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[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/KaizoMarioWorld http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_kaizolevel_9616.jpg]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:350:[[EverythingTryingToKillYou The blocks look safe, but they're probably programmed to give Mario radiation poisoning or something.]] [[note]]This is the ''first'' level, by the way.[[/note]]]]-]

->'''Sivert Fjeldstad Madsen:''' Since you've made every game... Did you actually beat ''VideoGame/{{Battletoads}}''?\\
'''[[VideoGame/BanjoKazooie Lord of Games]]:''' I assume you mean that tunnel level with the hoverbike. I, er... well, of course I beat it. It's not as if I or anyone else would release a game that couldn't be finished with standard human reaction times.
-->-- Facebook Q&A

There are times in video games where, instead of a [[ThatOneBoss boss]] becoming infamous for being frustrating and/or difficult, a level does. It could be that it is infested with GoddamnedBats or DemonicSpiders, is [[MarathonLevel really long]], [[DroughtLevelOfDoom lacks items]] [[CheckPointStarvation or check points]], is home to ThatOneBoss, is home to ThatOnePuzzle (or at least one with a GuideDangIt), has you trying to outrun an AdvancingWallOfDoom or [[AutoScrollingLevel otherwise sticks you with auto scrolling]], [[EscortMission tasks you with keeping a NPC without]] [[ArtificialStupidity any basic survival instincts]] [[EscortMission alive]], has a ScrappyMechanic in play (often from a level-specific UnexpectedGameplayChange, such as a StealthBasedMission or ActionBasedMission), or is TheMaze level. If you experience frustration and anger at a level that may have one or more of these symptoms, congratulations: you're playing That One Level.

Sometimes That One Level polarizes the playerbase--a portion of players find it infuriatingly hard while others don't have much of a problem with it. This can be a matter of general skill, familiarity with a particular control scheme or just plain luck, depending on the level. Game forums are literally packed with examples of this, which often results in discussions about said levels turning into flame wars.

Although it isn't a necessary requirement, it should be noted that many That One Levels are hard on all difficulty settings. If a level is difficult on the highest difficult setting, it's to be expected. Chances are That One Level is almost as infuriating on easy as it is on HarderThanHard.

{{Escort Mission}}s, {{Slippy Slidey Ice World}}s, UnderTheSea and DownTheDrain-esque stages tend be more receptive to becoming That One Level. For an optional level that is intentionally difficult, see BrutalBonusLevel.

Please note that there is an emphasis on the "One" in "That One Level"; do not simply list "Every level in ''(game)''". If every, or at least most levels in the game are difficult, then you have NintendoHard. The level has to stand out in difficulty compared to the other ones in the game to qualify as an example. If anything, ''easy'' games are more suspicable to this trope; while hard levels in hard games are to be expected, it can be a shock to go through a game that feels easy for the most part and then actually require some degree of effort for one particular level.

See also: ThatOneBoss and ThatOneSidequest. Compare RidiculouslyDifficultRoute. Often contains the LastLousyPoint. Contrast BreatherLevel.

* ThatOneLevel/ActionAdventure
** ThatOneLevel/TheLegendOfZelda
* ThatOneLevel/{{Adventure}}
* ThatOneLevel/BeatEmUp
* ThatOneLevel/FightingGame
* ThatOneLevel/FirstPersonShooter
* ThatOneLevel/GameShow
* ThatOneLevel/HackAndSlash
* ThatOneLevel/{{MMORPG}}
* ThatOneLevel/PartyGame
** ThatOneLevel/MarioParty
* ThatOneLevel/PlatformGame
** ThatOneLevel/DonkeyKong
** ThatOneLevel/JakAndDaxter
** ThatOneLevel/MegaMan
** ThatOneLevel/SonicTheHedgehog
** ThatOneLevel/SuperMarioBros
** ThatOneLevel/SuperMonkeyBall
* ThatOneLevel/PuzzleGame
** ThatOneLevel/CandyCrushSaga
** ThatOneLevel/{{Lemmings}}
* ThatOneLevel/RacingGame
* ThatOneLevel/RealTimeStrategy
** ThatOneLevel/AgeOfEmpires
* ThatOneLevel/RhythmGame
* ThatOneLevel/{{RPG}}
** ThatOneLevel/FinalFantasy
** ThatOneLevel/MonsterHunter
** ThatOneLevel/{{Pokemon}}
** ThatOneLevel/TalesSeries
* ThatOneLevel/ShootEmUps
* ThatOneLevel/SimulationGame
** ThatOneLevel/KantaiCollection
* ThatOneLevel/SpaceSimulator
* ThatOneLevel/SportsGame
* ThatOneLevel/ThirdPersonShooter
* ThatOneLevel/TurnBasedStrategy
** ThatOneLevel/FireEmblemFates
** ThatOneLevel/SuperRobotWars
* ThatOneLevel/WideOpenSandbox

!!Other video game examples

* ''[[VideoGame/DigDug Dig Dug Arrangement]]'' has Round 39, a [[TimedMission level that spells out "TIME UP".]] Why? The given time before the "Hurry Up!" signal is set at exactly ''one second.'' The fact that Taizo is slow as molasses ''does not help'', either.

