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That One Sidequest
"Remember Canary Mary? Did you have fun racing her? How I laughed when I was setting up those levels. I'm still laughing!"
The Lord of Games, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

An optional, nonessential, usually out-of-the-way part of a video game that is extremely difficult and/or time consuming to complete, yet is nonetheless required for 100% completion. These are generally far more difficult than anything else in the game, and, in extreme cases, may be classified as nigh impossible.

Casual players of the game do not even bother with this. Most serious players of the game attempt to do this, fail miserably, give up and move on. Only the truly dedicated 100% completionists remain, but even many of them fail and inevitably accept defeat. In the end, many players wind up hopelessly stuck at 99%, and give up before ever reaching the coveted 100% completion. Why? They've been derailed by that one sidequest.

Usually considered infamous within the game's fanbase, the game's message boards are filled with posters either asking for help on how to beat it, or, more likely, angrily ranting about it.

Note that, despite the name, this isn't necessarily a sidequest in the RPG vein. This commonly shows up in other genres, including first person shooters and sports games, as that one challenge.

This is sometimes an unexpected gameplay change minigame, luck based mission, or timed mission, and may be all three. Particularly brutal games may contain two or three of these kind of sidequests. If the sidequest cannot be solved legitimately without referring to a third-party source, see Guide Dang It.

See also That One Level, That One Boss, That One Achievement, Last Lousy Point.

