkin delivered the immortal response: "Yes, it's intentional."
  • In Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, the GDI Cairo mission requires the player to sabotage Nod power plants to delay their nuclear missile launch. This is done by either jump-jetting infantry or using air units to bypass a small part of the Nod base that has no air defenses, and then blowing up the power plants. However, the player can instead opt to complete the mission by ignoring the power plants completely and taking out the Nod base the tried-and-true GDI way: full frontal assault with Mammoth Tanks.
    • Both the suggested way (take out the power plants) and the Mammoth Tank way suggested above are a lot harder than just building 12 Orcas to take out the nuke itself. After that, I built 52(!) Orcas and took out the rest of the base. It was one of the easiest levels in the game, and fun to boot.
  • Similarly, in Tiberian Sun: Firestorm, one of the GDI missions involves piercing through sizable enemy protections to reach CABAL's core. However, with judicious application of the EM Pulse and your new Mobile EMPs, it was possible to pierce through to the objective without even bothering with the technicians who could drop the laser fences or even destroy the strengthened posts themselves. Not to mention the only things that NOD had near the core that weren't affected by EMP were Engineers.
    • The final mission for GDI in that game is hilariously easy. CABAL's real core is protected by the nigh impenetrable Firestorm Defense, and you must capture 3 service stations to shut it down. However, the developers likely forgot that one Ion Cannon blast can destroy the Firestorm Generator, bypassing the entire sequence. They had a failsafe for this: the Core Defender, a massive robot that had a rapid firing one-hit-KO laser and was impervious to all attacks....but it couldn't swim. Lure him onto a bridge, then blow it up, and instantly CABAL's core becomes a sitting duck.
    • The computer will never attack something that's in stealth until it is brought out of stealth. Build a Stealth generator with laser fences in radius and deactivate the fences. When the Defender gets between two posts, reactivate them and insta-gib. Same can be said with the Firestorm.
    • In fact, it is possible to destroy CABAL's core in both GDI and Nod final missions without shutting down the Firestorm generator and therefore without activating the Core Defender. GDI has Disruptor tanks that can use their sonic attack through ANY walls, including an active Firestorm barrier. The Brotherhood of Nod can use a more subtle approach - it is possible to deploy MCV into a Construction Yard right in front of the core and quickly build up two-three Obelisks of Light. Their lasers completely ignore the Firestorm barrier, leaving only a single pathetic CABAL Obelisk to protect the core.
    • In all of the games there are a number of "stealth" missions, where you're given a limited number of units and are expected to take a certain route, since any other route is either blocked and/or filled with enemy units. Certain Stealth Missions, however, provides you with engineers and enemies with full-on bases. With some careful micromanagement, it's entirely possible to take control of the enemy's refineries and construction yard and turn what was suppose to be a stealth mission into a straight up tank rush. Later games migated this fact by forbidding the actual construction of anything, with any and all attackers being spawned by script rather than being produced and the buildings and harvesters there simply for show.
  • In Yoshi's Island, it was possible to shoot an egg at the lone Piranha Plant at the end of Level 3-8, before triggering the cutscene where Kamek turns the Piranha Plant into Naval Piranha, the stage boss. Doing so would kill the Piranha Plant in one hit, resulting in an alternate cutscene where Kamek flies in, screams "OH MY!!" in surprise and flies off, and you win the boss battle automatically.
  • The developers of Banjo Tooie wanted you to 100% the first stage, Mayahem Temple, only after having obtained a couple of moves from the second, Glitter Gulch Mine. Not necessary. To get the jigsaw piece from the Pillars Vault, all you need is to jump off the edge of the nearby cliff while in Talon Trot, then use your double jump with great timing. You can 100% the entire game without once visiting the Pillars Vault at all.
    • A sort-of example that crops up in Nuts & Bolts involves putting anything in the trolley (such as a bench or a crate), standing on it and then levitating the trolley. The trolley, with you on top of your bench, will start flying and be able to access much of Showdown Town without finishing the various Grunty challenges (specifically, it bypasses the need for high-grip, floating and springs). This gives access to significantly better vehicle parts right from the start.
    • At the start of the game it is possible to climb to the top of L.O.G's factory to the Jiggy Tamper Switch almost immediately after entering Showdown Town for the first time. Attempting to use the switch (and thus earn a Jiggy before L.O.G gives you your first one) earns a Shout Out from L.O.G - "Trying to break the game already?" before he locks the switch down and tells you to come back at a "more reasonable time".
  • In World of Warcraft, the storyline assumes you have completed every quest and instance up to that point. For example, the Wrath of the Lich King expansion's story is based off the assumption that you completed every prior instance once, and in the suggested order... and that your group was the only one to do so. For them to do otherwise would make little to no sense, as your character is famous for their exploits, but it can be a bit jarring. A player can do 0 quests and instances on the way to level 80, and suddenly be surprised to find out that Bolvar and Saurfang Jr. have been dead for eight full levels. Further complicating the matter is that the game assumes you have personal knowledge of quests that you could not possibly have completed; several quests and instances refer to events that occurred in Acherus: The Ebon Hold during the Death Knight starting questlines, which is amusing considering that non-Death Knights have no access to those quests, but the game speaks of these events in general terms in the level 70-80 quests as though you completed those quests and know exactly what these people are talking about.
    • A particular example, in Wrath of the Lich King there are two 'entry-level' zones in Northrend. After completing all the quests and instances in one or the other you will then be high enough level to take-on the Grizzly Hills zone, and after finishing all quests and instances in Grizzly Hills you will then be high enough level for the Zul'Drak zone. In Grizzly Hills Drakuru enlists your aid in a series of quests before betraying you and revealing himself to be in league with the Lich King all along. Later in Zul'Drak Drakuru attempts to recruit you as one of his vassals since you made such an excellent stooge, giving you the opportunity for some betrayal payback. However; this plotline goes entirely out the window if one completes all the quests in both entry-zones, thus making them high enough in level to skip Grizzly Hills entirely and go straight to Zul'Drak.
      • However someone seems to have noticed this since the game has come out. The dialogue from the quests is now different if you complete them in the correct order or the wrong order.
    • Players do this constantly in a minor way in every dungeon. In theory one fights through every enemy guarding the bosses before defeating them. In actuality players will take every possible opportunity to avoid fighting anyone other than the bosses, and skip even some of them. The Uthgarde Pinnacle dungeon is, well, a pinnacle of this. You can slip past first two groups of guards by hugging the wall. The first boss meets you with a lengthy show of her talking to a giant image of Arthas and ending with her transforming into a Val'kyr. However, the exit out of the room is not locked so you're free to leave her boasting to an empty room. The second boss is a a sequence of assorted monsters... That you have to unfreeze by pressing a switch. Again, nothing stops you from leaving them as is. Third boss is Skadi the Ruthless, who is intended to be fought in a gauntlet fashion, as players fight their way along a corridor while Skadi's drake breathes cold at them, his minions attack you, you collect javelins from them, and finally bring down his drake with the javelins to fight him. However, players quickly started just rushing through the gauntlet, killing the whole minion horde at once and bring down the drake without any need for dodging drake breath. So that's two bosses skipped, one shortened and only the final boss of the dungeon fought in full. Likewise in the Pit of Saron dungeon, two really tough groups of undead are summoned by two vrykul through a spell as part of a scripted sequence after the previous boss is killed. Players quickly realized that if they mounted up and rode through the area the vrykul would be summoned immediately after the boss died they could get through without being attacked.