* Not really That One ''Level'' per se, but the desert you must cross to get to California in ''[[VideoGame/TheOregonTrail Oregon Trail II]]'' gets on many people's nerves.
** Ditto for that game's river rafting minigame, which is ''much'' tougher than the original's and requires a lot of [[TrialAndErrorGameplay trial-and-error]] and [[SomeDexterityRequired dexterity with the mouse]] to pass, especially if you choose to shoot the rapids. And the Sublette Cutoff, which is unavoidable if you're a Greenhorn. If you forgot to bring canteens and/or water kegs, your party WILL die of thirst.
* ''VideoGame/BrainAge 2'''s ''unskippable'' connect-the-dot images and acrostics. And when more than one person is using the same game card, drawing a picture of something the game tells you to. All of the above includes getting upstaged by the game proving it's better than you. [[JustifiedTrope Because you are facing a]] [[InsufferableGenius professor.]]
** For people with OCD/impatience, the number memorization game within the trademark Brain Age-checking system. Sure, it's supposed to help your memory, but many just restart their DS when they get to it then re-take the test until they get one without it, because it's too frustrating to complete, but too easy to cheat at by writing the numbers down somewhere.
* The crossword puzzle from ''VideoGame/JumpStart5thGrade''. You're ''supposed'' to go through the museum to find the answers, but this tends to take forever (And as many have said, it tends to be pretty well-hidden. Made worse by your parents who could have set a time-limit...making it unwinnable).
* The line of Junior Arcades by Creator/HumongousEntertainment typically had at least one instance.
** ''VideoGame/FreddiFish & Luther's Maze Madness'' gave us Level 24, an incredibly long and tedious level compromised of three rooms. One of the rooms in particular is filled with opening and closing leaves, that will only let you through when they feel like. This makes the level drag out for as long as possible.
** ''VideoGame/SpyFox in Cheese Chase'' includes Level 75, "Carnival of Clouds." You navigate through narrow passages of rollercoasters, ''all of which are one hit kills.'' If you do so much as touch the ''corner'' of one of the tracks, it's over. This is often the one level where people use the "Go slower" junior helper.
** ''Spy Fox in Hold the Mustard'' has the passageway levels. Compared to the rest of the game which gives you a sky to fly around, the passageways are narrow tubes, and thanks to the lack of MercyInvincibility, walls are almost always one hit kills, unless you get lucky and somehow manage to escape before your health drains (and even if you do, you'll still probably have only one hit left). The microscopic enemies certainly don't help matters, considering they also knock you far back, commonly into the walls. This is all bad enough; the fact that there are '''sixteen''' of these in succession instead of the usual eight, it's one heck of a ride. Sure, you can break up the action a bit by going to the secret Atlantis levels midway through, but they aren't much better.
** ''VideoGame/PuttPutt & Pep's Balloon-o-Rama'' has Level 108, which has balloons encased in a line of pinwheels and bumpers. For those who don't know, it plays like ''Breakout'', except there is gravity thrown into the mix. The bumpers will be sure to keep you out of there though, and the pinwheels are supposed to send you in a random direction, but more often than not they just act like the bumpers. This makes getting the balloons they are blocking dang near ''impossible''. You will be playing this level for a loooong time before you finish it.
** ''Putt-Putt & Pep's Dog on a Stick'' has a level toward the end where you are traveling along one-square wide paths, with ''four hedgehogs'' in your way. This is a Q*Bert styled game, and the hedgehogs are the fastest enemies in the game, so they are a giant pain to dodge. There are also switches all over the level that add additional squares to help you some, but often the hedgehogs will hog the buttons and just keep switching them on and off as if to taunt you. Getting through this level without the unlimited lives junior helper is a big pain, unless you [[GoodBadBug exploit a glitch that lets you jump through enemies with the proper timing.]] And even then, it hardly helps because you'll probably just land straight into the inevitable hedgehog that was trailing it.

* Moose's entire scenario in ''VideoGame/BrainDead13''. It starts when you enter Moose's room and, immediately on entering it, you notice a stone football [[DinnerDeformation getting thrown into your mouth]] if you don't avoid it. Once you get past that football, you have to dodge another football, along with Moose's grabs, shoulder charges, [[BatterUp baseball bat attacks]], being flung by a basketball net as a catapult, and the grab from below his head, all in the first quarter of this scenario (followed by a lot of DeadlyDodging of the lightning rods in the second quarter; finding a way to destroy Moose in the third quarter; and dodging Fritz as usual in the final quarter)! Failure to avoid any of these attacks in the first quarter of this scenario will send you all the way back to where you entered the room in the split-second that the same stone football is getting thrown into your mouth again!
** Also, TheMaze (which has many of these ''literal'' [[{{Pun}} dead]] ends if you don't go in the right direction, accompanied by deadly {{mushroom|Man}}s, {{s|caledUp}}nakes, [[ImAHumanitarian man-eating]] frogs, spike traps, and deadly vines); and the [[LivingStatue giant statue]] at the end of it, which can require a whole lot of situations where you can't just "press X to not die", but you LITERALLY have to make it more like a BIG "[[PressXToNotDie Mash the X Buttons a Whole Lot of Times to Not Fall or Get Doused in or Sprayed by Acid,]] [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice Impaled,]] [[SquashedFlat or Squashed Flat]]" situation.

* In level 152 of ''Snoopy's Sugar Drop: The Search for Belle'', there are five strawberries (which must fall through the bottom of the playfield), five eggs (which must not fall through the bottom) and five clovers (which may be moved freely, usually beneath an egg, but cannot fall through the bottom). The level starts with the strawberries above the clovers, and the clovers above the eggs. The object is to collect all five strawberries, but the level is lost if an egg falls through the bottom, no matter how many moves you have left.