Note that self imposed challenges do not count as examples. This is a part of the actual game that is required for 100% completion.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Action Adventure 
  • Metroid games have quite a bit of these on their paths to 100% Completion.
    • Zero Mission and Fusion in particular have rather well-hidden items that can be a pain to get to. The one Energy Tank in Zero Mission, just outside Robot Ridley's lair, will have you ripping your hair out. Guaranteed.
      • Near the end of Fusion, after fighting Nightmare, there are two ways to get back up to the main deck of the station. The intended route involves getting the diffusion missile upgrade and freezing the mine enemies blocking some Morph Ball passages near the Navigation Room. The other method involves shinesparking over extremely rough terrain in Sector 4, past several enemies that may or may not simply be in the wrong place at the right time, and then breaking through a wall of blocks with said shinespark effect still intact. It's all here in this video. What do you get for all your efforts aspiring to shinespark perfection? A different set of dialog when you reach the Navigation Room! Granted, this is only an easter egg, not anything necessary for 100% Completion.
      • If the player does get to the Navigation Room by shinesparking, they'll have to then go back and travel all the way through Sector 5 and back up to Sector 4 the other way in order to get the diffusion missiles.
    • Super Metroid also has its fair share. THE ITEMS ARE IN THE WALLS!!!!! And who would have thought that one pipe in Brinstar, that looked like every single enemy spawn tube, would lead you right to that Missile Expansion?
      • Super at least gives you the X-Ray Scope, which can see hidden passages and breakable blocks in the walls. You still have to scan everywhere, but it's much easier than bombing every inch of the game to reveal the blocks.
    • The only game in the series, it seems, that relents is Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. It still had its own brand of That One Sidequest, however.
  • Epic Mickey has a fair share of these, but the one that stands out the most is the quest to rescue all of the gremlins in the game, considering that some of them can be easily missed and Lost Forever since you can only visit most places once, and there's an autosave feature and no Save Scumming in this game (as the developers didn't want you to go back on your choices) to help you out, if you make a mistake and don't realize it until it's too late.
  • Onimusha 3 has an optional training mode that you unlock along the way. The training sessions are in no way easy, but they are completely doable, at least until you reach Critical training. It requires either almost superhuman reflexes or huge amounts of dumb luck to get through, especially in the PC port. Passing it gets you a neat item and unlocks the good ending.
  • The figurine quest in The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap is a pain. There's 136 different figurines, which are gradually unlocked throughout the game. To get them, you have to pay special Mysterious Shells. The more figurines you own, the less likely it is you'll get a unique one— unless you pay more shells. Eventually, you'll probably run out of shells, which means you have to buy them, at the low, low price of 200 Rupees for 30. To cap that, you have to beat the game once to get access to the last 6 figurines. Once you've collected the first 130, you gain access to the sound test and the final Heart Piece.
    • It sort of helps that there's a single spot outside of Link's house that spawns a Red Rupee when you dig.
  • The Nintendo Gallery in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker requires you to get a deluxe picto box (Only accessible past a certain part of the game), which can only carry three pictures at a time, and get a full-bodied, front shot picture of every single character in the game. This includes bosses. And enemies. Ever tried to take a decent picture of something when it's trying to kill you? And did I mention you have to wait a full day for every single figurine to be made? Oh, and the characters that you can't take a picture of (Great Fairies, sage spirits, etc.)? You have to buy them. According to the guide, there are 134 in total. That's 268 times you have to play the song of passing. Have fun.
    • To help a little, using the New Game+ lets you keep your figurines, and starts you off with a Deluxe Picto Box...even though you still can't develop the pictures until you reach the second dungeon. So choose wisely on what pictures you take.
    • It is just barely possible to complete the entire gallery without having to use the New Game+. Apparently, if you take a picture of Link's grandma, you also get a picture of his sister, and if you get a picture of Tetra on your first visit to Hyrule, you get the entire pirate ship's crew. And, you can take pictures of the first two dungeon bosses while you're fighting them again in Ganon's castle. And to top it all off, you can take a picture of the final boss during the battle, save, then go have it made.
      • Actually, the final boss picture is one of the pictures you can buy, despite the fact that said method works.
      • In fact, it is actually possible to get the Deluxe box as soon as you reach the second dungeon, as it requires you to bring a special firefly to Windfall Island. While you can't sail wherever you want on the ocean yet, the path from Forest Haven to Windfall island is still accessible, meaning you can take the Deluxe Picto Box into the Forbidden Woods if you choose to backtrack a little.
    • The real killer is the Red Wizzrobe in the Wind Temple. He is highly mobile and is constantly summoning enemies that block your view when trying to get the picture. On top of that, he never appears again in the entire game, causing many players to beat him before being told that their photographs weren't clear enough...
    • And the amounts of sheer Guide Dang It and just plain inconsistency. You need to take pictures of everything that is alive. This includes the fairies you put in your bottle, which the average player is conditioned to think of more as items than as characters, and the harmless tiny crabs on a few beaches that you have no interaction with whatsoever. It does not include the King of Red Lions, arguably the most important supporting character in the game. Taking a picture of any one of the Killer Bees gang in Windfall counts for all of them, despite each of them having their own lines...but you need to take individual pictures of each of the island Koroks, who all say the same thing. Which palette swaps count as individual enemies? Apparently, whichever ones the developers felt like, as there are both black-robed and white-robed Wizzrobes that count as one enemy - and this is downright evil when it comes to the above Red Wizzrobe, since a player who tried to take both would naturally assume that said enemy is just a normal Wizzrobe and there is therefore no need to take its shot. Would they think to do so because it's a miniboss? Well, all the minibosses before now were perfectly ordinary shots, right? There are also three individual pictures of Darknuts, never mind how they all follow the same pattern. There's Cyclos and Zephir, the wind gods. You only need to photograph Cyclos to get them both... wait, you already got the Ballad of Gales? Then you're screwed. And then of course, there's Kogoli, an otherwise ordinary character at Dragon Roost that just randomly disappears after a plot event that doesn't involve him in any way, screwing over players who were putting off the tedium of getting all the NPC pictographs.
    • Of course, there's the matter of the reward for doing the entire Nintendo Gallery. It's one more figurine. And that's it. By this point, the astute reader has picked up that this is not so much a sidequest as an exercise in masochism.
    • If there's any consolation, it's that there's one figurine that isn't required to get a complete gallery. However, said figurine is only obtainable through a That One Sidequest of its own that requires a Game Boy Advance and a GBA/GC link cable, and since Carlov disappears after you get a "completed" Nintendo Gallery, you can't obtain Knuckle's figurine if you've gotten all of the others.
      • The Updated Re-release thankfully made this quest less tedious by giving you the Deluxe Picto Box much earlier in the game, upping the storage limit to 12 and adding an icon to show whether your picture is good enough for a figurine. Even better, if you accidentally go past certain points where characters stop appearing (bosses, for example), there's a chance some kind soul sent a Pictograph of that subject in a Tingle Bottle via Miiverse. On the other hand, you'll most likely just get poorly-spelled spam.
      • In fact, the HD remake made it even better beyond that, as you can now hand Carlov all of the pictures you have on you instead of just one at at time. He'll only accept 12 at a time though.
    • Trying to sort 25 letters. Twice. On Dragon Roost Island, to secure a heart piece, the player must quickly sort a letter into one of six spots, a 3x2 grid. There is only 30 seconds to do it. The real problem is how much time it can take to have to move from one side to the other. The tenths of seconds wasted more often than not will cause a failure.
  • Getting all 20 hearts in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past includes not one but two luck based missions, one of them giving you 2 attempts to pick a chest containing it out of 20 or so randomized chests, while another gives you 30 seconds to dig around in a vast empty field with roughly 500 possible spaces to find it in.
  • The Big Poes in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. You have to use your horse and start in a specific location in Hyrule field and head in a specific direction to make the Poe even appear, and you have to chase - at high speed - said Poe and shoot it twice before it disappears. And you have to find all ten in order to have access to the final empty bottle. One in particular near Gerudo Valley has a nasty habit of vanishing into a wall almost instantly.
    • There's also the Piece of Heart you get by racing Dampe a second time. You have to do it in less than a minute, which is extremely hard even if you use the Longshot to speed through the last room. Thankfully, there is a way to cheat; playing any warp song pauses the timer for about two seconds (so you'll have to do it a lot).
    • Getting the Biggest Quiver from the Horseback Archery Range in the Gerudo Fortress. Very little room for error. It's incredibly hard to get the 1500 points required, and for extra fun, it's entirely possible to end up with 1,490 points. When something like that happens, it feels like the game is taunting you.
      • Thankfully, the challenge in this one was significantly blunted in the 3DS Updated Re-release. The ability to tweak your aim with the gyro sensitivity allows the needed precision to take horseback archery from "hair-tearingly frustrating" back down to "mildly tricky and easy with practice" (and it's still significantly easier even if you just use the Circle Pad). This also helps with Big Poe collection, but not as much.
    • Getting the Biggoron Sword. It's a huge Chain of Deals, and several of the missions are timed. You better hope you planted a magic bean next to Dodongo's Cavern.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has Anju and Kafei, which involves a lot of waiting, many travels, and for players to accomplish 100% Completion, needs to be done twice over all three days no less.
    • Also, the race against the Deku Butler after beating Woodfall Temple. You follow the Butler through a long tunnel, and if you mess up once, there's a good chance you'll have to start the entire thing over again, and at the cost of a whole heart.
    • The Swamp Shooting Gallery. This particular challenge gets you the largest quiver and a piece of heart, but is tough going without superhuman reflexes or repeating over, and over, and over, and over, and over...
      • That gallery is still more forgiving than the Town Shooting Gallery, which requires you to shoot, on average, more targets per second to get a perfect score.
    • The Gilded Sword's increased power and reach makes it worth getting, but it can be tricky to do so. Basically you have to go swordless for a night, beat the boss of Snowhead Temple, win at the Goron Race Track before the second day is out, and go swordless for another night. The Race Track is the hard part, as the high speed steering can take some getting used to, you have to watch your magic, especially if you didn't get the meter upgrade, and if another goron bumps into you on an incline, you lose your spike rolling. For extra fun, try doing this all on your first visit to the zone. The temple is doable without a sword, though getting all of the stray fairies takes some finesse.
  • Want to obtain all the ship and train parts in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass and The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks? Then you'd better be ready to sacrifice your life and sanity to the randomness gods. All the ship parts in PH are random. Thankfully, there is a sure-fire way to get four of the parts of the golden (and best) set - accomplish specific tasks in multiplayer mode. Spirit Tracks makes it apparently easier by having you cash in specific treasures for train parts, but the treasures are random. What's really obnoxious is that each game sets certain treasures as being rarer than others, with some being absurdly rare. This means that while the big treasures are fairly easy to get enough of, you will be hindered by the worthless trash that you need fifty bajillion of but the game has made nigh-on impossible to find.
    • The Dark Ore sidequest. Not only is Dark Ore 200 rupees a pop, you also have to have opened a couple of specific warp gates, and also have to go through what must be the temple of Tektites, with their god Rocktite. Oh, and you can only get hit once, otherwise you won't make it with enough. And if you're one short? Then it's all the way back to the Fire Realm to shell out another 200 rupees for you! What makes it even better is if you manage to kill Rocktite just before fetching the Dark Ore, it will not respawn when you pass through the tunnel.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: Poes. They are scattered all over the (very large) map, you don't even get a hint as to where they are, and they only show up at night. At least the reward is useful — more so than other Zelda examples, at least. If you kill all 60 poes, he'll give you 200 rupees every time you talk to him, essentially making him a free power source for your magic armor.
    • The Cave of Ordeals. Fifty rooms filled with every type of enemy in the game. The final room even has three Darknuts. And there is next to nothing in terms of healing items, and the rooms are small.
    • Still not satisfied? It ups the difficulty the second trip through, with the last room containing four Darknuts. And apparently the Postman made it through as well.
    • Beating Yeta in a sled race. The first race, against Yeto, is fairly easy, as long as you're careful. The race against Yeta is damn near impossible. To beat her, you have to take the high-up shortcut, which A) has a very small entrance point, and if you miss it (and don't know how to jump) you'll smack into the wall and thus never, never catch up and beat Yeta; and B) takes extreme precision to avoid falling off the edge. Think that easing up on the throttle will make it easier to control your movements and avoid that fate? Too bad! You can't beat Yeta to the finish line unless you go full-speed every inch of the way from start to finish. Be prepared for at least an hour of rage, wailing & gnashing of teeth optional.
  • The Legend of Zelda Oracle games: It is absolutely insane what you have to go through to get all the Magic Rings in this game (or all 64 rings really, between both Seasons and Ages).
    • First, there's the Bomber's Ring. It requires you to score perfectly (8 rounds out of 8, flawlessly) on Platinum, the highest difficulty level. It's a game where you have to enter the button sequence EXACTLY as it's given - in the right order and with the exactly same rhythm and timing. And on Platinum, some of those sequences are more than 10 buttons long. You have to do that perfectly 8 times in a row, and even at that level, it's still randomized.
    • Then there's the Light Ring L-2. It's one of four rings that can be won by scoring 350+ at the Lynna Village target gallery. The game itself isn't that tough, but the absurd rarity of this ring is. You'll win the other three rings (which you can get in other ways) dozens of times. But to win the Light Ring L-2 (available ONLY from this mini-game) requires such astronomical luck, because of how extremely rare it is, that it's like winning a real-life lottery. You'll spend hours upon hours upon hours winning the same rings over and over again before you probably just give up and content yourself with 99% completion.
    • Really, to gain all 64 rings across both Oracle games has to be the most extraordinary feat in the Zelda series. You have to play both games at least twice (four playthroughs in all) in order to account for unlinked and linked versions of both. And there are some (like the Rang Ring L-2) that are so laughably rare that you can go through all four playthroughs and never see them. They're that badly randomized.
      • Special mention to the linked game Hero's Caves, each of which contains an exclusive ring as its final prize. Each of them is itself that one sidequest.
      • Easy to get but hard to find is the Gold Joy Ring. It can only be found by bombing an unmarked spot on a literally random wall in the Goron caves in Ages. How anyone was supposed to find this one is beyond comprehension.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has a harp minigame to finish up the Lumpy Pumpkin quest line. It gets particular rage because you don't get direct feedback on whether you're doing it right until the song ends (although the harmony sounds incomplete if you're doing badly). Add to it the potential difficulty a player has with using the harp (hint: it uses the gyros, so don't go upside-down!), and the fact that you have to listen to the proprietor yammer on whenever you have to restart, and you can see why players deride it.
    • The Rickety Coaster. Getting a Piece of Heart requires going really fast, which isn't too much of a problem. The problems is that the motion controls don't work to well and interpret "lean left" as "lean right" from time to time, making it a Luck-Based Mission.
    • One of the Heart Pieces comes from a minigame where you must shoot tossed pumpkins with your bow. This is extremely difficult, since you have to hit almost every pumpkin to earn the prize, requiring very careful aim and shot-leading with a really drifty and wobbly motion controller. It's especially frustrating because the pumpkins aren't worth fixed amounts of points—their value goes up as you hit more of them in a row, and drops back to the lowest level if you miss one. As if that's not bad enough, some of the pumpkins are worth double points, but they show up purely randomly (you could get several 2X-kins or none at all in any given round). Plus, the guy throwing them often waits an irritatingly long time between throws (it's a Timed Mission!). And he throws them farther and farther later in the game, often over the top of the screen so you can't even see the damn things for half of their trajectories, but sometimes he'll switch back to throwing them a short distance without warning just to mess with you. Good lord...
      • There is however an easy way to cheese this: aim just above and to the right of Fledge, where the shootable pumpkin spawns, and release the arrow right as he's winding up to throw it. You'll hit it almost every time.
    • Nothing compares to the one heart piece you get from the minigame where you are shot out of a cannon, and have to use the wiimote to maneuver Link through five rings randomly floating around in the sky while dodging huge balloons that bounce you in a different direction,and then land on top of a specific space on a spinning wheel that happens to be incredibly small. This one is hard even if the Wii Motion Plus doesn't screw up on you during this event.
    • Also the bug hunt, mainly because the Wii Motion Plus is almost guaranteed to mess up while your trying to catch the bugs, which makes swinging your bug net a lot harder than it should be and you have a very short time to find and capture all 10 bugs.
  • In Alundra, there's the Gilded Falcons quest. You have to find all 50 of them throughout the game, and most of them can be Lost Forever if you're not careful, especially since there's one in each dungeon and most dungeons are one time visits.
  • In order to get all the stray beads in Ōkami, you have to defeat the final blockhead by painting on his weak spots. They only appear for less than a second, you have to remember the exact order. If you fail, boulders drop from the ceiling, and you have to run away from it before you can do it again.
    • It's worth noting that this particular blockhead has eight weak points. The average human being can retain seven items in short-term memory at a time.
    • The Black Devil Gates: Fighting ten very long and difficult battles in a row, without saving or leaving the cave in between fights. It doesn't help that the enemies are powered up, many of the hard enemies such as Red and Blue Ogres and Bull Chargers appear three at a time, and the one in Kamui requires you to go through six extremely long battles with about 50 enemies per battle, which takes about an hour.
    • There's also the races for the Gimmick Gear and the Marlin.
    • And the race with Kai which requires you to memorize all of the shortcuts on a fairly long track and utilizes Rubber Band A.I..
    • That beehive. only worth 20 praise, it requires you to roll one round object from in water from at least the middle of Agata Forest to the bear at the top beginning. Unlike the acorn and cabbage that are also part of the sidequest, the beehive is so jittery that it will slide backwards at even the slightest incline, even if you try to brace it by a rock. It also seems to be magnetically drawn to the cliff that takes up the last half of the challenge, and if it falls off, you have to start all over again.
  • The Looter's Caverns in Beyond Good & Evil have caused more than one player to attack their TV screens in a fit of rage. They require you to maneuver the not-very-manueverable hovercraft through a maze of twisty passages lined with mines, lasers, and obstacles, all the while "racing" against the doors, which close on a timer—and some of which are almost impossible to get through in time without using speed boosts. If steering into a bomb-lined wall twenty times doesn't drive you to madness, hearing your sidekick shout the same things over and over again will.
    • Speed boosts are dirt cheap. You can grab them out of crates in the middle of nowhere. And you're going to have a bunch left over by the end of the game anyway unless you spam them during races and looter's caverns. This is pretty much what they're there for.
  • "Mandrake Is The Best Medicine" in Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia, wherein you have to get Mandrake Root. Doesn't sound so hard, right? Well, did I mention that it's dropped by Mandragoras, which only appear in one level, and only in the areas of that level that take the longest time to reach from the starting points, and which explode without dropping anything if you don't kill them quickly enough? Not only that, but the enemies in this particular level are extremely annoying. So, yeah.
    • What about the late-game mission that requires you to collect an Alexandrite? The only place it's found is as a 1/5 drop chance at the end of a fairly difficult bonus dungeon, and if you get one of the other 4 drops instead, you have to to the whole dungeon over again.
    • Or the one sidequest Abram hands out that requires you to get some Merman Meat? There's just one little catch: Mermen don't drop Merman Meat - Loreleis do. And they don't do it very often. This can be blamed on a translation error - the original Japanese version had a gender-neutral name for the item instead, although who knows why they didn't simply translate it as "Mermaid Meat"...
  • La-Mulana has the life jewel in the Dimensional Corridor. If you don't know what you're doing, it'll be easily Lost Forever. If you know what you're doing but have trouble getting it right, you'll hate waiting to recharge a certain item that needs to be used at an exact moment to make a tricky jumping puzzle possible.
    • It can't be Lost Forever thanks to damage boosting, but messing up still makes it even more frustrating to get than it already is.
  • Anyone who's played Illusion of Gaia remembers gathering Red Gems. They range from easy to Guide Dang It, but that one. The third red gem occurs only in your home town, so once you leave it's Lost Forever, but that's not the annoying part. To get it, you have to wait for the fisherman on the docks to have caught a bucket, which you examine to get the gem. You can only change how he is by running inside and then back outside to check on him. And, on top of all that, there's a one-in-God only knows chance of him actually having got the bucket. Step One: Eject cartridge. Step Two: Ball-peen hammer.
  • Trying to get all the coins in Wallace & Gromit - Project Zoo? If you have, then the mere mention of the Lava World bonus stage will make you curl up in the fetal position and whimper. Gromit has to climb a series of platforms while avoiding rolling barrels thrown by a gorilla. What's the problem? Due to spectacularly bad testing the GameCube version of the game contains a glitch where 99% of the barrels are invisible to the player. Barrels that result in instant death if touched. Oh, and did we mention you're on a time limit? Getting the coins from this level requires truly psychic guesswork and timing, and the reward? Short clips from "The Wrong Trousers" and one preview from the 'Cracking Contraptions' series.