  • City of Heroes averts this in the Rikti War Zone zone story arcs. While it heavily features Fusionette and Jim "Faultline" Temblor from the Faultline zone story arcs, because of the chance that your hero may never have run the content in that zone or that you may be playing a villain (since the zone is co-op between the factions) the writers simply have the two NPCs recognizing you based on your supposed reputation as a high-level hero/villain and not remembering your previous adventures with them. This was largely because the game doesn't have a way to track all the NPCs you had worked with and alter their dialogue accordingly.
  • The Avernum series uses Fight Woosh in reverse, putting your party back into formation when combat ends. In the first three games, starting and immediately ending combat can move you forwards a few tiles, potentially bypassing tiles that trigger an effect when stepped on. Given that sometimes the effect is a dialogue message explaining why you can't actually enter the space, this was widely considered a Good Bad Bug. (You can also break sequences sometimes with the Move Mountains spell, but this is intentional.)
  • In the freeware puzzle game TAG: The Power of Paint, you can skip almost all of the second-last level. Shortly after you begin the level and get the blue spray can, you have to drop down onto a green platform which propels you back up to the next building. At the very end of the level you have to use this platform again to stick yourself onto a building and get to the level exit. The creators apparently didn't test properly, as you can erase a lane on this platform, run and jump, and (just barely) make it onto the building without red paint.
  • In the expansion for Warcraft II, there is a particular mission called "The Razing of Auchindoun". You're -expected- to take your starting army to the south-east, capture a mine and wage a war of attrition from a hard to defend location, engaging in a grueling air and sea fight before finally razing the fortress of Auchindoun, all on a shoe-string budget. The strategy guide says something like "This mission is hard to complete, even with this guide". You can complete the whole thing in ten minutes by sailing all your ships, your three ballista, footmen, knights, two tough-as-nails heroes and some peasants into the place where Auchindoun Fortress is supposed to be to find a couple of towers and a mere stronghold building. Throw up some of your own towers in enemy territory, bombard the enemy towers with your battleships, knock out the barracks before they finish building it then have a celebratory barbecue and sail home.
    • It gets better in Warcraft III. In the final mission, you're supposed to defend the World Tree from Archimonde's unstoppable assault, gradually losing all three of your bases just before the 45-minute timer ends and you complete the mission in the nick of time. However, with some careful tricks, it's possible to destroy the first undead base shortly after they take over the human base, kill Archimonde with a very time-consuming Death of a Thousand Cuts, and wait until the timer expires, doing nothing. The final cutscene will still play as if Archimonde was advancing to the World Tree, but instead of him there will be just an empty spot.
      • Don't even need to kill him. He only advances once the next base is destroyed, so destroy the undead base that is built to replace the human one with ballistas hidden in the trees. Since this base is down, the other ones will never fall, and Archimonde won't move from the ruin of the old base.
    • In the penultimate mission of the Alliance campaign you have only your heroes to complete the objectives, so you're supposed to hire monsters as mercenaries along the way. However, the mission is perfectly winnable with just your heroes, but the mercenaries will still be present in the final cinematic.
    • In the first Alliance mission in Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, you are expected to build a base on the central island, which will then suffer continuous attacks from the many surrounding undead bases, justifying the need for heavy naga units offered by Lady Vashj. However, if you build your base in the upper-left corner instead, after defeating the fairly tough but defeatable guardians of the gold mine, the scripted attacks from the undead bases will never trigger, leaving you to build up your troops and take out the undead bases one at a time with no need for undead units. (That gold mine was intended by map designers as a secondary one, to expand to only after building up your primary base.)
  • There's a small bit of sequence breaking in the first level of Spyro the Dragon 2. One of the three orbs is only accessible from the top of a high ledge that can be climbed. The player is supposed to reach the second world and buy the climb ability from Moneybags, but some careful gliding and skilled use of the superfly powerup placed in the last area of the level give you just enough distance to reach the ledge early.
    • There are several instances where you can use the extra height you get from charging and jumping at the same time to sequence break. In Colossus, for instance, it is possible to skip the last two gates and still get 100% on the level by using this trick to get on top of a pillar.
    • In Spyro: Year of the Dragon, it's possible to exploit collision detection bugs to get into 'portals' which you shouldn't have access to yet, or to access them from a direction you're not supposed to, exit and skip most of a level as a result.
    • Also, when you find yourself having to chase a thief to get eggs, it is often possible to jump onto the thief from a ledge instead of running after him.
    • In Enter the Dragonfly, you can phase through the second gate in the Dragon Realms (the one that requires you to have the ice breath to unlock it) if you charge into it at a certain angle, allowing you to reach the last three levels early, though considering the game is so buggy the fact this is possible isn't a surprise.
  • In Arcanum, it is possible to skip the annoying plot to find the location of dark elf village by simply going to where the book with the location is and digging it up from the grave in Rosebougrh
    • More than 90% of the main questline can be skipped entirely by going to Stringy Pete at your earliest convenience, killing him and using his ship to get to the Isle of Thanatos(his ship always has this destination available) to meet with Nasrudin. If Nasrudin is killed the player will automatically be banished to the Void where he can proceed to fight Kerghan. Killing Kerghan without the Vendigroth device requires Kryggird's Falchion, a unique sword that is, conveniently enough, also found in the void.
  • In The Incredible Machine (aka TIM) series of games you can break many puzzles of the game using only few accurately placed items from the tool pool instead of creating the complex machine the creators - more or less - intended.
  • In Dark Souls, there's an item called Master Key which you can get from the very beginning. This item lets you skip several annoying parts of the game.
    • You can also sequence break by entering Valley of Drakes and defeating the drakes in the region. This lets you skip the entirety of The Depths (including the infamous Capra Demon) and most of Blighttown.
    • You can skip most of Lost Izalith by donating 30 humanity to Quelaag's Sister.
    • Finally, there are several areas that can be skipped with some really precise jumping - Painted World of Ariamis, for example, can be cleared in minutes.
  • Mother allows for massive sequence breaking. It's possible skip Ana and Teddy entirely, because they're not needed in order to finish the game. However, Loid is needed to clear the path to the train station and to reach EVE. Simply don't go to Snowman or Ellay, however most enemies will be harder to kill due to playing with less party members. When the ending is shown, it will show what happened to Ana and Teddy, even though you never met them.
  • In the seventh chapter of Mother 3, there are several needles that are able to be done in any order; for example, you can do the volcano dungeon before getting Kumatora. Of course, this can make some bosses annoyingly difficult, because you don't have the experience that the game expects you to have.
  • Tails Adventure can be finished without the Wrench. But then you won't be able to backtrack through the final stage, unless you have the Teleport item.
  • Pretty much the entire tutorial section of System Shock 2, a good 10-15 minutes of gameplay, can be skipped simply by knowing the passcode to the Engineering Bay ( 12451) beforehand.
    • By carefully placing a wrench on the floor in System Shock 2, you can keep an area from sealing. This does not only make a lot of dialogue make no sense, it also allows you to bypass a mission that resolves around finding a recharge station (since the one behind the doors is supposedly in hard vacuum). This confuses the game a bit.
  • In Bunny Must Die! Chelsea and the 7 Devils, you can beat the game without the Gears. Without the Gears, you cannot walk to the right. Seriously. And Chelsea can get the Green Orb in the final area in a very early point of the game. In fact, Chelsea can get almost every item in the game before her third boss fight.