* The first mission of the ''VideoGame/{{MechWarrior}} 3'' fourth campaign. This is the ''only'' TimedMission, in which you have to fight through a couple of enemy patrols and catch up a train. By this time, there is a good chance you have discarded the lighter Mechs in favor of the slow 100-tonners, the timing is very tight, and the enemy patrols have guns which can knock down even the heaviest Mech.

* Remix II, Stage 1 in ''VideoGame/NESRemix''. The first section is a simple "Enter the cave" scenario from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZelda'', and is easy to get past even with the blue Lynels and the constant screen blurring and unblurring. After you enter the cave, the second section [[UnexpectedGameplayChange unexpectedly changes]] to ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'', except instead of playing as Mario, you're still playing as Link, who can't jump or use his sword (or the two Hammers in the level). The barrels fall in such erratic patterns that it becomes a LuckBasedMission to get to the top.
* Each of the three Lazerblazer games in ''Super Scope 6'' has at least one of these.
** In level 29 of ''Intercept'', the enemy missiles fly in a high-density formation with clusters of small far-away missiles interspersed with the occasional faster and closer ones above them. You're limited to 3 shots on the screen at once, but there will be more missiles on the screen at one time than that especially near the end. With all the small far-away targets and the 3-shot limit, your base most likely will get hit a few times.
** Level 28 of ''Engage'' has the highest enemy count in the game with 35, as well as a constant neverending barrage of high-speed missiles heading straight for you. Not only that, but almost all of the enemy formations are very far away, leaving more room for a missile to block your shots and requiring more precise aim, and every enemy aircraft that you let escape will fire another missile on top of everything else. It is very likely that you will either run out of fuel trying to gun down all 35 enemies or get your aircraft destroyed by 5 of the 50+ enemy missiles that will bombard you throughout the mission.
** The foreground is your worst enemy in level 26 of ''Confront''. The enemies love to sneak in from behind the foreground obstacles and pick you off, and there are a lot of them out there.
* In ''VideoGame/RugratsRoyalRansom'', many, ''many'' levels on Rugrat Medium & Reptar Tough difficulty quality. Were the developers sadists indulging their fetish by wrapping it up in a licensed game aimed at children?
** ''Punting Papayas'' in Jungle World on Tough is one of the most frustrating levels in the whole game, with the insanely long and hard-to-navigate paths you have to follow, to the point where it's physically painful to play.
** ''Monkey Business'' is basically the same thing, just with papayas swapped out for monkeys.
** ''Acrobatty Dash'' on Medium & Tough is just cruel and inhumane. On Baby Easy you're given a nice, comfortable seven minutes to go through the acrobat course. On Medium & Tough? ''3 minutes 30 seconds'' and ''two minutes,'' respectively, even though the level itself is ''exactly the same''. Cue much swearing, ripping of hair, and gnashing of teeth.
** ''Meanie Genie'' on Medium & Tough difficulty is PlatformHell ''incarnate'', with jumps requiring precision presses of the A button, lack of depth perception making it hard to tell if you're gonna land on a platform or in the boiling lava, the fact that it goes on damn near ''forever'', [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and the background music is annoying to boot]].
** ''Temple Of The Lamp''. On Easy & Medium it's a nice, if boring "collect-the-rubies"-athon. On Tough? An exercise in frustration. For one thing, you have to collect a whopping total of ''70'' rubies. Yeah, that's right, I said ''70''. Secondly, those [[GoddamnedBats goddamn scarab beetles]] are all over the place, serving to make your job even ''harder'' [[FakeDifficulty for no real reason at all]]. Thirdly, most of the rubies are located high on the buildings, forcing you to make even ''more'' perfect A button presses. Thankfully, it's easy to avoid doing this level in favour of other, more fun ones, like ''Rugrat Rug Race''.
** ''Moon Buggy Madness'' is extremely difficult on ''all'' difficulty levels, not due to any intention of the programmers, but due to the [[FakeDifficulty floaty physics making it almost impossible to get a sense of control.]]

* ''VideoGame/{{Pharaoh}}'' has Thinis, the seventeenth mission. Up until then, things have been slowly building up in difficulty, but then the Old Kingdom crumbles into [[CivilWar civil war]] and you face what is probably the hardest mission of the game: ressources are scarce, spread all over the map, your objectives are upped from the last mission, and you have to defend a small complex in the mountains. Seems pretty easy, except the two fighting dynasties will try to bribe you, and you must choose well. Large Nubians raids happen every few years, as well as huge good requests from pharaoh himself. You must defend from attacks from the north, from the south, and from the river, while also building your city, preserving your rapidly declining reputation (through hard-scripted events), trying to keep your budget positive at least at the end of the year, so that debts don't influence your Kingdom Rating. At some point, Pharaoh asks for military support in a city, and you have to send quite a number of troops to succeed. You're also attacked precisely at the same time, so you must have a large backup force, and a navy is necessary. Finally, if you don't support pharaoh, a trade route closes, which is your only access to a specific resource needed to complete the objective, making the mission unwinable.