    Action Game 
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga has a pretty crazy achievement. You have to go through the whole Cloud City / Darth Vader boss fight level, while having the stormtrooper helmet on your head. This means you have to go through the level without ever being hit or ever falling down one of the many pits, or when you have to change to R2-D2 to open doors, hope that the NPC that takes control over your helmeted character doesn't change to another figure. If you try this really on the normal way you are probably working on it for all eternity. Though the achievement is also unlocked if you take on the helmet and then just exit the level, saving the found amount of money, because you technically finished the level with the helmet.
  • The secret missions in Devil May Cry can be really annoying.
    • In Devil May Cry 3: "Untouchable", where you must kill 4 Enigmas without taking damage, and "On Pins and Needles", where you must pass through an enormous corridor with spikes covering 3/4 of the said corridor advancing in an extreme speed towards you in different patterns to get the blue orb.
      • "Untouchable" becomes significantly easier on Heaven or Hell mode. Four shots from Ebony and Ivory, and the mission is complete.
    • Devil May Cry 4 has LOTS of secret missions like this, but the two that really take this trope to the extreme are "Unbreakable", where you must kill 3 Assaults and 3 Chimera Assaults without taking damage and without being captured by a Fault, and "Royal Blocker", where you must execute a Royal Block 5 times in a row against two Mephistos, so if you're hit or mess up the timing of the Block anytime during the sequence, you must restart it all over again. "Free Running" and "Steelplechase" have the potential to become this if you wish to complete them without "tricks", but if you don't care about completing them "cleanly", then they're not really all that difficult.
  • The tractor race in LEGO Indiana Jones 2.
  • Any of the aerial races in LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, because the flying controls suck.

    Collectible Card Game 
  • Pokémon clone Magi-Nation had a monster that could only be caught by completing a sidequest that spanned the entire freakin' game. A definite Guide Dang It, as many of the steps weren't even remotely hinted at in the game, could only be done at very specific points, and were completely random. The most annoying part was paying a ferry boat loads of money each time to reach a location, then paying more to make them wait for you. If you failed to pay them one time, they'd disappear and never return. One small misstep and this entire quest was moot.

    Driving Game 
  • F-Zero GX's Story Mode has three particularly bad ones: chapters 1, 5, and 7 on Very Hard. The former two are timed courses during which you are required to go out of your way to collect certain items and have razor-thin margins of error (it is not uncommon for even expert players to complete Chapter 5 with less than a second left on the clock). Chapter 7 is a multi-lap race on a fairly technical course against a lineup of boosted AI vehicles which thwarts even people who have completed everything else in the game; it's bad enough to be a frustrating roadblock on normal difficulty even within the context of the Nintendo Hardness of the rest of the game.
    • Really, unlocking the AX Racers in general counts (which requires the player to clear every Story Mode chapter on Very Hard mode.) The only other alternative is taking your memory card to an F-Zero AX arcade machine, and good luck finding one of those outside of Japan.
  • Unlocking T.T. in Diddy Kong Racing requires beating his best Time Trial time on every course in the game. The problem? T.T. is good. Really good. And being as it's Time Trial mode (and he's a ghost), you have no weapons at your disposal in order to beat him—just your mad driving skills and the game's famous "Zipper Trick," which requires you to let go of your accelerator right before hitting a speed-boosting Zipper. The good or bad thing (depending on how you like your games) is that, in the DS port, this sidequest is now much easier due to the addition of upgrades to your vehicles. Using Pipsy in combination with an upgrade that increases your vehicle's maximum speed makes beating all T.T.'s times, if not a piece of cake, at the very least a muffin top.
    • Just use the first hidden character you found Drumstick the chicken (and it is really easy) and it is a piece of cake.
  • Wipe Out HD Fury: YOU WILL NEVER REACH ZONE ZEUS. Also, Zico mocks you. Seriously, PS3 trophies and X360 achievements can be That One Trophy/Achievement too...

    Fighting Game 
  • The Diskun trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee, which requires achieving every end-of-level bonus, including playing through the entire single-player mode without sustaining any damage whatsoever. This was so bad that Super Smash Bros.. Brawl removed the end-of-level bonuses entirely, perhaps to eliminate the temptation to give a reward for getting them all.
    • Brawl does appear to have an example of That One Sidequest of its own: unlocking the Galleom Tank trophy requires completing Boss Rush mode on Intense.
      • Thankfully, for those who only care about getting all the trophies, the game lets you claim up to five of the accomplishments without actually earning them.
      • Unfortunately, the Galleom Tank trophy is not one of them, as the Boss Rush achievements are the only ones that cannot be skipped, and must be earned manually. European players are laughing.
    • Both Melee and Brawl feature the Cruel Melee/Brawl modes, in which the power and skill of the computer is ramped up considerably. The best way to actually succeed at these (which also must be completed for 100% Completion) is to jump off the level.
    • Mew Trophy. At least Diskun is pretty much just a Guide Dang It set. The Mew Trophy is a Luck-Based Mission.
    • Similar to the Mew trophy in Melee, there's the sticker's challenge, obtained by getting every single one of them, easy until you reach the last ten, at which point not even Subspace speedruns in Intense nail you even one new sticker.
      • Although it is easy to create a stage with conveyor belts that lead Sandbags to you. You can hold down the Attack button and a lot of stickers will come out. The only problem is that if you go over a certain amount collected at one time (about 255, I believe) before leaving the match, you'll lose ALL of them.
    • In Brawl's event mode there's "Advent of the Dark King", in which Link, Zelda, and Pit fight Ganondorf. Sound easy? I forgot to mention that you're Ganondorf, who has VERY SLOW attacks. On hard mode (which is required for 100%) all 3 will corner you and prevent you from attacking. I decided to recreate this battle using Team Brawl (level 9 Ganondorf vs Link, Zelda, and Pit all at level 9, then 8, then 7) and found out that not even the freakin' computer can do it. With that said, good luck.
    • The Meta-Ridley trophy, which requires the player to beat down Meta-Ridley until he's near death, wait for a trophy stand to appear (the fight is on a timer, by the way,) then throw it at Meta Ridley, jump off the Blue Falcon, catch the trophy in mid-air, and then get back on.
      • Getting back on is completely unnecessary - the player can't die after Meta Ridley does - and it's possible (technically) to kill him at just the right moment that his trophy falls on the Blue Falcon anyway. But the latter requires you to wait for him to do just the right move when his health is low (and it's still timed, after all) so most players will have to make the plunge anyway.
  • Mortal Kombat Deception gives us Shujinko. Getting his moves is a Guide Dang It that you can only do after kompleting Konquest mode. Krap.
  • Survival mode in King of Fighters Maximum Impact 2, required to unlock all the stages in the game. Got a few hours to spare against increasingly difficult characters (everyone you're unlocked so far, trickier if the final boss is included among those characters), with a pumped-up version of one of them every 10 fights with additional perks you can't access? 200 fights, so even if you've unlocked up to Armor Ralf so getting hit isn't as much of an issue, you've got hours ahead of you, since you can't save your progress. Fail once, and you have to start over.
    • Reading about the final challenges in King of Fighters 2002 UM alone is downright scary if you haven't devoted your life and sacrificed your unlikely first-born for the skills required in the challenge mode.
  • Dissidia: Final Fantasy has the 151 Accomplishments system (basically Trophies or Achievements). Many of them (Defeat all characters 30 times each, participate in 300 battles, etc.) will be easily accomplished over the course of normal gameplay, and more even tell you the conditions for fulfilling them, so while they may require more grinding (one requires the player to deal 1.5 million points of HP damage over the course of the game. Max HP for any one opponent is 9999. This takes a while.), they're not difficult per se. Then you have the others.
    • Time Attacker (Accomplishment #61) requires the player to clear the Arcade Mode (Preset character with preset abilities vs. a gauntlet of foes, ending with the game's SNK Boss) within 1200 seconds. For extra fun, the SNK Boss has a Limit Break that he can use as often as he likes, whenever he likes, cannot be stopped from executing it, and its animation takes up over a minute, adding elements of the dreaded Luck-Based Mission.
    • Obtaining all weapons and equipment (Accomplishment #145, The Ravenous Collector) requires not only an unholy amount of treasure-hunting and trading, but also random drops from enemies. The base item drop rate in Dissidia hovers around 1%. The enemies who have the gear you need dropped are generally only to be found in the Lunar Whale or Blackjack course of randomized computer-selected opponents—where the opponents are anywhere from level 120 to 150, when the player is capped at 100 and are all at maximum CPU strength, in addition to the bonuses from having said best gear in the game. Even with all possible boosters to item drop rate, it's still under 10% for any one item. So, to sum up: First the player has to be lucky enough to get to face an opponent with the armament they need. Then, they have to be lucky and skilled enough to beat the opponent. Then they have to be lucky enough to get the drop. And if they don't get the drop, the opponent is gone and they have to wait until the computer then generates another opponent with the gear. And incidentally? These courses operate on a three-strikes-and-you're-out system. Lose three times and you have to start the process allll over again. (By the way, unless you're looking at a guide, you have no idea that this is the only way to get this armor or even that there is an accomplishment for getting said gear).
    • The above, again, for Accomplishment #146, My Road To El Dorado, which is acquiring all accessories. Suffice to say that it requires pretty much the same as the all-gear one, except with even more trading for items.
    • The accomplishments for battlegen-ing the colored gems (Numbers 126-133). Battlegen, for the uninitiated, is the Dissidia system wherein performing a specific action to the opponent, such as landing an Exburst or slamming them into the wall has a chance to generate a pre-determined item. So, you can see from the get-go that it's a Luck-Based Mission. Making it worse are the many elements of Guide Dang It inherent to the process. First off, the game never tells you that Battlegen-ing these items is what will fulfill the conditions of the accomplishments. Second, the game never even tells you that these gems exist. Thirdly, the game never mentions that the only way to get at opponents from whom you can battlegen the gems is via either friend cards (in other words, online multiplayer elements) or the Stiltzkin cards. And finally, the game will never tell you how to get the Stiltzkin cards, you need either trial and error or a guide to figure out how to get all eight. That you will then have to fight. Until the game decides to have mercy on you and randomly generate the gem.
      • Extra fun: You'll be doing the above multiple times, because accomplishment of this is part and parcel of the accessory accomplishment.
  • Dissidia 012 Duodecim tops everything the past game did, by changing the method of gaining crafting materials to having to go through multiple mirror matches to be able to farm materials. Or simply battlegen it off self-generated friend cards if you knew you could do that.
    • In addition, it has the ultimate excorzise in masochism, the Labyrinth. Which is the airships from the previous game, in a new wrapping where you progress through a hundred floors with multiple different areas with different challenges to each area. It's also been reduced from three strikes to one strike, but you can increase the number of strikes by collecting backup characters, you also only get to use whatever gear you find in the labyrinth and don't get to bring any of it outside (except for a few pieces, of course you don't want to bring them back into the labyrinth because if you die in the labyrinth you lose everything you've collected so far). Progressing far into the labyrinth is the only way to get several item sets that are the only ways to pull off several builds. And don't forget that it lives up to it's name with every path forward having multiple branches, which will often require some rather difficult combat actions to unlock, like getting a certain amount of medals from a card, achieving a certain level of boosting multiplier or '''taking no damage''', so it's fully possible that the path forward becomes impossible to unlock and that you therefore have to exit and start over again. Needless to say, doing a full clear of the entire thing will consume hours upon hours.
    • Note also that the labyrinth doesn't have a quicksave feature, so you can't take a break from your loong run through of it and do something else with your PSP, like play in other game modes or play other games entirely.
  • The Soul Arena in Soul Calibur 3 have the challenge Beloved which is manageble on easy or medium but becomes insane on hard. You have to fight in sucession: Raphael, Kilik and Amy (Her attacks can not be blocked). If the player got the Queen's Guard sword for Raphael it becomes almost a Luck-Based Mission.
    • Chronicles of the sword can become this. It is a sidequest because you unlock all canonical characters without it and any you unlock can only be played when you can play custom characters, who can easily get their moveset. It starts out easy and even fun, but as you go on you're either going to be spamming AI breaker moves constantly or cursing the now apparently psychic and cheating AI enemies in battlefeilds that just screw you over, such as ice where you fall off if you move to the edge, rather than being hit off it. You have to go through to get all the armor pieces for the character customization.