    • The first boss fight can be skipped. If you fight her later, she'll be very upset at your sequence breaking and fight you much more viciously, with stronger and faster attacks.
  • There are fast runs of Wolfenstein 3D on YouTube that feature breaks by persuading guards to open locked doors, then shooting them dead in the doorway so it can't close again. One level in Episode 4 actually relies on this; if you don't wedge the door, you have to go through a fiddly maze of half a dozen secret walls to find the key.
  • In the old text-based game of The Hobbit, it is possible (if extremely unlikely) to kill Smaug yourself with a sword.
  • In Star Control 2, you can explore the galaxy, meeting new aliens, doing quests for them, and collect important artifacts from them, which you need to defeat the Big Bads. Or you can wait until the Kohr-Ah start killing everyone and just loot the deserted homeworlds. This was probably intentional.
    • Another, much more difficult sequence break: you are supposed to ally with the Earth Starbase first thing in the game. The creators' way of enforcing this was to spawn a Slylandro Probe every day you spend in Hyperspace before you do. If you're good enough, though, you can pick up Fwiffo, use him to kill Probes, fly over to the Pkunk for their gift of ships, and spend the rest of the game relying on gifted ships and milking the Pkunk's resurrection for crew, all while your flagship has the speed and maneuerability of a one-legged cow. You can play all the way up to freeing the Chmmr, at which point the game crashes because it automatically brings you to the Starbase. The Ur-Quan Masters rerelease fixes the crash at this point, allowing you to win the game this way.
      • To elaborate on how hard this is: Not only are you limited to the slowest possible speed with no ship upgrades (meaning it is impossible to outrun anything, so you have to fight every single probe and enemy), you also have no ability to escape a fight. This has further side effects, such as forcing you to find about the Deep Children from someone other then the Mycon, since they will attack you in an inescapable and unwinnable fight every time you visit.
  • In Sonic 3 And Knuckles, the midboss of Ice Cap can be skipped if you're using Tails and fly above the midboss area. This causes a few glitches in Act 2, though. The Mecha Sonic "Nostalgia Boss" fights in Sky Sanctuary can also be skipped this way.
    • You can also glitch-dash through certain walls as Hyper Sonic, allowing you to reach areas normally reserved for Knuckles. Be warned, you may get stuck, and encounter artifacts of the Glitch Gremlin.
      • You can also glitch-dash through the Flying Battery Act 2 boss so you end up on the other side of the barrier looking at Robotnik/Eggman. You can go almost to the top of the level but the clouds and boxes are glitched.
  • While the actual game sequence generally isn't broken that often, 3D Sonic games tend to have some acts that can be rather easily broken with glitches or a boost. This is particularly notable in Sonic Unleashed (the HD version), which has a lot of individual speedrunning shortcuts (on each stage) that involve usage of the Sonic Boost at the right place/time to go past large portions of a stage.
    • The Night stages have a glitch that lets you attack your way through walls, and attacking a certain way allows you to extend your jump height slightly. Doing such tricks allows you to access shortcuts and even entire beta areas, although some require usage of barrels to gain extra height. One actually leads to an unfinished puzzle and an alternate goal ring!
    • Sonic Colors, a spiritual successor to Unleashed's daytime gameplay with the addition of powerups, has it even worse in some acts; in addition to the boost (which is still rather useful for speedruns, just less so,) the Cyan Laser Wisp is amazingly good at invoking this trope in the right hands; one guy got a time of less than 15 seconds on one of the Sweet Mountain acts using the Laser and some tricky jumping. For a notable non-laser example, it's possible to get normal Sonic through Asteroid Coaster Act 3 in less than five seconds by abusing enemy bounce physics you get from jumping on an enemy without releasing the A button. You can get into a Wall Jump position and combine it with the airdash to get onto a ledge you would normally need the Pink Spikes wisp to reach.
    • Sonic Adventure has plenty of glitches of its own, enough for sequence breaks to be prevalent. Casinopolis can be beaten within 15 seconds if you jump the right way and glitch through a wall.
      • Final Egg with Sonic can be finished in under a minute. The first section of the game has no real glitches, however the second section can be bypassed by getting inside the rotating fan which will not deactivate the death box allowing you to finish it stupid early. The third and final section is the worst. You can spin dash through a nearby wall behind the spider elevator, sending you into complete darkness, however if you steer correctly, you'll send Sonic falling down onto the end platform and finishing the stage.
      • Red Mountain has a large portion that can be skipped by less than 30 seconds in, Sonic can Spin Dash towards a rock on what appears to be a false wall which turns out to be real, then Spin Dash around this wall after landing on said rock and you'll put yourself near the entrance of the mountain. This can be broken further by activating the event lava rise box by glitching Sonic high enough to get the lava to rise to its highest height, bypassing the entire stage.
      • If you glitch correctly in Ice Cap with Sonic, the first section can be finished nearly in 5 seconds, the second section can be glitched right away through the large wooden door you have to find a way to open by running around, and you can glitch through a wall near the snowboarding section, allowing Sonic to run down the mountain instead, but he'll never activate the timer again, meaning that whatever time it said at the end of the second section of this stage is the time that'll finish when you reach the end of the stage regardless of how long it took.
      • Twinkle Park can be glitched as well with Sonic to allow for heavy sequence breaking. If you maneuver Sonic right, you'll skip the roller coaster. Go a step further and you can put yourself with a good Spin Dash jump right near the end of the stage.
      • A correct Spin Dash jump on Speed Highway can skip the last 30% of the first section. Another Spin Dash jump on the final section can throw you over the buildings to the exit, meaning Sonic doesn't have to run around them and waste any time.
      • If one does a good Spin Dash jump, they can skip the majority of the tornado simply by jumping in the right direction and landing on a spring, skipping the bridge and the trampoline.
      • Another good Spin Dash jump can bypass the entire final section of Sky Deck where the ship turns sideways. The player can put themselves right at the spring. If you can hit it before the ship flips entirely, you can actually finish the stage without having to monkey-bar around, then flip the ship back to a normal gravity.
      • Lost World can also be glitched with Sonic. A correct Spin Dash jump can throw Sonic through the door at the snake pool, bypassing the switch pressing section. The player has to perform this while standing on the stone snake head outside the snake pool.
  • In the original Warcraft strategy game, there is a later Humans mission where you have a base and a formidable starting army, but no peasants (worker units that gather gold and construct buildings) and not enough gold to build a peasant. Your peasants are held prisoner deep inside the enemy base and you are meant to use your unusually large starting forces to rescue them, bring them back to base, restart your economy and play it like any base building mission. However, if played right, your starting forces are enough to destroy the enemy base and win the mission! We in fact found this to be easier and quicker than rescuing the peasants which is actually quite difficult to do. By the time you've freed them, most of the enemy base is crippled or destroyed already, so you may as well press on and finish them off instead of retreating back to base to build up for another attack.
  • Most of the levels in Serious Sam - The First Encounter and The Second Encounter are out in the open. It's often possible to Rocket Jump over walls and triggers, leaving you little to fight. In City of the Gods in Second Encounter, player can even ram into one of the walls and fly to the exit of the level through interlevelic medium. Many of these glitches are very often used in multiplayer and it's not considered very entertaining by others.