* The level in every other Star Wars game that forces you to play the "Snowspeeder wrapping up the legs of the AT-AT" level.
** Notable Features of this Level: You must defeat all AT-AT's to complete the level. You must use the speeder on this stage (and/or AT-AT's can ONLY be defeated by snowspeeders). You cannot just shoot them. There are lots of other enemies you can accidentally run into (and die from) while looping. A time limit of some type, while not mandatory, is encouraged.
*** Various examples: Rogue Squadron 1 through 3 (N64/GC/PC), it depends on the exact game/level, but it hits practically ALL of the above.
*** Rogue Squadron 1 took the cake with it's Corellia Mission. You only had to take down one AT-AT, but it was at night, with the target walking along a cliff face, leaving you with a much reduced safe lane on one side. And since the mission is dark, it's hard to see the cliff. Have fun.
*** The Empire Strikes Back (NES/Gameboy), while the speeder part wasn't too bad, if you crashed you had to continue very slowly on foot.
*** Shadows of the Empire (N64), you 'can' shoot them to death in this one, but it took forever.
*** Lego Star Wars II (various), in Freeplay mode you could fly a different craft, but the only one that could defeat an AT-AT was the speeder. One of the less annoying examples the looping was fairly quick and easy to control (the infinite lives nature of the Lego-(something) games also helps).
*** The Battlefront games are at least nice enough to let you kill [=AT-ATs=] with [[BoringButPractical sustained rocket/turret fire]], as opposed to the speeder trick, but it also opens the door for GenreSavvy human players on the Empire's side to drive the AT-AT and knock out the turrets before Rebel players can use them. And may the Force help you if the Empire decides to rush in and capture the Echo Base hangar right away, depriving you of snowspeeders.
*** ''VideoGame/StarWarsTrilogyArcade''[='=]s Battle of Hoth stage skips the cables and has you shooting the AT-[=ATs=]' heads off by the neck.
** Adding FridgeLogic is the fact that the Rebels have canonically taken out [=AT-ATs=] without cables, InsertGrenadeHere, ''or'' ramming[[note]]Hobbie Klivian did this in the novelization of ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack''[[/note]]. In ''[[ComicBook/XWingSeries Isard's Revenge]]'' four of the Rogues take out four walkers in about five minutes. Of course the difference is, that time they were using dedicated combat vehicles (X-Wings) instead of glorified pickup trucks with popguns. And it's not just the EU: in ''the actual movie'', after tripping the one walker a snowspeeder finishes it off with a laser shot to the joint between the neck and the body.
* Play a ''StarWars'' space simulator. You will hate the Gallofree Yards Medium Transport. And to think, the Battle of Hoth had that ''just after'' the [[BossInMooksClothing AT-ATs]].
* ''Star Wars Rogue Leader'' has the Razor Rendezvous level, where you have to take down an entire Star Destroyer ''by yourself.'' With dozens of ''very accurate'' laser cannons ripping you to shreds the whole time.
** Razor Rendezvous is usurped by the game's other That One Level: the Battle of Endor. In this level you have to destroy ''two'' Star Destroyers ''at the same time... with a strict and very short time limit!''
*** Both aren't nearly as bad as the final Story mission: Strike at the Core. You have to protect Lando (or Wedge, if you're playing as the Millennium Falcon) from being shot down by TIE Fighters, and it is no exaggeration that you can get an instant Game Over in ''under ten seconds''.
*** Prisons of the Maw is also one of the top contestants with you navigating through the asteroid belt to rescue some rebel prisoners. As if trying to sail through a rock pile isn't hard enough, you have TIE fighters and three shuttles securing the area, then you have to disable three shield generators (in the middle of a mine field mind you) with your ion canon ''while the fighters keep chasing you'' (doing it quick or the rebel ships you're supposed to escort will be blown apart by the imperial ships), then you have to protect the rebel prisoners in their train by shooting at guard towers and destroying communication relays while TIE fighters chase you ''again''. Finally, you have to protect the prisoners as they escape in an imperial shuttle.