    First Person Shooter 
  • Unlocking the invincibility cheat in Golden Eye 1997, often referred to as the "infamous invincibility cheat" by the game's fans, requires beating the Facility level on 00 Agent mode in under two minutes, five seconds. Exacerbated by the fact that accomplishing this task is highly dependent on the location at which Dr. Doak, an NPC with whom you must interact, randomly spawns. And Trevelyan can screw it up at the end by being too close to the tanks.
  • Many of the Arcade League matches/Challenges in TimeSplitters 2 are painfully difficult, making other matches/challenges look like cakewalks. Here are some to deal with, for newcomers of the franchise:
    • "Men In Grey". It's an Assault match, so you have to dodge autoguns and Accountants/Consultantsnote /Lawyers while completing objectives and destroy the fuel barrels and computers. You only have a partner to "help" (read: distract) the opponents, who are most likely happy to mow both you and your partner down with miniguns while you are busy reaching the first objective. Getting a gold or a platinum medal is hard, but not as much as other matches.
    • "Can't Handle This". To sum it up, it's you versus an army of five Handymen in the Nightclub, so your best option is to grab a pair of Tommy Guns and hide out in the foyer so you can mow down any Handyman unlucky to be in your line of fire. Have fun dying repeatedly when you're trying to grab a gun while trying not to get wasted by a Handyman or two.
    • "Superfly Lady". Similar to "Men In Grey", but in the Hangar instead of Training Ground. Unlike "Men In Gray", where it is possible (but difficult) to dodge autoguns, you have to destroy the autoguns in front of you as your first objective. It gets a bit worse in the second objective, not only because the switch opening the hangar doors is above you, but because there are a couple more autoguns present. Afterwards, where you have to destroy the fuel barrels to complete the match is easy, the autoguns present (and sometimes, the AI opponents) will make it hard for you. In a nutshell, shitfest.
    • "Bags of Fun". It's Capture the Bag at the Ice Station with you and Sgt. Cortez against an army of 'Splitters. Simple enough, right? Not really. Not only are there five of them against two of you, they also have high stamina, and your partner, sadly enough, only serves as distraction. Talk about "useful partners," my ass.
    • Last for the Arcade League, we have "Nice Threads". Assault match, yes, but this time it's on Scrapyard, so prepare to meet a trio of Sentry Bots and a whole bunch of autoguns both outside and inside. Thankfully enough, there's a Lasergun near your spawn, so you can use that to break inside easily without dying.
    • Starting off with the Challenges, "Stain Removal". Good luck trying to find any windows to destroy after dealing with the first set.
    • "Silent But Deadly". Like the other Infiltration challenges, you have to make your way to the exit point without losing Stealth Points. However, unlike the other challenges, you have to destroy an item (in this case, the communications dish in the Siberian outpost) before making your way to the exit point. It doesn't help when the door the the exit point may close on you before you even enter after destroying the comms dish, thus making you end up failing the challenge. Oh, and did I mention that you have to eliminate the soldiers present in the area?
    • "But Where Do The Batteries Go?" It's simple. Run to the end of the Scrapyard note , pick up the item and return to the start. But what makes it hard is the amount of enemies in the level, the autoguns, and the fact that some enemies wield miniguns. By the time you make it out, you have a chance of either escaping successfully, or getting blown up by a rocket. Have fun!
  • In TimeSplitters: Future Perfect, earning the gold medal for the Astro Jocks level is an extremely difficult task. The platinum medal is all but impossible.
  • In Team Fortress 2, some of the achievements are borderline impossible without staging them with a few friends. This was most painful when the achievements were required for new unlockable equipment. An example medic achievement: killing twenty enemies in a row paired with a Heavy without either he or the Medic dying. For the Demoman, destroying five Engineer buildings within the span of a single ten-second Ubercharge (one Engineer can only place four buildings, and teleporter exits and entrances are usually placed far from their entrances, so buildings are usually found in threes).
    • Many of the medic achievements, at least, require counterintuitive or downright counterproductive play. Ubercharging a scout is the most obvious example, but First Do No Harm requires you to get the highest score on your team without scoring any kills. The easiest way of obtaining it is to heal people who are about to score a kill instead of people who are injured. Oh, and to let people die if they're scoring too high (i.e. sabotage your best players). Or you can just switch to medic after getting the highest score as a different class.
    • Ironically, this is after a patch changed a few of the worst Medic achievements. One required healing the same Heavy while they went on a 20-kill streak (now reduced to a manageable, but painful 10-kill streak) in which neither of you was allowed to die. Nevermind that you can be killed in less than a second by the more offensive classes as a Medic, and don't forget that there are two classes that can one-shot a Heavy, even with you healing him to 150% of his normal health. Oh, and the best part? The Heavy has his own version of the achievement, so you get to do it twice.
      • The corresponding achievement was meant to encourage both sides to try and attempt to earn it. In theory it made the cooperation better. In practice, most people tend to earn one achievement off of someone more experienced (since they can actually accomplish the feat), who more than likely already gained the corresponding achievement a long time ago, and couldn't care less if you got it or not.
    • The other classes' achievements are more reasonable, in general, but some are still extremely difficult to get in normal gameplay (I'm looking at you, Scout).
    • One of the most aggravating ones to get is Full Spectrum Warrior for Pyro. This achievement requires you to ignite three enemies with the Rainblower's taunt. For those who don't know, the Rainblower's taunt creates a very loud noise, then emits a ring of fire around the feet of the Pyro, dealing enormous damage to those within the ring. However, the Pyro is completely immobilized and vulnerable for the duration of the taunt, and the loud noise draws loads of attention to the Pyro. In addition, if you kill an enemy with the taunt, it isn't counted as igniting them, so you need to abuse the taunt mechanics (each player caught in the taunt receives half of the damage the last player took, the first player takes 400) and somehow pull off a loud, immobilizing move in a crowded area of four or five people bent on killing you. Very not fun.
    • Many of the achievements are luck-based, which makes for getting 100% completion nigh impossible. The most notable one is Search Engine, where you have to kill 3 invisible spies with your wrangled sentry. The only possible way to get this achievement consciously is to have a Pyro set an invisible spy on fire and land a killing blow. Otherwise, just have your sentry permanently wrangled and shoot everywhere, praying you hit a nitwit of a spy.
    • Currently, With Friends Like This is the hardest achievement to get, which requires you to play on a server with 7 or more of your friends. Currently the fewest number of players hold this achievement.
    • And even that pales to the achievements for gathering enough views on a YouTube replay. You read that right. There are achievements for having your Team Fortress 2 Replays gather enough views on YouTube. How many? The final achievement for this requires, oh, 100,000 views. Last Lousy Point, indeed...
  • Playing Modern Warfare on Veteran difficulty merits honors on its own. It's incredibly frustrating, and most players find themselves spending hours to get past single checkpoints. However, nothing beats out the Epilogue stage "Mile High Club." Beating this single level requires you to blast your way through an airplane full terrorists with no fragmentation grenades (you are in a plane, after all). Stopping in any place for too long means you won't make it to the objective in time. Simply lasting past the first row of seats is worth a few achievement points, and it's easily the hardest stage of the game.
    • Remember kids, veterans only get headshots.
    • As an explanation for the above, if you manage to get past the hellhole of enemies to get to the hostage situation, you MUST get a headshot on the terrorist holding the VIP. Otherwise, it's back to square one for you...
  • The Xbox LIVE Arcade version of Perfect Dark features some unlockable trophies that are needed to 100% Completion. Among them, there is one that requires you to pretty much speed-running through the highest difficulty setting, one that asks you to complete the entire aforementioned highest difficulty setting with your auto-aim off, and even one that nobody on the internet have any clues about the requisites for it to unlock and just seems to pop-out once in a blue moon.
    • The original Perfect Dark has some difficult side items as well - specifically, the firing range. A skilled gamer could probably get most of the silver stars with a little practice. Getting all the gold stars, however, is nearly impossible. The major stumbling block is the AR34: You must get 500 points (a bulls-eye is 10 points) in 20 seconds with 100% accuracy, using an assault rifle. Oh, and the targets break when shot too much, so if you break a target and let even a single bullet through afterwards, you fail.
  • Halo: Reach has "If They Came to Hear me Beg..." The challenge here is to air-assassinate an Elite on the penultimate level from a height that would kill you. You'll mostly find yourself missing and going splat, hitting a Grunt instead, hitting the Elite with a normal beatdown, or the game just not recognizing your assassination. Have fun reloading the checkpoint.

    Hack And Slash 
  • God of War: Chains of Olympus has the second Challenge of Hades, "Perfection". You have to beat 20 enemies without getting damaged at all. To make matters worse, you don't get to use magic at all and the enemies in question use attacks you can't block with the normal block. Tearing out of hair may ensue. If you managed to beat those, the third Challenge asks you to kill a number of enemies while your life bar automatically drains. Problem is, it might as well have required a No Damage Run as your life will be cutting it close enough without taking any hits. The fourth Challenge gives you a tight time limit to destroy several items, one tight enough that you practically need to choreograph a routine to make it.

    Miscellaneous Games 
  • Katamari Damacy's Ursa Major and Taurus stages. The stages are easy to beat since the King of All Cosmos accepts any bear or cow. However, getting the biggest bear and cow is an exercise in madness because the King of All Cosmos is an idiot who accepts any bear or cow, including bear carvings, men in bear suits, men in cow suits, and milk cartons. One wonders how many completionists have thrown their controllers in frustration after the king prematurely yanked them out of the stage because he believes that the black and white patterned beach umbrella you accidentally rolled up is a cow.
    • Also of note is the fact that in such stages your katamari starts next to the some of the tiniest bear/cows. roll the wrong way at the start and you'll have to sit through the King of All Cosmos chew you out again.
    • Even more insane is the infamous rose level in We Love Katamari, where the player is tasked with collecting one million roses into a katamari, while never growing in size and only being able to pick up the roses one by one or in bunches of ten at a time. Thankfully, you don't have to do it all in one go, and most sane players just rubber-banded their game controllers into a set position and left the game running overnight to get it.
      • Even using the rubber band technique it takes over 70 hours of leaving it running and can only done on one of the 3 stages.
  • The Head of Cerberus missions in Dead Island. You are tasked with activating speakers on rooftops, which doesn't sound so bad. However the waypoints are seemingly coded by trolls, they disappear when you get near them requiring you to set your own marker. To get to these locations you have to fight through waves of armed criminals, zombies, and the odd Ram or six, with a Suicider hiding just behind a corner. That's the first part. Later parts include Roof Hopping, just finding a way up to the roofs is a challenge, then it turns into Kaizo Mario World in first person. The third part of the quest takes place in the Quarantine Zone, maybe the toughest section of the game. Jason, The Butcher and Ryder White are easy in comparison.