  • In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, you can do this in the 7th Allied Mission. The actual mission is hard, forcing you to defend Pearl Harbor against waves of submarines and dreadnoughts, parachuting conscripts and terror drones and tanks coming from the north. Oh, and the Soviets have a nuclear missile silo through which they will nuke your War Factory into oblivion. Repeatedly. How to get around this? Start the mission, build a bunch of rocketeers, fly them to the island that the Soviets overrun in the opening minutes, destroy the MCV as it rolls ashore, mop up. This can be done in ten minutes, tops.
    • Or, better yet, just take the ships you have at the beginning of the mission and send them to the coast west of the AI's allied base (you are able to see it at the beginning). Simply ignore anything else and concentrate on taking out the last two Soviet transports that arrive on the map (ignoring the first wave of four; these are in the second group) at the end (usually the slowest-moving one in the last wave is carrying the MCV, or it'll be the one next to that. Sink the transport, or even wait until it drops off the MCV and hose that with your ships before it can deploy, and the only Soviet structure you have to take out is a sentry gun. Total time to complete? Three and a half minutes.
    • The same thing can be done in one of the early Soviet missions, where the Koreans try to establish a base.
    • Something similar can be done in the 10th Allied mission, where you have to protect Einstein's lap, and the Soviets set up their bases in the first few minutes before producing units and attacking. If you start building tanks and infantry as soon as possible and send all your units to the place where the Soviets are supposed to build their bases, you can destroy at least two of the three bases they'd normally build, possibly even all of them. Also, the Soviet second-to-last mission, where both you and Yuri get huge forces, is normally one of the most difficult in the game. However, you get two Kirovs at the start, and while hard it's possible to manouver these along the left side of the map, all the way to the top, and then to the right. Most likely one of them will be destroyed and the other will barely make it, but there are no anti-air defenses around the target, so you can just let your Kirov destroy it at its leasure. Again, this can easily be done in five minutes.
      • Yuri's Revenge has the inverse of this in the second Soviet mission. Instead of slowly destroying all the Allied bases, you can simply rot your tanks, drive along the northern and western borders straight to Einstein's lab and shoot it to oblivion. Mission complete.
    • And in the Allied campaign, missions 3 and 4. Mission three requires either a big, slow ground assault on the Psychic Beacon - or (much easier to build) a fleet of 16+ Harrier jets; enough of them will survive the antiair defenses to blast the Beacon into oblivion. Mission 4 (except on the hardest difficulty mode) expects you to clear a beachhead with Destroyers and Rocketeers and then build a base, but it's possible to cruise right up the canal to the Psychic Amplifier, using the landing craft and rocketeers for cannon fodder, and blowing the Amplifier to pieces with just the starting Destroyers.
    • In the 6th Soviet mission you have to sink the American fleet in Pearl Harbor, which would require destroying the Allied Base and the Korean reinforcements. Turns out that the only thing you need to destroy is the actual American fleet, which can be done simply by building a group of subs and sneaking them in to the Harbor before the Koreans even arrive.
    • In some of the Allied missions, you start with or can find a small team of engineers and money. If you can take an enemy War Factory, refinery, and possibly a barracks, you can spam units and level the things you're supposed to destroy. Better yet, if you beat the mission fast enough, the report says that the soviets are impressed with your skills at "stealthy destruction".
    • In the last mission of the Empire campaign in Red Alert 3, using either Tanya or Natasha on the Future Tech lab results in the obvious instant kill, skipping the small battle sequence that would normally commence as well as some videos.
    • In one of the allied missions you have to stop a limo from reaching the enemy base before you can destroy it. You're expected to break through in a slow battle of atrrition. You'll probably just solve it by building a large group of century bombers and simply fly through, the century bomber being durable enough that most of them will get through to unload their bombs.
  • In Turok 2, you get both the level 2 and level 3 keys in the first level. This means you can play levels 3 and 5 before 2 and 4, a more challenging path, and get the Firestorm Cannon and Missile Launcher earlier.
  • While Kingdom Hearts doesn't require you to go the worlds in the order recommended by the game, it's actually a little less linear than it would appear. When you get the Gummi ship, you can start the events at the Coliseum or go to Wonderland and do the events there, and the game recommends that you go to Wonderland first judging by its one star battle level. But then the third world shows up, and it's Deep Jungle, so naturally the game recommends that you complete it after the Coliseum. But fans of the game will tell you that it's actually easier to do Deep Jungle before the initial events at the Coliseum, despite Deep Jungle being labeled as a higher battle level. After that, you need to go to Traverse Town again and seal its keyhole while Cid upgrades the ship as the Disc One Final Dungeon. After that you are only really required to beat Agrabah and Neverland before Hollow Bastion, where the game sort of railroads you until the end. (Unless, that is, you stop and do sidequests or complete the worlds you didn't complete.) So yes, it is fully possible to skip Monstro, and then bypass either Halloween Town or Atlantica completely (the guide even says you can skip Monstro), or decide to just not initiate the boss battles; it's just not recommended because skipping them means you lose potentially valuable experience and it would make Neverland much harder to complete.
    • If Sora visits Hollow Bastion if a certain order is done, he will see a certain room near the library that he will comment about how "this place seems familiar" with no further explanation. Changing the order, shows instead Kairi being told at one point by her grandma a story about how the worlds were formed, which is similar to the manga prologue. Sora remembers it through her. Also, the meeting with Kairi in this case appears to be extended.
    • Square-Enix and Disney even thought of what could happen if one sequence broke, mainly pertaining to Hollow Bastion. For the earliest example (and one of two that doesn't involve Hollow Bastion), if one completes Wonderland before Deep Jungle, you see Alice wandering into Maleficent's chamber, but if one completes Deep Jungle before Wonderland, instead of Alice, you see Snow White doing the same. The only one that doesn't make much sense is completing Monstro after Hollow Bastion, in which case Maleficent is still dead, yet you run into an unexplained evil Riku and Sora already knows that this Riku is an enemy. Of course it also means this Riku is picking on Pinnochio for no reason.
      • There is still a small glitch though if you do the Jungle before Wonderland. When Sora defeats the Trickmaster at Wonderland, the keyblade pretty much just automatically locks the keyhole by itself, leaving Sora wondering what the heck just happened. If you lock the Deep Jungle first, the keyhole-locking sequence at Wonderland does not change, so Sora is still confused by it, despite the fact that he's already locked the Deep Jungle so he should know what's going on.
    • Birth by Sleep, however, most likely is the only game in which you aren't specifically told to play the episodes in any order, but if you play them in a specific order, you won't be asking yourself "...when did that happen?". The series director even recommends the Terra-Ventus-Aqua order, to get a better understanding of the story, because Ventus's campaign refers to stuff that happened before in Terra's, Aqua's campaign refers to stuff that happened before in Ventus and Terra's campaigns, and the final chapter is played as Aqua.
  • In the final Haven mission in Heroes of Might and Magic V, it is possible to defeat the first Inferno hero with Godric without freeing Isabel first. This will trigger a cutscene with Isabel talking to Godric as if she's already freed. A similar situation occurs in the Academy mission 3, but that case is less innocent: trying to assault Markal's forces without freeing Godric beforehand crashes the game.