* ''VideoGame/Hitman2SilentAssassin'' has a level called Hidden Valley, where the sole objective is to get from one end of a valley to the other, evading swarms of ninja guards. This isn't actually all that hard in itself. However, the highly trained ninjas apparently do not have the slightest understanding of basic road safety and have a habit of getting themselves run over by the truck convoys going through the underground tunnel. This would invariably result in the body being discovered and the alarm being raised, ruining the player's chances of getting the top mission ranking of [[HundredPercentCompletion Silent Assassin]] through no fault of their own. This would happen about four times out of five and could happen at any point in the mission, even when you were just seconds from reaching the exit. The only solution was to just keep trying again and again and hoping you got lucky.
** The Motorcade Interception mission of ''Hitman 2'' is an exercise in hair-pulling because of the way the civilians are handled. Their starting positions and walking routes are randomized, and they run to get the nearest guard immediately if they see you with a weapon. This is mitigated somewhat by the fact that without a weapon, they don't even notice you exist. Unfortunately, this is a sniping mission, so you have to carry a rifle from either the start of the level or your contact elsewhere to the nest. AND you're liable to get noticed while you're waiting in the nest for the motorcade to pass by, AND it's quite possible to go through all of this and then miss the shot anyway. This is especially annoying if you're trying for Silent Assassin rating.
* ''Franchise/MetalGear'' series:
** Building 2 in ''VideoGame/MetalGear'' was a pretty creative, if difficult, level in itself, with various types of gameplay depending on what floor you're in (straight-up stealth, running away from pursuers, shooting, a maze, and so on), but was ruined by one piece of bad level design which makes the whole thing like pulling teeth. This is that one of the elevators will only go up, and the other elevator will only go down. It doesn't help that the radio gets jammed, so you can't even send or receive calls until getting antenna.
** There's a lot of hate for the passageway between the Zanzibar Building and the Tower Building in ''VideoGame/MetalGear2''. First of all, the obstacles range from boring, to annoying, to boring and annoying. It doesn't help that the boss in the area is the Running Man, who is also really boring - you don't even get to shoot him, and you beat him by running in a circle quickly enough to lay mines before your O2 meter runs out.
** The very [[OverlyLongGag insanely, long stairway]] in the communications tower of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid''. [[CutsceneIncompetence You CAN'T avoid getting spotted]] by a security camera, even when the "Throw a chaff grenade before entering new doors" worked before, forcing Snake to run up an insanely long flight of stairs, being chased by a shitload of enemies--in a game where it's usually suicide to take on more then three or four enemies at a time. Oh yes, there's also the GuideDangIt that if you ran out of the room with the camera instead of rushing for the stairs, you're stuck in an infinitely respawning chamber with no way out (it's probably a glitch, but {{unwinnable}} until you reload). Even after mowing all the enemies down, the towers are still irritating for the insanely long time it takes to go up and down it, even when Snake's running.
*** Made even worse in the Gamecube remake, ''The Twin Snakes''. Try making a "no kill" run while being chased up the stairs by an endless swarm of mooks. At least it averts CutsceneIncompetence by forcing you to go through an unavoidable laser detector instead of using chaff-proof cameras.
** In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'', the worst part of the game is when Raiden gets his clothes taken away and has to sneak through Arsenal Gear while avoiding Arsenal Tengu (who are ten times more alert and dangerous than the Gurlukovich mercs).
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'' has Act 3, an Eastern European level that focuses on the player tailing a resistance member. Instead of a normal sneaking mission, it plays like an EscortMission where the escortee will run away and spend a good while hiding if he sees the player but will gladly approach any [=PMCs=] just to make sure the player stays busy. The resistance member tends to take a strange route in any case, and will resort to backtracking or running in circles if disturbed by anything. The entire process is going to take a while.
*** Averted if you use any of the masks other than Young Snake with the civilian outfit. The resistance members won't regard Snake as hostile, and if you let any of the [=PMCs=] pat you down without weapons equipped, they'll ignore you as well, which makes that part of the level loads easier.
*** While the aforementioned escort segment is frustrating, on The Boss Extreme it pales in comparison to the bike chase that follows it -- especially when going for a no-kill Big Boss Emblem run. It requires an absurd combination of precision, memorization, timing, and luck.
* ''VideoGame/{{Thief}}'' had "The Haunted Cathedral". You're exploring ruins of an abandoned section of town filled with irritating undead, and any valuables worth stealing are ''very'' well hidden and difficult to find. You're likely to finish the main objectives within twenty minutes, and then spend the next hour or two searching every nook and cranny of the quite large level for enough loot to trigger the end, while constantly having to deal with zombies (which are not nearly as fun to work around as human guards). In general, any level in which you're dodging undead tends to be annoying, but at least loot is generally easier to find in them.
* VideoGame/SplinterCell series:
** ''Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow'' has Jerusalem. For most of the level, you aren't allowed to be seen or kill anybody AT ALL. If a civilian or police officer so much as catches a glimpse of you, it's a instant game over, and the level is also full of light sources which make getting through it a nightmare. Even once you get to the part where you are allowed to be seen and kill enemies, three of them are waiting right outside the elevator for you as soon it opens and will quickly ventilate you if you don't knock out or kill them immediately. Even once you get past that, depending on if [[spoiler: you kill Dahlia or not]], you have to deal with either snipers who can kill you in 2 or 3 hits and alert very quickly, or more police officers you aren't allowed to kill or be seen by.