    MMORPGs 
  • Lord Recluse's Strike Force in City of Villains, especially if you're going for the "Master of Lord Recluse's Strike Force" badge that requires completing it with no defeats on your team and all temporary powers disabled.
    • Not to mention the fact that the third mission of said Level 45-50 Strike Force awards a badge needed for an accolade power whose Hero equivalent can theoretically be achieved at Level 7 (Level 1, if you're lucky enough). And all it does is bump your Endurance up by five points. Yeah. That's balanced.
    • The arguably easier Statesman's Task Force in City of Heroes has the same requirements for getting the "Master" badge. However, there is no accolade tied to it so the badge is mostly a Bragging Rights Reward.
    • There are several "epic" badges in both games that have ridiculous levels of achievement as the developers expected them to be earned only by players playing that same character for years (in a game that encourages making lots of alternative characters, go figure). Players who actually care about these badges have simply found ways to "farm" for the achievements in much less time.
      • Thankfully, the developers have finally relented and relaxed the requirements on many badges, some being slashed by as much as 2/3 of their previous requirement.
    • Blueside's hated task forces are not hard so much as insanely long. Dr. Quaterfield's task force, in particular, is twenty-four missions long and mostly in the Shadow Shard.
  • Many of the sidequests in Kingdom of Loathing are exercises in extreme frustration and patience:
    • More time has been spent devising Hobopolis run strategies than anything else in the game, and for good reason. In order to get the best gear in the zone (a hamster which transfers the "Hobo Power" of several separate clothing items to meat and item drops/HP and MP regeneration), you must (a) join a clan and donate hundreds of thousands to gain access to their basement; (b) spend millions in meat to get enough healing items, turn increaser items and optimal gear to survive; (c) permanently acquire several skills that will make keeping fight counts low easier; (d) complete a sidequest outside of the zone where you use a binder to pick up "hobo glyphs" - you can't even enter the area without all the glyphs, and this requires multiple ascensions to get access to all of them; (e) plan your strategy with a group of other people, and execute the plan with near-pinpoint accuracy, and (f) defeat the Hobopolis boss, Hodgman, in under 1100 turns. In a single day. And since you don't have enough time to kill any of the other bosses in Hobopolis, Hodgman will be at full power.
    • The Ruins of Fernswarthy's Tower features an unlimited-leveled basement that yields a unique item: a telescope that allows you to see the Naughty Sorceress' tower (which is fought through in the final quest in each playthrough/ascension). The only problem? To get the item you need for the telescope, you need to fight through 500 levels of monsters with scaling difficulty, along with stat and damage tests every few levels. Even in best-case conditions, you'll still have to wait until you're near level 30 and stock up on phials, healing items and stat boosters in order to get to the 500th floor. Even better? In order to get a more powerful telescope (which will let you see more of the stat/item conditions for the N.S. Tower), you'll have to do it eight times. Players can spend days (if not weeks) doing nothing but basement dive. Numerous guides have been written about this basement.
    • Several of the food-based trophies require eating massive quantities just to get a trophy. The "Bouquet of Hippies" achievement requires eating 420 piles of herb brownies — the equivalent of eating eight every day, and nothing else, for just over two months straight.
    • The "Frat Boy vs. Hippy War" quest. In the regular quest, you can just pick a side and kill all of the other, thus winning the war. If you want the best reward and the satisfaction of killing a lot of hippies and frat boys, however, you have to kill the exact same amount of hippies and frat boys until there's only one of each side left. And use an item that randomly drops in a different area in the ensuing boss fight. That area is inaccessible during the war.
    • One of the better skills in the game is Transcendent Olfaction, which gives the player the ability to select a single monster and fight it near-exclusively. It's great for main quests, item farming, level grinding, whatever. How do you get this skill? From the Manual of Transcendent Olfaction, which costs 200 filthy lucre. The maximum rate a player can earn filthy lucre is 1 a day. So if you want Transcendent Olfaction, you have to remember to do the side quest for it, every day, for six and a half months. This side quest was designed and implemented after the game's New Game+ feature was implemented (which allows for multiple lucres in a day), but there's increasing requests from the player base to increase the rate players can obtain lucre. Once you have Transcendent Olfaction on a character, though, you never need to do it for that character again. (It's a Hardcore auto-permed skill, which is to say, it's available in every type of run - save maybe Avatar of Boris, which works on a different skill set - and renders itself permanent once learned.)
      • On January 14th, 2014, the Bounty Hunter Hunter was finally revamped, allowing players to earn up to 3 filthy lucre a day. The process still takes over two months, though, assuming a player can do all three every day (not a given).
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Prior to the release of Cataclysm, where it was removed, there was a well-known quest in the Darkshore area called Deep Ocean, Vast Sea that many young night elves encountered, but very, very few actually finished at an appropriate level. It involved swimming deep underwater with your character's breath timer to retrieve two boxes from ships infested with the well-known and much hated Murlocs that have a dense spawning rate, wide aggro radius, and in this case could swim through walls to ensure you would spend hours swimming back to your corpse before giving up until you could outlevel the quest and have sweet, sweet revenge on those bloody Murlocs. This quest was somewhat fixed and became much easier than it used to be later on, but the bad reputation and mediocre rewards still meant that few people did it if they had a choice. As of Cataclysm, it's been completely replaced with a new quest "An Ocean Not So Deep," which does quite a bit to lampshade it's predecessor's reputation. You now have to get to the ships, but use a weapon to wipe out the army of Murlocs blocking the way. The gnome involved mentions that maybe this will reduce the number of casualties.
    • The universally-loathed "Swabbing Duty" quest in Cape of Stranglethorn. To elucidate — the captain of a pirate crew that you're trying to infiltrate charges you with cleaning the ship's deck, which takes the form of a minigame in which you have to keep the deck free of stains for two minutes. Unfortunately, the stains spawn at a ridiculously fast rate and have to be dealt with in a few seconds otherwise it's game over. If you have any kind of lag at all on your system the quest becomes pretty much impossible. There are reports on various game forums of frustrated players giving up after days of fruitlessly trying to complete it, while others have had to resort to remapping their keyboards and creating macros. For a two-minute minigame. The worst thing about it is that unlike 99.9% of the quests in World of Warcraft, it's impossible to level past it, so if you're no good at the type of "twitch" gaming this quest requires you can get hopelessly stuck and left with no option but to abandon the quest. Yep - no matter how powerful your character, you can be forced to forfeit an entire questline because you can't mop fast enough. Nice work, Blizzard.
      • In 4.2, possibly earlier, you can just talk to the whiny deckhand and pay him 1 Gold to do it for you. The captain even lampshades this when you turn the quest in, telling you he "heard frenzied mopping" and figures it must have been you.
    • The Achievement system gives a lot of cool benefits and titles, but with sometimes insane requirements. Loremaster and Seeker titles require completing just about every quest in the game. The major new PVP title requires over 100,000 honorable kills. Some achievements in World of Warcraft are very difficult to get, especially the Glory to Hero/Raider. Both require you to complete various difficult achievements in heroics/raids, many of which are impossible unless the whole group agrees to try and get it. Essentially it's That One Sidequest that requires you to complete a dozen other That One Sidequests, a couple of which need a very specific group setup to even work. Wrong class? Tough luck.
      • On entirely different level, fishing achievements. Half of them require you to catch absurdly rare fishes or similar stuff. Mr. Pinchy probably being the worst. There are only about a dozen or so spots where you can fish for him (pools that need to respawn after 5-6 catches), and once you have it, the pet needed for the achievement is only one of four possible outcomes. You may use him three times over 6 days, and if you are unlucky enough, you never get the pet and need to fish for him AGAIN. And back when achievements were introduced, you had to be at the highest possible fishing skill and top fishing equipment to reliably fish in these pools, and they were highly contested for the normal catches. On the bright side, this makes the already boring task of leveling fishing all the way seem comparably tame (unlike other gathering skills, the difficulty doesn't influence the rate at which it increases - you simply need like 30 sucessful catches at higher levels to advance a single point).
    • The Algalon quest chain is definitely That One Sidequest, needing 5 other That One Sidequests just to activate him.
    • Also consider the Meta achievement What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been - You need to complete all of the holiday event Meta achievements, and each one of those usually has a few that are extremely annoying. Also, good luck if you're out of town during the 1 week some of these events run.
    • The very aptly named "the Insane" title and its acheivement, Insane in the Membrane. To get it, you need to be honored with the Bloodsail Pirates and exalted with the entire Steamwheedle Cartel, the Shan'dralar, the Darkmoon Faire, and Ravenholdt. The problems with this? For one, getting from hated to honored with the Bloodsails means killing Booty Bay guards, which kills your Booty Bay (and thus Steamwheedle Cartel) reputation. Even then, it is far from easy getting to exalted with the Shan'dralar (turn in Unique librams, along with other items, over and over and over) or the Darkmoon Faire (ditto, but with the hard-to-assemble Darkmoon decks), and getting to exalted with Ravenholdt is next to impossible if you're not a rogue (again, but with pickpocketed lockboxes). Oh, did I mention that you have to hold those reputations simultaneously?
      • It's been estimated that, starting from scratch with a level 80 toon, it will take about 360 man-hours to complete. And if you're not a Rogue yourself, you'll either have to level an alt, or get a friend to help. But, as they say, your friends are not The Insane. You are.
      • Not quite as bad nowadays. The Shan'dralar faction has been removed completely so it is not required for the achievement. Also, the Darkmoon Faire has been revamped with several new ways to earn reputation, although the new methods can only give you so much per month.
    • Getting back to quests, one of the most irritating quests in the earlier levels of the game, still around to this day, is the quest Researching The Corruption, found in Blackfathom Deeps. The quest involves killing the satyr and naga mobs in the dungeon and taking out their "Corrupted Brain Stems," the quest requires you to get eight of them. Simple enough on its own, the only problem being that there will very rarely be enough of them for everybody in a 5-player group to finish the quest, meaning that a player will pretty much always need to run the dungeon two or even three times just to finish this quest. The drop rate for them is so wonky that it's entirely possible to run the dungeon with more than one player having already gotten some from a previous run and still have none of the players get enough to finish it.
    • Four words: Time. Lost. Proto. Drake. Possibly the only consolation is that this isn't at all necessary but for some, to whom Bragging Rights Reward is important, it is.
  • Relic weapons in Final Fantasy XI. You just have to be lucky enough to have the correct base relic drop during a Dynamis run, buy over a hundred million gil worth of Dynamis currency (and your linkshell will at best give you a discount since selling currency is how Dynamis runs are funded), convince your linkshell to take the time to beat up a foe that Randomly Drops a certificate you need, then convince them to stop after beating up fifteen other bosses to try to defeat an easily bored Metal Slime that drops the final ingredient. Easy, right?
    • Then there are the Near Eastern equivalents, the Mythic Weapons. First, you have to beat the Treasures of Aht Urghan storyline and complete every Assault mission, including getting to floor 100 of Nyzul Isle, and get the desired base weapon from Nyzul Isle (each Randomly Drops from bosses) just to open the quest. Then you have to beat up eight endgame bosses across Aht Urghan. Then you have to beat all the Assaults again, buy or aquire tens of millions of gil worth of Alexandrite, earn 150,000 tokens in Nyzul Isle (which in practical terms means doing it without buying any items), and earn 100,000 ampules of therion ichor in Einherjar. Then you have to aquire three proofs which randomly drop from the three penultimate bosses in a long ladder of bosses. Finally, you have one last boss fight to complete, solo — and if you manage to screw this part up, you have to get those last three random drops again. Even easier, right?
      • Ebisu's Fishing Rod and skilling a craft to 100 for the headache inducing win.
      • As for quests that sane players actually regularly perform, the journey to obtain the Utsusemi: Ichi spell probably qualifies. It entails collecting a large number of randomly dropped items (between about 100 and 200, depending on the item) to gain notoriety in a far-away settlement. Then one needs to travel to this settlement and take on a final quest, involving travelling through an area infested with aggressive, high-level enemies. The real challenge in this barrage of quests is that it is not only very tedious, but also quite dangerous and difficult for newer characters. And what bites the hardest is that you need this spell if you are going to try the Ninja job class for any given reason.
  • Latale has several, with the most prominent being Dotnuri. It's the perfect combination of Platform Hell (despite being a 2-D game!), Fake Longevity (each stage needs to be completed 20 times before you get the real reward...), Bragging Rights Reward (the skill point from stage 1 is pretty good. The money boost from stage 2 can be made a joke with the enchanting system), Fake Difficulty (lag was already a problem with the normal game, much less one that requires surgical precision), One-Hit-Point Wonder (it is a Super Mario Bros. Shout-Out after all) and Luck-Based Mission (the enemies that can kill you move completely randomly. The only thing they won't do is fall off a ledge or die). Others include:
    • The Selki quests, which involves completing three separate quests multiple times against a mini-boss level opponent in a game where every time you first meet a boss, it will be That One Boss. All that, for a rather unimpressive exp reward.
    • The elemental totems, which involves finding 50 of an item that has a mid to low chance of randomly dropping from a specific and rather uncommon enemy, which shoots elemental magic at you (which you aren't likely to have a resistance to). Then once you're done, you have to do the quest three more times. And then you have to do the other three elemental totem quests four times before you're done with them for good.
  • Guild Wars: Eye of the North:
    • The Rabid Bear. To score points with the Norn, you need to fight this bear with just a wooden club that does pathetic amounts of damage. Not a single player was expecting said bear to be a Level 24 tank with naturally regenerating-health, an ability that boosts his health AND grants him damage resistance, and another skill that lets him regenerate 8 points of health per second. By the way, that last skill casts and recharges in half the time even though he isn't technically a boss. The bear ALSO can make himself immune to knockdowns at times, and not all classes have fast enough interrupts to stop him. Some of the game's best builds have failed against this thing, and nowadays most players simply switch to a Ritualist or Necromancer secondary, then take him down with ghosts or curses. Oh, and if you manage to beat the Rabid Bear, then you can look forward to the Glacial Griffon, which not only is a boss, but is also a spirit-spammer. And thanks to a Ritualist update, all of its skills practically recharge immediately. Have fun!
    • The Great Norn Alemoot quest. The first task, moving ale barrels from a stack to a pole not ten feet away (after taking your first swig of booze) is easy enough. After running back to the start for your second helping of booze, comes the slalom: rather than simply running between posts, the mechanics of this part of the quest requires you to run to a certain point away from the posts after running between them. Running too close to either post, or running through the next part of the slalom without correctly running through the previous pair of posts will completely fail the quest and you have to start over. THEN if you manage to complete the slalom, is the incredibly tricky pig-herding (after taking a third swig of ale). Rather than pushing the pigs into their pen, they have to be body-blocked so they MIGHT move in the right direction..! All this within a time limit of a couple of minutes, all while your screen is fuzzing around because of the effects of the alcohol (though the screen effects can be disabled in the options menu). At least the Feel No Pain skill reward is worth it.
  • Wizard 101 has Sunken City, a dungeon with the hardest enemies you can find in Wizard City. Towers that the girl you're doing it for commands you to enter to defeat some more of the hard enemies, unavoidable battles with the hard enemies, only to find that you need to enter a tower with multiple floors to get a key for Grubb's place, and have to fight a boss with one thousand health. And after the battle, you STILL have to go defeat Grub and collect the amulet.
    • Sunken City (and it tougher cousins Tomb of the Beguiler and Kensington Park) are actually meant for to be a challenge for teams of four wizards that had beaten the world so that is why they are so difficult.
    • The true That One Sidequest are Briskbreeze Tower and the Warehouse. Both are ten floors tall and contain cheating bosses. Oh, and for those people that use the "flee, use potion, port to friend" technique, people cannot port into these towers. These are so tough the first floor is there just to warn people how tough they are.
    • Another dungeon, The Waterworks, was made for a new challenge for the new level cap. Five normal battles, two puzzle rooms (which can act as either additional battles or heal locations), and two bosses that have complex and powerful cheats.
  • Runescape has a fair few quests that make you think that the dev team is just evil.
    • One Small Favor, a Chain of Deals Fetch Quest that's taken Up to Eleven.
    • The infamous and widely-hated Elemental Workshop III. It tasks you with solving That One Puzzle, an enormous, multi-layered Block Puzzle to start an elemental forge. The controls are rather wonky, it's extremely time-consuming, and the number of moves you can make is limited. If you run out, then the puzzle resets to the last checkpoint.
    • The Temple of Light puzzle within Mourning's End Part 2, which contains a multi-stage, multi-floor coloured-light-deflection puzzle required to unlock a door.
  • Ragnarok Online quests tend to be of the "Collect Three Hundred X" variety, which is not in itself all that bad. The "Veins Siblings" quest (which is part of the quest-line to open the high-end Nameless Island dungeon) combines "Collect Three Hundred X" with a luck-based payoff. It becomes necessary to collect some innocuous low-end drops to feed to a camel so it will poop for you, allowing you to continue with the quest. Unless you're amazingly lucky, you'll not get the requisite amounts of poop from your first try (or even your first few tries), requiring you to go gather more low-end drops. The poop-rate is random, which means a player might have to feed the camel literally thousands of items, translating into dozens of hours of competing with starting characters for trash mobs, in order to continue the quest. Even though you never end up actually having to use the camel poop, it does lead to a Crowning Moment of Funny as (after finally gathering the requisite poop) your character reflects on his or her accomplishments.
  • The process required to obtain Legendary items in Dawn Of The Dragons, especially the Shield of Ryndor and Sword of Conquered Kingdoms gear. The steps needed to get the fully-upgraded sword in particular are infuriatingly long. Getting the sword itself is the easy part - complete four boss raids and craft the components. Its second evolution requires getting three stones from quest areas and three raid crafting items that are not listed on the in-game loot tables. The third evolution requires the acquisition of five "Enigmatic Items", which (like the aforementioned crafting items) aren't seen on any loot tables, and require using five specific combinations of armor/weapons/troops/Legions/mounts for specific raids on specific difficulties. Miss an item required for one of the Enigmatic Items? You can't get the upgraded sword. Forgot to or can't fight the Nightmare-level bosses that drop the specific component? No sword. It takes a minimum of 15 raids on the low end to have a chance to get all the pieces, and there is nothing in-game that explains how to get the final evolution. And the ultimate reward? A sword that, while great in its own right for PVP battles, is vastly outclassed by most premium weapons.
  • The Secret World: Two of the Investigation missions (puzzle-based sidequests) require the player to transcribe Morse code and translate it for the next clue. The first of these is in audio formnote  and plays at normal speed, rendering it almost impossible for someone not trained in Morse code to follow. The second one is in blinking lights form, and while slower than the first, is still quite difficult to transcribe properly.
  • Most of the Datacrons in Star Wars: The Old Republic can be fairly annoying to get, often involving lengthy platforming sequences, but particularly annoying is the Tatooine strength datacron, which is on top of a sandcrawler that you can't reach from the ground. To get there you have to ride a Jawa balloon from another sandcrawler halfway across the map. A balloon which takes about twenty minutes both ways to get between the sandcrawlers. Miss the couple seconds that the balloon is accessible or jump off at the wrong time, and you'd better be ready to sit around waiting for the next forty minutes.