    • And in Tribes of the East, at least in version 3.0, it is possible to stop the supposedly-unstoppable assaults of your supporting heroes with quick button-mashing and either park them outside the Inferno towns if you absolutely can't win, or (for Kujin) take 900 cyclops from Gotai, reducing what can be the hardest fight in the entire campaign to a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Not only can you sequence break in Batman: Arkham Asylum if you know what you're doing, but the Joker NOTICES you doing it and calls you out in a spectacular bit of fourth wall breakage.
  • In Ys VI, it may be possible to do Limewater Cave before the Ruins, if you're leveled up enough, never tried this myself. You need to really be leveled up to defeat Piana-Pius, who guards the object needed to defeat the Goddamned Bats in the second half of the dungeon. There's also the shadow creatures, which you need the Rainbow Fragment to defeat, although they can be avoided (except on Nightmare, where the boss generates them).
    • In I and II, once you get the Treasure Box Key from the first half of the Shrine, you can unlock the chests in the Mine, if you're brave enough, and if you get the level 3 equipment early(by Money Grinding), {the monsters may still be too strong), and maybe complete the dungeon before the rest of the Shrine.
  • In La-Mulana (original version):
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, one tactic that's sure to have your DM pissed at you is to scry on a dungeon's Final Boss, then use a teleport spell to head right to its lair, bypassing the entire dungeon.
    • Of course, at that level the bad guy should have ways to beat scrying and teleporting. But there are a lot of spells to remember, and DMs aren't perfect.
      • Nowadays, there are official spells meant to counteract this tactic; there are spells to block certain areas from being teleported into, spells to redirect teleports into another area entirely, and still more spells to delay an incoming teleport for a number of rounds and warn the villain so that he can be ready to deal with the party. Still, "Scry and Die" maneuvers are a tactic of first resort, and if the villain isn't a magic-user, it can begin to stretch suspension of disbelief for the DM to come up with way to thwart them.
    • Some D&D adventures, especially from the early days of the game, overlook Sequence Breaking opportunities because their authors assumed the game was 100% combat. In the module "Curse of Xanathon", it's expected that the heroes, discovering the villain can't be killed by their attacks, will immediately set out on a Fetch Quest for his Soul Jar. If they simply tackle the guy, tie him up, and gag him, they can drag the Big Bad off to jail and thus foil his evil plans before they're even halfway through the module.
    • Essentially, ANY tabletop game is rife for sequence breaking, depending on the GM and how much he follows the rules/fudges to keep things on the rails. Bypassing entire sections with a teleport that the GM didn't forsee, killing a Big Bad during an encounter the players were expected to lose/run away from, going somewhere unexpected (IE, everything and everyone in the game points you towards one direction, and the party decides randomly to go somewhere else) and discovering something ahead of time, etc. Often, these aren't even intentional attempts. But on the other hand, the GM can always think on his feet and create obstacles, move around locations (if the players aren't privy to the map), etc.
    • The "tackle, tie and suffocate" tactic became popular enough that some interactive/convention Living Greyhawk modules assumed you could do this to an unkillable bad guy, or otherwise would come up with a creative solution. The sequence breaker became an expected tactic.
  • The player in this video beat That One Level in Battalion Wars 2 by sending his Infantry directly to the enemy Airbase - normally you're supposed to defend your own Airbase first.
    • In the first game, you could beat the mission "Black Gold" with one unit (and the required bomber at the end) using some clever combat rolls and dodging tank fire.
  • At one point in Scratches, the player must solve a puzzle in the crypt in an attempt to find another character's name, which is the key to a puzzle involving a combination lock. If you know the name ahead of time, however (because you've played before or just guessed correctly), you can simply open the combination lock without completing the puzzle. But the in-game time only advances when a puzzle is completed, and certain events can only be completed at certain times, so you still must complete the crypt puzzle, even though the only reason the character goes to the crypt is to find the name.
  • In Suikoden II walking into a specific gate will push it right off its hinges and allow you to skip far ahead in the story, encountering monsters many times your current level and recruiting characters with no good reason to join your army just yet. Alas, move too far forward and you risk glitching the game beyond repair, but if you can survive just one fight, you'll gain enough experience to breeze through the game for a long while.
  • A level in Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 2 requires the player to take down an Imperial Star Destroyer. You're supposed to do this after defending a Rebel frigate from a squad of TIE fighters (which conveniently gives the Empire craft time to attack another Rebel ship and therefore set up the next level), but the boss can be attacked at the start of the level and it's actually easier to attack it first, because this skips the need to fight the others. In fact, you more or less have to do this to obtain the medal for the mission.
    • In fact, you don't even have to actually fight the Star Destroyer - just find the bridge with your targeting computer and crash into it. End cutscene immediately starts, and you don't lose a life.
    • In the original Rogue Squadron, one mission required you to kill a number of radar towers in a canyon without being detected. It was possible to skip this section by glitching through the canyon wall but it would leave your speeder badly damaged. Good luck taking on the Imperial base.
  • Occurs in The Lord of the Rings Online. You can bypass a number of questlines, but the game will assume you did them if a NPC brings it up. For example, when meeting the Fellowship in Lothlórien they will react as if they knew you, even if you never did any quests related to them. However, the game seems to be steering away from it: in the latest update, a few returning characters will react differently if you never finished their earlier questline.
  • Body Harvest has a part in one of the America stages where you're in a military base the aliens are trying to terraform. A fast closing gate blocks your progress at one point, the intended solution being to get a can of nitro fuel and drive a jeep through the gate, the fuel speeding up the jeep just fast enough to make it. Instead, you can take a nimble car onto the high ledges and jump a gap at the edge of the level. You're then able to drive in a flat area the designers clearly intended to be inaccessible. Result: Skip almost the entire level and drive straight to the boss.
  • The Doom II level Dead Simple required you to kill every enemy to exit. One notable speedrunner (Drew "stx-Vile" DeVore) proved that you could use the rocket launcher to propel yourself onto the exit switch, meaning you could complete the level with 0 kills.
    • In the original games, the player was unable to jump normally, and maps were designed with this in mind. Source ports that add jumping therefore allow you to skip large parts of multiple maps (in the case of the above Dead Simple, the entire map) just by jumping.
    • Similarly, any source port that adds vertical mouselook makes it possible to defeat the final boss in a matter of seconds, as the only thing making it difficult was the inability to aim vertically.
    • Some maps require you to find all three colored keys in sequence to open up the path to the exit, but in some of these cases, the obstacles you need the keys for are set up in such a way that you can walk past one of them without its key.
  • Aquaria, an independent Metroidvania, has this in a few different spots: first, the Beast form allows the protagonist to swim through heavy currents, providing access to other zones. A combination of food and wall-swimming, however, made it possible to get to the upper part of the ocean (the Veil) before even acquiring said form. Second, in earlier versions of the game it was possible to head to the penultimate area of the game before Li was trapped there; freeing him before this happened resulted in the story becoming completely broken from that point on, as he was subsequently sealed away forever. (Not that some tropers would care.)
    • In earlier versions of the game, it was possible to skip the Sun Temple by simply wall-jumping up the mountain it's contained within, breaking into the boss chamber. Doing so wouldn't let you get the best ending, though.
  • Ridiculously easy in Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, so much so that players can accidentally trigger "interludes" (pages of text that tell the plot about the awakening Voice) in odd orders - the voice can casually talk to you and then three hours later, speak for the first time and you're surprised, etc. Also, the wording of some of the "lower" endings, such as military or economic, make planet seem like a bigger mystery than she should and is, depending on how far you are in the game.