** ''Pandora Tomorrow'' also has the following level, Kundang Camp. It starts out in the daytime, which naturally makes it much harder to remain unnoticed. It doesn't help that the vast majority of the level is spent outdoors in wide-open areas with sparse cover, placed in such a way that you have to be ''perfect'' with how you time your movements between the shadows. No less than two minutes after the level begins, you're also faced with a section where you must use your thermal vision to navigate around ''incredibly fine'' tripwires hidden by the grass that are hooked up to instant-kill landmines, while simultaneously avoiding more guards. Then the entire second section of the level has you following the BigBad all over a mazelike compound, and like Jerusalem, you're not allowed to be seen by ''anyone''. The level ''seems'' to get easier once you head into an underground bunker, but once you get back outside it ratchets back up again as you are faced with ''more'' wide-open areas, now with lasers all over the place. On top of all that, the level [[MarathonLevel goes on for an eternity]], with [[CheckpointStarvation checkpoints few and far between]], so any mistake is liable to make you re-do up to five or ten minutes of gameplay.
** The third part of the penultimate level of ''Chaos Theory'', the Bathhouse, is particularly difficult, even when compared to the rest of that level. The entire level has a confusing layout with well-lit rooms connected by narrow hallways, but as soon as [[spoiler: [[BigBad Shetland]] and the ISDF]] betray each other, the level gets much harder, as he's accompanied by EliteMooks with thermal vision goggles that renders stealth pretty much useless around them. At first, they're occupied enough to bypass them, but you eventually come across a room full of them and you cannot sneak around them - and while you could just run past them instead, there's a wall mine that'll kill you if you rush through the hall you have to go through - but you can't slow down either, or else the mooks will shoot you in the back. After this exchange, there's a TimedMission with bombs you have to defuse. They're difficult to find, and after you've finished that, there's more EliteMooks to fight.
** The level immediately preceding the above, Seoul, is no slouch either. The entire level takes place in a warzone, meaning that all the enemies are automatically on high alert and will start shooting if they so much as see your shadow. The first part of the level is actually fairly easy, but then it pulls a BaitAndSwitch and unexpectedly segues into a whole second part. Here you are introduced to [=UAVs=], floating death machines with chainguns which are likely to blindside a first-time player, though mercifully they're not that hard to avoid - destroying them outright requires precision aiming, but they fly in easily-predictable fixed patterns and can be temporarily disabled with your OCP attachment. The level gets ''really'' hard once you run into soldiers shooting each other across a street, with the enemy side boasting an APC with a machine gun that can snipe you from a mile away, and sneaking along the ledges to the other end of the street without being noticed by it seems to be a LuckBasedMission. Furthermore, the only way to permanently disable it is to chuck a frag grenade down the gunner's hatch, which torpedoes any hope of a 100% stealth rating as it kills the thing's occupants, though fortunately you don't ''have'' to disable them - yes, ''them''. There's ''another'' one right at the very end.
** The PC/360/[=PS3=] version of ''Double Agent'' has the Sea of Okhotsk, especially when going for 100% stealth. Even though you are in a blizzard and can barely see anything five feet in front of you, due to the the enemy AI not factoring in the blizzard, it acts as if you are running around in broad daylight and so the enemies can see you at ranges you can barely even see them at, if you can see them at all. One objective requires you to hack and activate a brightly lit detonator in the middle of a camp to open the way up to the next portion of the level, and another forces you to knock out or kill a certain amount of enemies once you get aboard the ship. Also, once you get to the Captain and have to knock him out or kill him, he wanders around with a flare on a metal catwalk above a ton of oil and tends to turn suddenly, and you have to grab him from behind without making him even so much as suspicious. If he catches even a glimpse of you or you eliminate him without grabbing him from behind, he will throw the flare into the oil and kill you instantly in a huge explosion.
** The same game also has its own penultimate level, Kinshasa. The first section of the level at the hotel is doable if challenging, but once that's done you leave the hotel and enter the warzones outside. The rest of the mission plays out like a rehash of Seoul mentioned above, except it takes place in broad daylight and nearly ''every part of the level'' is mired in heavy fighting, forcing you to rush from cover to cover - and specifically-placed cover at that - lest you get slapped in the face by an enemy that just ran in from out of nowhere. You can skip a fair amount by hitching a ride on an army truck, [[GuideDangIt but the game gives no indication you can actually do that]]. Then you wind up in a government camp where going completely unnoticed is pretty much impossible. Finally, if you choose to [[spoiler: save Hisham rather than shoot him]], you have to slog through another section of the level that you would have skipped otherwise - and [[spoiler: saving Hisham]] is mandatory if you want the GoldenEnding but are running low on NSA trust [[spoiler: or you blew up the cruise ship in the last mission.]]
** ''Blacklist'' has Swiss Embassy, Charlie's second mission. Unlike the other Charlie missions which are at least decently large, open and have some good hiding spots, Swiss Embassy is small, linear, and has very few hiding spots, so enemies will quickly detect you. Enemies also tend to come in larger groups earlier in this mission than other Charlie missions, and the later waves are a absolute nightmare to get through, with [[DemonicSpiders Dogs and Heavy Infantry]] everywhere in small, well-lit and enclosed spaces, which even includes Heavy Infantry [=HVTs=] with riot shields. Even worse, the enemies tend to spawn on opposite sides of the map from each other in this mission, so if you want to get a mastery in the first five waves through comboing (Possible in each of Charlie's missions) before all the painful stuff comes in, you better have some good reflexes and luck.
* ''VideoGame/Tenchu2'':
** There are two mandatory stealth missions, one with Ayame and one with Tatsumaru. While stealth is an important aspect of the series as a whole, a skilled player can still hack and slash their way through most levels. Not these ones : if a guard spots you, he will blow a whistle and it's an instant GameOver for you. [[TheComputerIsACheatingBastard Even if he notices you right as you bury your sword in their throat]].
** Tatsumaru's final mission: you are on a ''huge'' warship, and your objective is to kill every single enemy soldier aboard. Problem is, ''you have absolutely no way to know how many enemies there are'', which means you will spend a ''lot'' of time running around looking for them, hoping with every throat sliced to ''finally'' see the next cutscene after the body drops. But that's not the end of it! Once the ship is cleared, you get to the FinalBoss: a fully armored, DualWielding samurai who hits like a truck and has more health than every other final boss in the game. And if he kills you, ''you need to start the whole level over again!'' And since there is no way to restock on healing items once the level is started, hopefully you didn't get hit too much clearing out the ennemy soldiers on the boat.