    Platform Game 
  • The three Trial galaxies in Super Mario Galaxy, all extremely difficult Unexpected Gameplay Changes:
    • The Toy Time Galaxy has Luigi's Purple Coins. The time limit imposed may as well not exist, as the Green Slime of Death will see to it that you die long before your time runs out.
    • Dreadnought Galaxy's Purple Coin challenge is a giant pain in the ass, simply because the Minecart Madness style of the level means you can't miss a single one.
      • But at least Dreadnought doesn't force you to constantly switch sides on a platform with questionable physics at best, making insane jumps over huge electric fences. Battlerock, on the other hand? OH HELL YEAH!
    • Admit it. The mobius strip planet gets you every time. Damn manta rays.
      • He's talking about a planet where you have to race manta rays around an incredibly narrow track with hairpin turns, whilst dealing with crappy motion controls. Also, it's in the first galaxy in the game. This is a game intended for children, remember.
    • Don't forget the Daredevil challenge in Melty Molten Galaxy (bwahahaha).
    • The Cosmic Mario races can be tricky, but not overly difficult. The Cosmic Luigi races, on the other hand, are infuriatingly difficult. Cosmic Luigi employs many tricks that players themselves use to go quickly, such as the long jump, and makes stunts that a standard player could achieve maybe one in every ten times.
    • Not even Mario and bombs can make cleaning up garbage fun. There are two stars in Mario Galaxy that require you to clean up piles of garbage within thirty seconds, by using bombs that take ten seconds to explode.
    • Most would argue that Super Mario Galaxy 2 is one giant collection of these.
      • Especially the Grand Master Galaxy Daredevil Run. The star is aptly called "The Perfect Run" because if you make a single mistake anywhere (and there are dozens of places to make mistakes) it kills you and forces you to start over from the beginning.
  • In Super Mario Sunshine, there's the warp pipe on the desert island - simply unlocking it requires maneuvering the water-soluble Yoshi through a time-consuming and tricky series of platform jumps over water. Once you're in, all you have to do is collect the coins... over lethally toxic water... which is flowing irrevocably one way and contains strong currents that carry you away from the coins... by performing precisely timed jumps... from a moving leaf-raft that is rapidly dissolving beneath your feet... and which you have to steer with FLUDD - an unreliable and oversensitive rudder to say the least... and if you run out of lives, you have to get bloody Yoshi back on to that island all over again... (seethes quietly).
    • Watermelon Festival, requiring the player to maneuver a very fragile, difficult to control fruit through a huge clusterfuck of enemies.
    • ...which can for the most part only be stunned temporarily. Those that can be killed doesn't usually get in your way anyways. The poison river can at least be cleared even if you miss a coin or two, by slowly working your way back to the start while balancing on the stage's edge. Did I mention that the river is suspended high in the air and has an edge the width of your foot?
    • PA-FREAKING-CHINKO. Basically, you're in a giant pachinko machine, and you jump on a bouncy part of the floor to get launched way up to the top. Then you have to navigate along thin nails in the wall to get to the red coins. Missing the outcroppings in the wall is quite easy when you can't easily maneuver yourself and rotate the camera at the same time. Miss even one and you'll fall to the inescapable bottom which has a hole you jump down to your death. Then you have to start over. Which is just peaches.
    • The 250 Blue Coins. There are hidden coins scattered throughout every level in the game. And every level means every level including most of the "secrets". The blue coins vary in where they're found from obvious spots that require an unlockable power-up to doing out of the way things like spraying the moon in a specific spot to controlling a boat toward one to just spraying anything you can find. Oh, yeah, and you need 10 to get a Shine Sprite and the game doesn't tell you where to find them or even provide you with a checklist. Because looking everywhere in the world for something that seems insignificant is so much fun!
  • In Kirby Mass Attack, completing all of the list objectives with "Gold Star Champion" standing out as the toughest one due to the fact that you have to beat each level and the bosses without getting hurt to get all of the gold stars.
  • In Kirbys Return To Dreamland, after you beat the main game, there's EX-mode which is basically the game's hard mode. There's also The True Arena after you finish that, which borders on Self-Imposed Challenge if you take it on with only one player, so hopefully you have some skilled friends to help you, as some of the bosses are nearly impossible for one person alone, even if they are very skilled.
  • "Go Fast on the Trolley!" in Tomba 2. If you brake for even a millisecond longer than you should, you'll miss the time limit. And you do it twice, with an even worse time limit the second time. That assumes the ridiculous speed the trolley moves doesn't throw you off the rails beforehand. And to add salt to your wounds, the game gives you a condescending "Awww, you failed!" every time you lose. Tips and Tricks magazine, asked why the quest was so hard, answered that Whoopie Camp were sadists.
    • From the same game, the Secret Towers. Each of which requires a pair of Guide Dang It sidequests to even get the key to open. Then you have to find the door to each (also a Guide Dang It, as the game gives no hint as to where the doors are, and they're invisible). Oh, and there are three of them. Most players give up long before discovering the Platform Hell within.
      • Not to mention that one of the Tower Song Parts can become a Lost Forever if you don't complete another sidequest before defeating a certain Evil Pig. Sadistic, indeed.
      • To be fair, this could be because the developers literally hated making the sequel, so they made the entire game ridiculously hard on purpose.
  • Racing the beetle in Donkey Kong 64. It's not having to beat him that's so bad so much as the fact that you must have a certain number of coins by the end, and the beetle can make you drop some on contact.
    • Donkey Kong 64 also has the mechanical fish, which requires you to shoot out all the valves of its heart in a time limit. You literally haven't a second to spare—you'll need all 100 seconds in order to complete it and destroy the robot fish.
      • That one wouldn't be so hard if it wasn't for a glitch that makes the propeller go for longer if you have over 100 Golden Bananas, meaning you pretty much have no chance if you're trying to get it after beating opening the last level. It's possible, but requires you to exploit the ability to hit covered lights from a certain angle.
    • Beaver Bother. Herding giraffes is nothing compared to herding beavers, into a pit that seems scientifically designed to keep beavers out, in a truly absurd time limit. Even if you approach them just right, the beavers won't necessarily go in the hole. About 50% of the time a beaver will go up to the edge and just refuse to fall, even if you're approaching the proper way. Most walkthroughs will tell you that nothing will cause that beaver to fall into the hole for about 10 seconds once they decide they don't want to go in, and you only have about 60 seconds to reach your goal. One level has two Beaver Bother minigames in it.
    • Batty Barrel Bandit. It's simple: just stop the slots when the Golden Banana icons appear, get four in a row enough times, and you win! However, unless you're extremely focused, it's tough to get it right unless you've memorized it. However, the time limit is ridiculously unforgiving, and you can't afford to mess up more than twice before you run out of time.
    • Anything involving Diddy's rocketbarrels. Pain in the arse to handle, and when combined with two Pass Through the Rings challenges, it's enough to make a sane troper eat the cartridge out of pure despair.
    • All of these pale in comparison to that bloody arcade game. In order to get a golden banana for 100% completion, you must beat an (insanely difficult) version of the original Donkey Kong Arcade Game. With the old-school game's extremely precise timing and only two lives, it can take an ungodly amount of time to complete... and you have to beat it twice in order to face the end boss, where it gets harder yet.
    • And extra Golden Banana quest: hunt down all the Banana Fairies. All of them. Easy to tell if you're close to one, but good luck finding the rooms they're in, let alone taking good pictures of them..
    • The 2nd Rabbit Race has caused people to fling their controller across the room. In fact, in the some versions, he's even faster, to the point where he's even faster than Lanky while he has the Orangusprint and runs in a perfect line while. Even if you cut corners, it's entirely probable you won't be able to get ahead of him. Beating it is pretty much impossible without exploiting a glitch or getting him to get stuck on the Kasplat in the tunnel.
  • Another Rare platformer, Banjo-Kazooie, features an infamous jigsaw piece in Rusty Bucket Bay that is widely regarded as the most difficult jigsaw in the game. It requires you to head down deep into the engine room of the level's ship, press a switch, navigate through a series of very narrow platforms with rotating fans, climb a ladder to exit the ship, jump into the water, and grab the jigsaw in the ship's propellers. All within a strict time limit. Exacerbated by the fact that one misstep means failure, the difficulty of seeing the exact location of the jigsaw in the level's murky waters (which drain your Oxygen Meter at double the rate, no less), touching the blades of the propellers mean instant death, and the game's relatively imprecise swimming controls.
    • Nuts & Bolts even pokes fun at the difficulty of said Jiggy.
      • And if you haven't gotten all 100 Notes or the Jinjo Jiggy, you'd better get 'em before trying to get this Jiggy or pray that you get to it with enough time to get out from behind the propellers; grabbing the Jiggy doesn't keep 'em from starting back up!
    • Mr. Vile's minigame in Bubblegloop Swamp is another irritating one. It seems pretty simple, at first glance: fruit pop out of the holes, and the task given is to eat more fruit than Mr. Vile does. Mr. Vile, however, is pretty darn fast, and the player must transform into an incredibly slow crocodile to access the minigame. A powerup can be unlocked later in the game that gives you super speed, making it relatively easier in that respect. But don't think you've won just yet! Once you beat him, you have to beat him again, only this time, worms will pop up alongside the fruit, and eating a worm causes you to become temporarily stunned. But wait! There's more. Now you have to play the game a third time. This time, both fruit and worms pop up again, but you can only eat whatever is displayed at the top of the screen. (ex: If it shows a worm, you must eat worms, and eating fruit will stun you.) The display changes randomly from fruit to worms. The fruit and worms themselves spawn randomly as well. And it all has to be done in succession; if you screw up, it's back to the first game. It's more annoying than difficult.
      • You only have to start again from the first game if you leave the area. You can start again from where you left off, but it requires you to let him bite you, costing you two hit points.
  • Banjo-Tooie has Canary Mary. This probably wouldn't be so bad if you didn't have to race her on a vehicle powered by repeatedly mashing the A button. To make things worse, the race against her in the last major level is excruciatingly long for that control method, and she has Rubber Band A.I.. And to get 100% Completion, you have to do each race twice.
    • What about the Dynamite Ordinance challenge? Or Clinker's Cavern? Both of which consist of Banjo wandering around a maze-like area in first-person view while under a strict time limit, trying to locate and destroy a decent number of creatures which are small enough to be hidden just out of sight, in rooms that all begin to look the same. Oh, and if you don't get rid of all of the Clinkers in time, you have to escape from the area before you suffocate and lose all health. If you're lost, tough.
      • At least the Clinkers make a tell-tale noise when you're near. The hard part is finding them in the room.
  • Collecting every single Figment in Psychonauts is a task best left to the masochistic—especially in the Milla's Raceway sub-level. Due to the slope of the level, and the fact that it more or less forces you to be on your unwieldy Levitation Ball most of the way, it's very easy to fly too far or move too fast—and if you accidentally take the wrong pathway, too bad! To make matters worse, unlike most video game Plot Coupons, Figments are transparent and can phase in and out of visibility—and some of them move, meaning you have to chase them down.
    • Well, not "force"-you can get all the figments by manually going up and down the race-but it took 22 minutes to do it. While spending over twenty minutes to gain a bunch of invisible objects that don't exist, I stopped to ponder the myriad ways in which I had wasted my life. Then I went back to playing.
    • And the Black Velvetopia level, where the neon Figments fit a little too well into the black velvet level design.
    • Another thing about the game is the PUNCHING BAG MINIGAME, especially on the harder difficulties. The problem lies in the fact that the targets pop up and leave quicker than the reflexes of most human beings, and that once you've been thrown for a loop and miss a target, you miss six targets. This in itself is not bad except you lose points if you miss targets. Have fun getting that achievement.