  • Overlord has a minor example, in that the entire middle three areas of the game can be taken out of sequence. Difficulty curve and powerup distribution show the player is intended to complete half of Everwood (getting the green minions), half of Heaven's Peak (getting the blue minions and access to mid-game equipment), complete Everwood, complete Heaven's Peak, then move on to the Dwarven Lands. However, the game's Broken Bridges require the right minion type to beat - and only the right minion type. Thus, a player can complete up to a quarter of the way through Heaven's peak (thus getting the blue minions), then go through the rest of Evernight and the Dwarven Lands on skill alone before making Heaven's Peak an absolute cakewalk with the late-game spells and equipment the player can find.
  • In Lands of Lore 2, the path to the Savage Jungle is closed off by an Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence until the player has fulfilled the Old Caves quest. However, it is possible to get past that fence by jumping around in lizard form. When you get to the Savage Jungle, the game will treat you as if you had gotten there properly. You will, however, not possess a crucial item, meaning that the good path is not open to you - you'll have to play evil to ever see the end of the game. It is also possible to explore the ruins in the caves without getting the flute you need to summon the elevator by jumping down, taking some damage in the process.
  • In Gears of War 2, in the sequence immediately before the the throne room, (the part where Marcus says that the suspiciously empty entrance to the throne room might be a trap before the floor drops out underneath you) you can use the crank on the center pillar to raise the floor back to the surface without fighting any of the guards. This is easier on Co-op, and is much more difficult on the higher difficulty levels as the barriers don't come up with you leaving you EXTREMELY open to enemy gunfire for quite a few seconds... long enough for them to down/kill you if you're on insane difficulty.
  • In the PC RTS game Total Annihilation, there are many missions in which sequence breaking can be applied. Most notably in Arm Campaign mission 3, "Spider Technology". The briefing tells you to clear a path for 4 spiders, and then get them to your starting area. However, the enemy defense is so weak that sending the spiders off first thing will win you the mission.
    • Similarly, in some missions where your objective is to destroy or capture a specific building, you can simply have your commander immediately walk to the objective, and with some luck, accomplish the objective before they kill you.
  • One of the easier ways to beat the Modern Warfare 2 spec ops level "Wetwork" is through a speed run where you throw flashbangs to disorient the enemy while you sprint past. When you reach the end, in the room where you need to breach the final room, the game will have reached its limit of enemies and so won't spawn any. As soon as you blow the door open, you win.
  • In Cave Story, the fireplace in Chaco's house can be skipped (saving one more trip to collect Jellyfish Juice) by abusing knockback from the enemies outside.
  • In Battletoads, level 10, "Rat Race," can be skipped almost entirely by dash-ramming the rat two times after getting rid of the bomb, but before the rat leaves.
  • One level of Super Scribblenauts has the starite stuck above two sliding platforms. To move these and get the starite, Maxwell needs to get to two switches, requiring the player to shift around a sequence of rocks to make sure certain doors don't open. Or you can just click on the switches directly, even though Maxwell's nowhere near them, and the starite drops with no effort at all.
  • It is possible to play through Bioshock without getting the Incinerate! plasmid. If you're very fast and lucky, you can hit a flaming trashcan downstairs and use it to melt the ice in the basement of the Medical Pavilion before it stops burning. The ice in Fountain Fisheries can be solved by telekinesising along a corpse with exploding buck, and then looting it after your weapons are confiscated.
  • Technically speaking, there's nothing stopping you from charging Meduna directly in Jagged Alliance 2 after landing. In practical terms, though, you need to capture and secure the cities on the way to Meduna, because while enemy weapons get more and more effective the further south you go, your weapons do not (at least, not until you capture cities). Even a modest upgrade in enemy capabilities — like, say, going from submachine guns to rifles — is going to be a major challenge if you're still wielding machine pistols.
    • But, there is a 7 minute speed run here
  • In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, it is possible to simply swim out of the parts of the game you're currently permitted to explore, but doing so sets the cops and even the navy on you. Most of this can avoided by making a jump over the guard building into the airport, getting into a plane and simply flying off (it does, however, mean flying while being attacked by Navy planes). Using this technique to complete all the optional goals before playing the actual story is a fairly popular Self-Imposed Challenge.
    • There are several missions in San Andreas that can be done in a way different from intended:
      • Robbing Uncle Sam: instead of opening the gate immediatelly after you enter the military base, you can kill every soldier already spawned on the place, then use the forklift to place the boxes near the entrance neatly waiting for when you finally shoot the gate's control panel to open and let Ryder take drive inside.
      • Wrong Side Of The Tracks: instead of driving alongside the train and let Big Smoke kill the Vagos, you can overtake the train, ride your dirtbike on top of a nearby building using a few ramps and a bridge, then jump on top of the train and use the AK 47 or M4 to kill the Vagos yourself.
      • Badlands: Instead of facing off against the FBI agents to kill the witness, you can scare him into getting into his car and running away. When you're out of the FBI's range you can shoot his car until he bails and kill him easily.
      • Local Liquor Store: Why use the Quad Bike if you can leave a Sanchez nearby and use it to chase the thieves?
      • The Da Nang Thang: You lose all your weapons during the helicopter crash, but since there's no timer in this mission, you can go back to the city, stock up weapons, armor and ammo, the go back and finish the job.
      • Ice Cold Killa: Pop tires of Jizzy's car before entering the Pleasuredome. When he tries to flee using his car, it's much easier to chase him.
      • Pier 69: Instead of jumping on the water and swimming after Ryder, just shoot him from the dock with the Sniper Rifle.
      • Toreno's Last Flight: Get a Heat Seeking Rocket Launcher before the start of the mission. When the chopper takes flight is just a matter of lock on it and fire. Same can be done in Interdiction.
      • In Misappropriation the games wants you to have a spectular chase using among other things a helicopter. You can bypass it all by sneaking in quickly enough in the place where the case is, kill the guy who's carrying it, grab the case and flee.
      • There's actually two ways of beating High Noon. The first is pop the tires of Pulaski's Buffalo and chase him afterwards as normal, or you can get a Minigun and fire away as soon as the cop enters the car. A few seconds of blasting and the car will go up in flames. (Oddly enough the car will be intact in the cutscene and afterwards)
    • Other than that, there's still the side missions. The Chiliad Challenge for example. Instead of winning your races, you can come in dead last, and using a, sniper rifle, kill the competition after they crossed the finish line but you still haven't. Killing the competition also works on the Dirt Track.
  • In Guild Wars: Factions, the Gyala Hatchery mission has the players defend a band of turtles against mauraders. However, the players may avoid the turtles and trigger the majority of the battles without endangering the turtles. Upon escorting the turtles, the group will stop at the battle locations and warn of incoming attackers even though they have already been defeated. This method is often used to achieve the Master's reward.
    • The original Prophecies campaign had many routes to skip chunks of the main quest, not least of which was the Lornar's Pass run.
  • New Super Marisa Land has two secret exits that allow the player to skip entire worlds. 1-4 will take you to World 3, while 3-5 will take you to World 7. You can even beat the World 7 boss, which takes you to the final area, without having collected a single mushroom!
  • A minor one in WWF Smackdown 2 is to is to add your character to a title division and then remove everyone but yourself and the champion. You will now be ranked #2, even after you put everyone else back in. You'll instantly have a title shot once you play Season Mode with that character. This saves many hours of having to work your way up the ranks.