* ''{{ObsCure}}: The Aftermath'' sort of does this with Mei's sister, Jun. It's almost painful enough [[spoiler:to just let her die before she goes into it.]]
* In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilCodeVeronica'', there is a sequence where you're forced to run away from a giant mutant zombie chasing you down a hallway while swinging a giant axe. It's extremely difficult to avoid getting hit, and if you're low on herbs/first aid sprays, it's practically impossible to pass this part since one hit knocks your health from "Fine" to "Danger", and you move slower as you get hurt. Restarting the game is painful as well since this sequence happens late in the game.
* In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' you get the "Water Room", a water-themed, three-part PlatformHell which you must navigate from one end to another while [[BrokenBridge fixing a bridge you shouldn't have to in the first place]] and [[SnipingMission sniping respawning enemies from afar]] who will otherwise provide you with a [[GameOver sudden game over]] should you fail to [[EscortMission protect the president's daughter]], which you have to do at all costs, at all times. Oh, there's also the Ganado cultists throwing [[SuddenDeath instant death]] at you. [[EverythingTryingToKillYou Everything is quite literally trying to kill you]]. The fact that the level is water-themed may qualify as an UnderTheSea level, considering how infamously difficult ''those'' are.
** There's also the first fight against Jack Krauser, which is one big QuickTimeEvent that results in instant death should you press the wrong button at the wrong second. Although you frequently deal with these throughout the game, this fight strings so many of them together that the result is an arduous UnexpectedGameplayChange. The fact that the buttons are randomly generated each time doesn't help much. However, this is probably a case of ThatOneBoss since the spiked difficulty doesn't carry over to the level itself.
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5'', from the ending of chapter 5 onwards, changes from "Majini" to "Majini with assault rifles". Which is especially horrible since you can't run with a gun ''but the enemy can''. Good luck.
** There's lots of difficult parts in this game that can cause you to get stuck for an hour or two. One part that stands out is a section near the end of the game, where you have to fight two Reapers that attack at the same time. They both have instakill attacks and require you to aim at specific body parts to kill them. And a few moments after the giant insects appear, two Gatling Majini (who have massive hitpoints) and a huge amount of melee Majini come to attack you, and it's mandatory to kill the two Gatling Majini. Better kill the Reapers quickly or you'll have to face all of them at the same time.
** Earlier in the game, you are required to navigate through underground tunnels, and if playing single player and you don't know you can have the AI partner carry the lantern, you get stuck with it instead. You will find enemies in these tunnels and you will need the lantern to see them, but to kill them, you need to put down that lantern to use your weapon.
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil6'' is similar to ''5'', mentioned above, in that you not only see zombies, but also gun-wielding enemies, without being able to run and shoot. The highly irritating J'avo form the main enemies of two campaigns, and most of Ada's campaign -- plus, they have AdaptiveAbility to make them even more of a threat.
** The second mission in Jake's campaign. First, you have to find three data chips in a snowstorm where, guess what? The visibility will frequently drop out due to the swirling snow. Some of the enemies faced include very stealthy flying enemies, who don't need the snowstorm to hide from you before attacking. This gives way to a retread of the siege from ''4'' that then triggers a tricky downhill snowbike race ahead of an avalanche. And then there's the ParanoiaFuel chapter, where you have to wend your way through caves filled with tracker-bugs that will summon the [[ImplacableMan Ustanak]] for an instant game over if they spot you...
* ''[[VideoGame/SilentHill4 Silent Hill 4: The Room]]'' famously leaves players stuck in the "Water Prison" level because of ThatOnePuzzle, which is [[LightAndMirrorsPuzzle light-based]] and requires [[MoonLogicPuzzle the use of improbable logic to solve it]]. Throw in an EscortMission, a PuzzleBoss and [[ImplacableMan the invincible ghost of an undead vicious serial killer]] during a revisit and it nicely sums up the appeal of the "Water Prison". The fact that half of it seems to be buried underwater grants it an UnderTheSea difficulty setting.
* ''VideoGame/TheThing2002'' has a stage almost identical to ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'''s staircase sequence, except you're going down, there are automatic turrets on every level (that can take up to five grenade hits to destroy), scalding steam vents, seemingly endless streams of [[GoddamnBats scuttling creatures]] that pop out of dead bodies (and attack you from front and behind), and the medic, your only hope of surviving the stage, turns into a monster at random points. If you don't have enough health packs on you, or enough firepower, it's [[UnwinnableByMistake impossible]] to get through the stage. And at the end of this stage there's a bomb that kills all of your squadmates, and destroys their gear. If you don't have a flamethrower at the end of the level, you will [[NintendoHard NOT be able to complete the game]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Penumbra}}'' has Chemical Storage in ''Overture.'' It's not just because you'll be chased by a worm through doors you'll have to shut behind you, through barriers that will make you stop and take time to break them down, and over pools of deadly acid that require jumping and box pushing to avoid injury. [[spoiler: It's that there's Shmuck Bait in the form of a metal barrier that tempts you into thinking it can hide you from the worm. Worse, at the end of the area you might think it's possible to have enough time to turn the valve and open the steel door, but in reality you're supposed to cause a cave-in.]]
* ''VideoGame/AmnesiatheDarkDescent'':
** The infamous Water Part, mostly because it's the first area of the game where something is relentlessly pursuing you and where you could most likely die your first time. Other than that, it involves platforming on boxes to prevent the monster from chasing you, using a lever that will open a gate for a limited time that you have to rush through. And a made dash through multiple flooded hallways, shutting doors behind you to stall the monster for a few seconds.
** Also the prison has annoyed some people due to it being full of intersecting dark hallways where a Servant can ambush you. Also there are multiple Servants in this area.
** For first time players who made it past the first two Suitors, Amnesia: Justine has the Dungeon, and it will mostly likely be the place in which they die. Remember how easy it was to sneak around before due to the Suitors being blind? Guess what? The area is completely water-logged, so good luck trying to be quiet! The game forces you to move quickly as well due to the timing required, and there's literally no room for error, especially if the player wants to save the hostage. What makes it even worse is that the game's official ending is ''literally minutes away'' at that stage and that '''dying will mean starting over since there's no saving the game'''.
* ''VideoGame/ZombiesAteMyNeighbors'': Has several, but the water levels (Look Who's Coming To Dinner, Creatures Of The Blue Lagoon, etc,) after level 18 is when The Fishmen start getting fast, able to catch Zeke/Julie ''easily'' when they swim, and NO, you can't use weapons while swimming. Oh, and The Fishmen can kill The Pool Guy, ''with ease.''
* ''VideoGame/DeadSpace'': Chapters 3 and 4 both have stages where you will ''wish'' you could just be throwing down with a swarm of Leapers. In 3, there's the gravity centrifuge, which when engaged means you need to run through it - and if you're out of a niche when the blade comes along you're reduced to a red smear on the ground. In 4, at one point, there's an objective where you need to run from cover to cover in hard vacuum and zero-gravity to avoid an inconvenient meteor shower. The hint you get for this is vague and unhelpful - it talks about "the walls" but it's not actually the walls that save you - and being caught out in the open means you get a warning about meteor impacts about, ooh, one second before you get torn apart by one.
* For a game that is already NintendoHard if you have no idea what you're doing, part IV of ''Videogame/LakeviewCabinCollection'' is by far the most difficult of the levels. First off, the rooms in the house are randomized (but not crazily so). Secondly, while the enemies are weaker than most of the other levels, they make up for it by having alarm switches and traps. And last, any room with a vent has a likely chance for a giant rat to pop out, which move quickly and severely damage any survivor just shy of being a OneHitKill.
* ''VideoGame/CorpseParty'': [[spoiler:The one where you, as Yuka, have to run from Kizami.]]
* ''Franchise/AloneInTheDark'':
** The insanely frustrating driving level down 59th Street in the 2008 ''Alone in the Dark'', because the steering is lousy. Though some believe the look and sound of that level make up for it.
** And the driving section with the bats, coming soon afterwards, where they drag your car up (possibly to your doom) and/or stop sticking to it completely at random; the black goo, which might or might not react to your flashlight, eating you up; and that final driving section, timed, where it's plenty possible to miss the right turn at the end.
** Fixed in the [=PS3=] ''Inferno'' port. While the 59th Street driving section is still unlikely to be beat at first try, the improved controls, Sarah's giving you directions as well as there being checkpoints along the way actually render the whole sequence somewhat fun if still challenging.