  • Though not many people have played it (or played it and liked it, anyway), the last few Hearts in platformer Vexx are pure That One Sidequest. In the final world, you need to collect six Plot Coupons to get a Heart, and they're scattered all over an extremely twisty and precarious level with Bottomless Pits at every turn, with plenty of scrawny, moving, and electrified platforms here and there that are all just begging to send you plummeting into the abyss. And if you lose a life? Too bad! You have to start collecting them all over again! The entire level is pretty scrappy, but both of its "collect X of object Y" missions drove her to rage.
    • There's also the Sand Castle, which adds in some Guide Dang It. One of the hearts in the second world is supposed to be hidden in a "sand castle," according to its hint. There's a small castle made of sand in the desert, but it's too small to do anything with. Is it something else in the level you have to trigger? No. You have to go back to the first area and enter the castle behind the waterfall, which is an extremely trecherous platforming segment. At the bottom of one seemingly inconsequential platform, there's a thinner platform beneath, which you must Leap of Faith to, to hit a switch. This lets you into the Sand Castle... which is a Palette Swap version of the castle you just came through, and you have to do it again. Siiiigh...
    • There's also a Heart in Frostblight Mill that requires the player to fly underneath the island and grab it out of the air (with flight controls that don't allow for a whole lot of precision.) Naturally, screwing this up is probably going to get you killed.
  • Spyro 2: Ripto Rage! had a number of little side quests for orbs, one of which involves riding an infamous trolley around a track to get 50 gears for some pelican. This seemingly simple task will leave you traumatized with the phrase that horrible bird says to you every single one of the hundreds of times you are destined to fail, "Trouble with the trolley, eh?"
    • The sidequest on the caveman level where you have to protect eggs from the raptors by running around and roasting them. The first time isn't that bad, because the all the raptors appear all in a row. The second time, however, they attack in a more or less random order, forcing you to run back and forth across the area to kill them all. If you miss a single jump or take a wrong turn, you're screwed.
    • Can't forget the Alchemist side-quest.To start it's an escort mission with the mandatory stupid A.I that will walk into the enemy's range without even trying to avoid them. To make matters worse if the guy went out of his cave and to the right he can completely avoid the enemies and reach his destination in half the time.
      • That sidequest is especially notable in that, if you kill all the enemies first with Infinite Superflame, you can easily notice the Alchemist always follows the same, pre-determined path, that is programmed to run into every single enemy. That's right, you're supposed to escort him and keep him safe from all of them!
      • And it gets worse. You keep working on it; you want to finish it and get it over with. You finally do it and... wait, Headbash the Earthshapers? I don't know how to Headbash! You mean I have to come back later and escort the Alchemist AGAIN? Though, it is satisfying to return and destroy all of those Earthshapers... though Hunter gives you no clue on where he's firing, it takes a while to Headbash, and each one of them gets up after a few seconds, making this That One Sidequest as well.
    • The Crystal Popcorn was another difficult challenge, where the player had to collect more crystal pieces than Hunter, 10 during the first challenge, not that bad, 15 during the second, and Hunter's AI gets better too, also, leave the level without getting the second one, you'll have to do the first again.
    • Year of the Dragon had some tricky side quests too:
      • Box the yeti! Box the yeti again!
      • You're Doomed! You're still Doomed!
      • Whack a mole.
  • Mega Man ZX takes full advantage of its Metroidvania format in the first game. How does it do this? Area K and its thousand-times-cursed Sub Tank. First, you have to go through an area with a wave of lava following you quite closely until you get to an area that instead has a rising pool of lava. You then go up to an alternate area of the first section of the level, where you go to a computer and reset the speed of the lava to slow (somehow). After this point, you must then take the cable car back to the start of the area and go through the sub-boss battle and the entire lava wave section again, this time speeding through to a section near the middle of the area (did I mention if you miss you have to start again or die?), avoiding or quickly destroying enemies, and then you must break through a set of five pairs of blocks, the first of which forms a wall on a hanging ledge. In order to break these blocks, you must use a charged attack from a form that is not particularly mobile. And if you get too close, you will grab the wall and attack in the opposite direction and have to try again. While the lava is still approaching, mind you, which makes this require insanely careful timing. Then you go through a relatively short segment to hit a button, go back through the stage, and climb up the rising lava area again to the first section. You just went through all of this hell to unlock a gate to a door. And then, just in case you spent too many lives on the aforementioned, you have to go through a short tunnel. Lined with spikes. Underwater. And the water is boiling, so you'll periodically take damage, which snaps you out of your swimming mode, which you then have the length of your Mercy Invincibility to turn back on (by jumping and hitting the jump button again, thus risking hitting the spiked ceiling). And then you have to get back out of this (i.e. play through the entire level again) and make your way to a save point. And you can't save during this whole hellish nightmare and keep your progress, not even the state of the lava speed.
  • The Ski Slope snowboarding mission in the mission mode in Sonic Adventure DX and Sonic Adventure DX Director's Cut, where you have to pass a line of rings with three high jumps on the last three ski slopes and go flying over the capsule to get them by hitting the red and white lines on the edge of the ramp, and your timing has to be pixel-perfect. The slightest mistake forces you to repeat the mission, and every time you repeat the mission, you have to play through the entire snowboarding section over again. As if this wasn't bad enough, if you decide to save this mission for last (which is, needless to say, entirely understandable), you risk running into a bug which corrupts your save file and forces you to do everything over again, this mission included.
  • Sonic Adventure 2: Battle. Two words: Chao Garden. Not because of difficulty, but because of how unbelievably passive and tedious the Chao Garden and its games are. Also, while there are ways around it, everything in the black market costs 10 times as much as would be reasonably expensive.
    • If you think the Sonic Adventure 2 Chao Garden is bad, the Sonic Adventure DX version is ten times more infuriating. There aren't any Chaos Drives, so the only way to raise chao skills is racking up a lot of small animals (Which give bigger bonuses towards levels, but subtract from stats that the animal is bad at.) And the Chao Races are made much more difficult by not being able to use your chao's Stamina skill as a speed boost, as hitting the buttons just makes pointless noise, oh, and if you do that you might accidentally give the opponent a speed boost, as the focus of the race keeps changing between your chao and the other 7 that you don't want to win. Its not all bad if you trick the system into giving Animal stats without using the Animal. But it still takes a long time.
      • It really is not as bad as it could be if you realize the following. First, in both games a chao can easily get all the emblems before their first reincarnation, meaning you only have to raise it once. Two, animals are significantly better than chaos drives, it takes about 3 animals(2 if flying) on average to level up that stat, but it takes about 5-7 chaos drives to level up. Third, you cannot level down due to animals, so if you had just leveled up with power, and start feeding the chao bunnies, you very little/no power. Fourth, the amount it takes to level is constant no matter how high your level is, so the amount it takes to get from level 97-98 is the same as it takes to go from 1-2. Lastly, you can transfer your chao between SA1 and SA2 via GBA link cable, so you only need 1 strong chao for some 10+ emblems? That's nothing compared to the amount of time it takes to get the all A rank emblems.
    • A lot of the bonus mission are also incredibly difficult to get an A rank on. The "find the lost" chao missions are nigh impossible without using a guide, and Rouge and Tails' go-kart missions (with requirements like "don't hit any other cars" and "don't touch the walls") are also painfully difficult.
    • The Cannon's Core chao has had eluded many players to the point of insanity. Remember, this level is about teamwork, and finding the chao here is no different.
  • Many people who have played Rayman 2 don't even know that the 1000th lum even exists. You need to look at one section of a wall in a cutscene to realize that it's a camouflaged secret tunnel to the 1000th lum. Despite your completion rate reaching 100%, the game still says that you have 999/999 lums.
    • How the 1000th lum got there is a mystery, since Razourbeard ATE it early in the game.
    • Thankfully made easier in the Playstation version, where there are only 800 lums and Razorbeard eats a red lum instead.
  • Getting all of anything in a Mega Man X game certainly qualifies.
    • Special mention goes to Mega Man X6 which has you looking for over one hundred hostages to receive powerups,, and if you fail to save them before they're contaminated with a Nightmare Virus, they're Lost Forever and you have to restart your game to try again.
      • Even better, one reploid has a Nightmare spawn almost right on top of him, meaning you have to immediately shoot it down or lose him.
  • The Super Mario Advance series gives us a few:
  • Super Mario World, getting all 96 levels. But that means all the exits. Including Valley Ghost House's alternate exit. And Tubular in the Special World.
  • In Yoshi's Island getting 100% in each world is Platform Hell, but 'Kamek's Revenge' takes the cake. Just getting to the skiing section is a nightmare, only to require the player to time each jump exactly right or start the entire level over again.
    • This is just the tip of the iceberg, almost every level in this game after the first world is That One Level as far as 100% is concerned. Each of the three objectives involved presents their own issues:
      • Find 5 flowers. Even once you find their actual location (and the designed had no compunction against putting them in invisible ? clouds) you have to figure out how to touch it or nail it with an egg. An Auto-Scrolling Level presents obvious problems along with this.
      • Collect 20 red coins. Most of these are hidden among regular coins, with just the slightest difference in color to differentiate them, and usually in spots that complicate already-tricky jumps. Others are hidden in side areas, frequently the kind that require replaying the entire level if missed once, or in flashing eggs, which have to be broken on something solid. Only a couple of levels have 21 red coins, most of which appear to be miscounts during level design, exactly one is a pressure-relief valve for a missable coin on mutually exclusive paths earlier in the level.
      • Finish with 30 stars. Stars are functionally Yoshi's Hit Points, copious in supply but lost just as easily. It's far to common to meet the other two requirements, then got poked on the home stretch and lose [[Last Lousy Point one measly star) getting Baby Mario back. There is an item that instantly restores 20 stars (giving you an instant perfect on top of your regenerating base 10), but these are rare and hard to find. That is, until you unlock the minigame to farm them... by getting all 100% in a certain world. Did I mention all these apply in full force to boss levels (and you can't use items during boss battles)?
  • Nearly every timed mission in Sonic Rush Adventure requires near-perfect timing. There is almost no margin for error, lest you fall short of the arbitarily short time limit.
    • Rush's Spiritual Successor Sonic Colors DS has Mission 2 in Sweet Mountain where you have to rescue 25 Wisps. It isn't that hard if all you're trying to do is pass it or collect it's red rings. However, it becomes a total nightmare when trying to S rank the mission. The part that especially makes it hard is when you reach the robot that tosses you up in the air where you have to dodge the balloon bombs to enter its mouth. You move at a very slow pace during that part which wastes your time and since it's a rescue Wisps mission, there are no extra time capsules to earn to give you extra time on the mission's countdown timer. By the time you're past the robot part you probably won't have enough time left to earn an S rank during this mission.
  • Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped allows the player to reach 105% completion by earning at least golden relics from every stage of the game. This is made very difficult by the fact that the game features several different types of levels and simply rushing through won't work in all of them.
  • Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus has the Master Thief Sprints, speedruns of every platforming level. They're noticeably more difficult than anything else in the game. Tellingly, no other Sly game used them, and the version on the PS3 doesn't offer any trophies for completing them.
  • The Challenge Rooms in Bionic Commando Rearmed. Many of the later ones require insane coordination and timing, and can be Guide Dang Its. And you need to complete all of them for the achievement.