  • The player is able to skip nearly the entirety of Blood's E3M3 by simply saving up jump boots from the previous map and using them to climb a ledge near the beginning of the map.
  • A speedrun video of Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus extensively uses a bug that allows Abe to climb through floors that he shouldn't be able to; in several instances, this allows a puzzle to be completed quicker than it should, but at about the halfway point, it is possible to use this bug in combination with a secret area to skip two large portions of the game.
  • Early in Secret of Mana, you can get to Gaia's Navel before you visit the water palace by using Cannon Travel twice. From there you can continue on or travel from Gaia's Navel to Pandora. Doing the latter can lead to a slightly different sequence of events where the girl joins your party later than she normally does. However, you must return to the One True Sequence before you defeat Spikey Tiger, or Undine's cave will never become unsealed and you will have to restart your game.
  • In the Apple ][/Commodore 64 game Snooper Troops, the clues never change, so it is possible to collect all of the appropriate clues, start a fresh game, and accuse the correct suspect as fast as you can type in the clue numbers. Allowing for loading times, this should take literally about a minute.
  • In Rhem 2, when you first find the artifact, it is locked in place with a special pattern lock. Entering the wrong pattern dumps you in a cell, where a mysterious woman takes your swipe card. However, since the pattern doesn't change, if you enter the pattern correctly the first time, the artifact will be released, and you can actually leave with the artifact, which is not supposed to be possible. (The goal is only to get a photo of the artifact, which is what your employer claims, even if you have the artifact itself.)
  • Subverted in TaskMaker, a Mac-only RPG which involves gathering 10 different items for the eponymous ruler. At the beginning of the game, you can't go to any other town without first talking to the TaskMaker. And while you can fight your way through the monsters and traps to clear the path to any of the 10 task items, the game doesn't allow you to actually pick them up until the TaskMaker has told you to go get them.
    • Likewise, in the sequel The Tomb of the TaskMaker (where you are now ruler of the land following the TaskMaker's death in the previous game), you can't go to any other town unless you first sit on the throne to have your first Fetch Quest assigned to you. And as before, you can go to any town or dungeon in any order, but you can't pick up an object until it's been assigned.
  • In Dawn of War: Dark Crusade when you assault the home region of the Space Marines, your sole objective is to destroy their HQ. If you play as Tau, and have upgraded your Commander sufficiently, which includes euqipping him with a Jet Pack, stealth gear and a metric Frakton of firepower, he'll be perfectly capable to bypass all the enemy defences, tuck away in the corner of the enemy base and gradually pick off at the HQ untill it's gone. Whereupon you will be treated to a cutscene where your army advances against the valiant defenders of the base and overwhelmes their resistance, none of which actually happened.
    • Similarly, when attacking the Space Marine base as Imperial Guard, you can capture the enemy's Orbital Strike, use your Auspex to find the enemy HQ and then drop the orbital strike on it.
    • As Necrons you can do the same against the Imperial Guard in their stronghold. Rather than bother with multiple units of guardsmen, artillery, Leman Russ tanks etc, just upgrade your Necron Lord with Essence of the Nightbringer, then teleport along the river which has multiple small islands. Since your only objective is to destroy the enemy HQ, teleport there, use the essence and rip it down. Doing this however prevents the chance to capture and use the absolutely awesome Titan cannon for the mission.
    • Averted in the third Order mission of Winter Assault: You need to move your entire base twice over the course of the mission, by having your teleporting builder warp to the spot and build a Warp Gate. You can only build the gate in the first spot, trying to warp directly to the second makes it unbuildable and will usually get you killed.
    • In Soulstorm, the Dark Eldar stronghold starts as a Baseless Mission where you rescue units held in torture cages. The final units are builders, which you're supposed to use to build an HQ building and then a base, and from there destroy the Soul Cages and the Dais of Destruction. However, it turns out they can also build basic production buildings (but not generators), and the Dark Eldar won't attack until you've completed your HQ building. It is entirely possible to beat the map in less than half an hour by overwhelming the Dais of Destruction with your cheapest infantry.
      • Flying and jump-capable units as a whole can do this. Nearly every map that has hard-to-reach objectives that must be destroyed to continue (Eldar, Chaos, Sisters...) can be taken out by sufficient application of airborne firepower, leaving your main force to defend the base.
    • Any objective in Dark Crusade or Soulstorm can be completely broken by the guardsmen using a combination of the Auspex and Basilisks to destroy them. Most stronghold missions will devolve into "how fast can I build up 3 basilisks and get close enough to their base" rather than completing objectives.
    • The Eldar stronghold in Soulstorm is protected by a series of holographic cliffs, requiring you to destroy their projectors to reveal the path. However, since you know the actual location of the base, if playing as the Necrons you can simply teleport an upgraded Monolith into their base after destroying only one of them. Then, because it still counts as a building, it can be used to teleport in the entire rest of the army.
  • In Zeus: Master of Olympus the most challenging campaign was the Trojan War, which put you in the shoes of the Greek forces. The early part of the campaign was a lead-up to the actual war and Troy's military might was actually lower than once the war began. With a bit of delay and building up your forces, it was entirely possible to conquer Troy before the war even began.
  • In Suspect by Infocom, if you go immediately to the garage, you can catch the murderer in the act of disposing of evidence and win the game immediately. The game is played in "real time", so it's a case of The Dev Team Thinks of Everything.
  • In X3: Terran Conflict, the intended order to complete the plotlines is Terran PlotOperation: Final Fury → Goner Plot → Hub PlotHQ PlotAldrin Expansion → Treasure Hunt → New Home Plot → Balance of Power. Though none of the individual plots allow for internal sequence breaking (i.e. you can't skip missions), it is very easy to complete certain plots out of order. Players have reported finishing the Goner Plot before the Terran Plot, and the Aldrin Expansion only requires you to have completed the first half of the Hub plot.
  • Spoofed in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice. Beating the Hopeless Boss Fight in the first chapter nets you an ending where Mao and Almaz realize, after quite a bit of time wandering aimlessly, that their sequence-breaking rendered the game Unwinnable, and that they now have no choice but to reset.
  • The "Team" objectives in Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain are only meant to be completed in co-op gameplay, however, some of them can be accomplished solo, such as rescuing the wounded SWAT officers in the third mission.
  • A certain stealth mission in Syphon Filter 2 involves a mountain bridge, which is rigged with bombs, and is guarded by a small army of mooks. Two minutes after level starts, their captain gives an order to blow these bombs; so you're expected to find a silent weapon, dispatch of him before that happens (without raising alarm, of course), and continue searching for bombs without any time limit. However, it's totally possible to disarm all four bombs in these two minutes, without breaking stealth as well. For some reason, you still lose the mission when the timer reaches 00.
  • When playing online in Diablo II it is rare to spend more than 20 minutes in act three, as everyone simply fights the council and Mephisto right away due to rushing and waypoint abuse.
  • In Metal Saga while it's a sandbox game without a particular order to follow it's strongly expected of you to fight and level up until you can safely reach the last town, as the monsters become increasingly more powerful and if you are weak enough you can't even do scratch damage to them while they do a one-hit kill. However, with you can fleeing the random battles and go to the town with the train. The train can bypass most of the towns and you can also gamble enough to have tons of cash for the powerhouse weapons you can buy at the last town. When you're at the last town, you can buy rail guns and other cutting edge equipment before returning to whatever town you want to. With your new kit, your dune buggy and whatever tank you managed to find will have early enemy attacks bouncing off for no damage. After at, everything except but the final stages becomes a cake walk
  • There are several points in Bug Dom (but especially in level 2), where one can go out of the game. In level two, it requires walking forward while pressing against the grass until you break through. there you find a land of endless sand. Sometimes an ant can follow you through and kill you (but it's rare.)