[[AC:TowerDefence Games]]
* ''VideoGame/BloonsTowerDefense 5's'' level 63. The level starts slow enough - slow lead bloons come out at first, which are slow, and anyone at that point should be able to pop them. Then, out of the blue, several Ceramic bloons - which are quick and take ten hits to pop - rush out all at once, so densely packed that the first ones in the group shield the ones behind them. This happens ''three times'' over the course of the level.

* Yes, an example in a '''visual novel'''. Specifically, the beginning of ''VisualNovel/HatePlus'' Day 3 on *Hyun-ae's route requires you to make a cake, whether it be a proper cake cooked in an oven for tens of minutes, or a cheap 5-minute cake like she offers. And we don't mean a cake in-game, we mean a [[BreakingTheFourthWall real-life cake]]. For those who have the ingredients and equipment on hand, or cook things regularly, this shouldn't be a problem. For those that ''don't'', this becomes a problem because your only other options are to either [[WeWait fake it, causing you to wait around]], or admit to not making a cake, which [[WhatTheHellPlayer *Hyun-ae will chew you out on]]. You can TakeAThirdOption and buy a cake instead of making it, but you don't get to explain this to *Hyun-ae until enough time passes that *Hyun-ae thinks you've been making a cake.
* Being such a long-standing series, ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' has a few disliked cases among its many installments.
** "Turnabout Big Top" from ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyJusticeForAll'' is the least liked case in the entire Phoenix trilogy (and possibly the entire series). It barely connects to the main storyline, the witnesses are unhelpful as well as downright rude to Phoenix, and a couple of the testimonies are tough to cross-examine, including one testimony that will penalize you if you merely '''press''' the witness.
** "Turnabout Serenade" from ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney'' is a close contender to "Turnabout Big Top" for worst ''Ace Attorney'' case thanks to one glaring flaw: [[spoiler:it is physically impossible for a 14-year-old boy to shoot a grown man with a '''.45 revolver''' without breaking his arm]]. Despite this contradiction, the player has to endure the entire case out while ignoring that fact. There's also an unskippable video the player must watch repeatedly throughout the case.
** "Turnabout Ablaze" from ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigations'' for having the worst case of ThatOneBoss in the franchise. It takes two full gameplay segments just to take down the final suspect. It is the last case of the game, but it still shouldn't take so long.
* ''VisualNovel/SuperDanganRonpa2'' has Chapter 4. The murder seems to make absolutely no sense since first, you have to figure out what is the secret of the Funhouse in order to be able to even understand how anything could have been done.
** The fifth trial in ''VisualNovel/NewDanganRonpaV3'' can easily qualify as the most frustrating trial in the game since [[spoiler:the murder victim is unrecognizable, the culprit of the case is stuck in an Exisal and continously alternates between themselves and the victim, and you have to change your opinion on who you think the victim is. Looks like Kokichi got his wish: he orchestrated a nearly-impossible murder case that stumped even ''Monokuma''.]]

[[AC: Multiple Genres]]
* LetsPlay/WhoIsThisGit has a series called Worst Levels Ever, where he goes through these.

!! Non-Videogame Examples

* TabletopGame/SentinelsOfTheMultiverse has the Rook City environment deck. While most environments are fairly neutral, Rook City is overtly player-hostile, with almost all of its cards hampering the heroes in one way or another. While there are two friendly cards that directly help the heroes, the villains or the rest of the deck are almost certain to destroy them before they can be of much use. And just to add some SchmuckBait to the mix, it comes in the same expansion as [[ThatOneBoss The Chairman]], and the theme tempts you to play the two together - something that is widely considered one of the hardest setups in the game.