  • In The Cave if you take a second hot dog from the vending machine at the start, get it all the way to the zoo and avoid getting the character holding it eaten by the monster, you can skip most of that level.
  • The first leg of Cluefinders 4th Grade required a Fetch Quest; twelve cairoglyphs in exchange for translating a clue on a scroll. The scroll contained five clues in rhymed couplets; the first four would always be the same and lead you to the statue adjacent to the antique shop where the scroll is being translated. The fifth clue would tell you how to open the secret chamber behind the statue, and it would be different each time. But once you realize the patterns the final clue tends to take (X, Y, then X once more, or X, Y then Ear, or X, then twice knee), you can skip all of Cairo's fetch quests, mess around with the statue and solve the secret chamber puzzle early. The antique dealer will still demand cairoglyphs, but it won't matter because solving the secret chamber's puzzle opens up the boat rental shop, allowing the Cluefinders to advance to the Nile Kingdom without bothering with the scroll at all.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic, the designers put an open, PVP area in the middle of the Ilum Gree event. The intent was a full-blown free-for-all where people might make small (4-man maximum) teams, but it would be every player for themselves. But then the players realized there were no rewards for attacking other players aside from sending them back to base and forcing them to use a teleport to put them right back at the PvP area. Furthermore, many of the tasks needed to complete the PvE dailies could be done in the PvP area with about half the difficulty (a 2 or 3 player team doing the 4-man heroic would get crushed in the PvE area, but it was very fast and easy to do in the PvP area). Queue massive truces across the servers, Imperial and Republic players cooperating on daily tasks, orderly lines formed at an orb drop-off puzzle, and gankers from both factions being scolded by their own faction. Veteran MMO players reported they'd never seen anything like it.
  • Mass Effect 2 allows you to complete Mordin's loyalty mission after you've completed the Suicide Mission. That's not sequence breaking—although there's not much benefit to doing so, since you've already beaten the game, you can complete any loyalty mission after the SM (in fact, one mission has an extra optional scene if you complete it after the SM). What is sequence breaking is that you can complete Mordin's loyalty mission even if Mordin is dead. He will seemingly magically come back to life just to find his missing assistant. The fact that he's the only squadmate this works with is oddly appropriate. Anyone else would have gotten it wrong.
  • STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl can hand this to you. If you're not paying much attention after getting to the Bar (and you might not, it's a major hub), you can completely miss the prompt to head to the bandit-loaded Dark Valley and wind up going to Rostok instead (west, instead of southeast). This means you'll wind up fighting a large group of mercenaries that, while far more heavily armed and armored than you probably will be at the time, can't hit the broad side of a barn, and taking part in the game's only Escort Mission. Following that chain of missions to its conclusion will end with you loaded with cash from hocking artifacts, carrying mid-level NATO weaponry that punches far above its weight class, and possibly wearing an Ecologist suit that you got for free, which isn't great against bullets but can put off most environmental hazards, which are common in that area. Heading to the Dark Valley after this and butchering an abandoned warehouse full of bandits (who mainly wear leather jackets and carry low-end weaponry) can be incredibly satisfying considering how difficult the game has been up to that point. After slogging through countless gunfights, you finally get to have a one-sided battle in your favor.
    • A similar effect can be accomplished by going north to the army warehouses, where 3 freedom members, also carrying mid-level NATO weaponry, are gunned down the instant you enter the area. Also in this area the player can accompany the freedom faction against the monolith faction, potentially gaining even more powerful weapons. If the player continues north they can get to the early parts of the Red Forest and get late game weapons and armor that make a huge portion of the game exceptionally one-sided.
    • The Bar can be accessed before the player completes the objective to let them go through by killing the guards. The player can do this without angering the duty faction by using a noiseless pistol, which is found on a bandit that attacks you the instant enter the preceding area. This means that the player can get late game equipment before even starting the main story.
    • There are several times during the game where the military acts as a Beef Gate, and the player is supposed to avoid them by going another way. However, if the player has a powerful enough weapon (most likely acquired by one of the above methods), then they can most likely take down the entire military force. This can result in an Unwinnable by Mistake scenario, as the player can get past the point where they can attain a crucial item, or having an irreplaceable NPC simply fail to appear.
  • Antichamber: While there isn't an exact singular sequence of puzzles that must be followed (the green and yellow block guns have multiple puzzles that lead directly to them), it is possible to reach the ending without getting the red block gun through clever manipulation and careful management of blocks.
  • Some of the early Tomb Raider games have enemies already spawned in the level, but they aren't "alive" until you pass a certain trigger that turns them on. If you approach certain parts of the level wrong via glitches, you can see enemies that are frozen and won't attack, but you can't hit them.
  • In WildARMs1, you're given the opportunity to choose to do a quest chain in Saint Centour or bypass it and do Port Timney first. The idea is that you will eventually do both because there is one magic key in each town, and you need both to make it past two locked doors to progress with the game. However, you can use the 255 item glitch to simply copy the key from Port Timney and completely bypass Saint Centour and its area dungeon, Cage Tower. This makes visiting the town later on a little odd as certain characters act and speak as if the town is completely empty when it... isn't.
  • A Pinball example: Normally in Attack from Mars, the player must knock down a retractible drop target bank, then shoot a saucer to destroy the Martian spaceship. During multiball, however, if you destroy a ship, get one ball trapped by the targets as they rise back into position, then hit the bank so the trapped ball goes into the saucer, you receive a Dirty Pool bonus and instantly get credit for destroying the next spaceship.
  • In metroidvania 1000 Amps, you are supposed to get upgrades in the following order: teleport, mapping, aura, defense, and finally the double jump. However, persistence (or strategic use of seeds) in the section you're supposed to navigate with the defense upgrade enables you to light enough rooms to make your way through to the double jump upgrade station without it. From there, the game breaks wide open (though you still have to get the defense upgrade to be able to connect to where the intruder's hiding).
  • In ''Creeper World's final level, you're supposed to build up your defences to keep the Creeper from climbing over the wall or through the narrow pass, long enough for the tech for The Thor to appear outside the walls. You then need to establish a few weapons outside the walls to keep the area clear long enough to grab the needed tech. However, there's nothing keeping you from continuing to build outside the walls, pushing the creeper back, capping all eight Creeper emitters, and activating the totems to finish the level without ever building Thor. This used to result in the game crashing, but was patched in later editions to take the feat into account.
  • In Borderlands 2 you can, with some creativity, kill certain bosses before their introductory cutscene happens, as this video will show, but the game may take offense to your shenanigans if you do.
  • It's possible to skip an entire branch of the story in Marathon Infinity with some well-timed jumps in one of the "Electric Sheep" levels.

Script BreakingError IndexUnwinnable
Self-Imposed ChallengeNot the Way It Is Meant to Be PlayedTwinking
Perpetual BetaIdiot Programming IndexSpace Compression
SequelphobicVideo Game CultureShovelware
Scissors Cuts RockVideogame Tactical IndexShoot the Mage First

alternative title(s): Sequence Break
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