    Rhythm Game 
  • Guitar Hero III. "Through The Fire and Flames". Don't kid yourself into thinking you are Dragonforce. You're not Dragonforce.
    • It's relatively easy on Hard (compared to other songs on Hard), but Expert... not so much.
  • Rock Band: on guitar, "Green Grass and High Tides", on drums "Run to the Hills"—both not really because they're absurdly difficult, but because they're long, long songs that require the player to keep a very fast rhythm throughout. You will get painful cramps halfway through. Then you'll mess up and have to start over from the top to get those precious, precious golden stars. For sheer difficulty there's the DLC "Snow ((Hey Oh))" which calls for lightning fast hammer-ons all the way through.
    • The real fun part is that if you play "Snow" on Rock Band 2 or any newer Rock Band game, the updated procedure for determining hammer-on and pull-off notes means that instead of lightning fast hammer-ons, you mostly need lightning-fast strums while changing frets.
      • "Short and sweet" on Lego Rock Band. The song is not particularly difficult or challenging - on the opposite it's very easy, but it grows very repetitive on all of the instruments, it's overly long (7 minutes!), and it's boring, boring, boring as hell. Expect your drummer to fell asleep on his instruments halfway.
  • Some of the DDR releases have one step chart that's clearly much more difficult than the rest. DDRMAX had the first stepchart (i.e. the sequence of arrows you have to hit) with a difficulty rating of 10, on a song named Max 300 for its very fast BPM. DDRMAX2 continued the tradition with Maxx Unlimited. On any given difficulty, these songs usually have the hardest stepchart on that difficulty. In the home versions, mastering a difficulty meant getting an "A" grade in every song on that difficulty, which basically boiled down to beating the Max song on that difficulty. (Later games tended to have several songs this hard).
  • DJ MAX Portable 2 has missions that require you to complete a set of songs while fulfilling one or two goals at the same time (such as getting a high enough combo, keeping your accuracy high enough as you go from one song to the next, etc.). The earlier missions aren't too bad...with the exception of the "Rave 2 Wave" mission, which forces you to use the annoying CHAOS-W modifier, which causes notes to move in a wave-like fashion. And then you have the entirety of the later missions—one mission tasks you with getting a high score, but at the same time increasing your scroll speed every time you use Fever. Another picks 4 random songs for you, turns on the Random Max modifier, and must be completed with less than 20 Breaks. Perhaps the most infamous missions is "Just 1%", which requires you to, on top of using Fever a certain amount of times in a row per song, automatically fails you if you get the MAX 1% judgment on a single note, all while having you play some of the hardest songs in the game.
  • Obtaining all the Perfects in any game the Rhythm Heaven series. In order to get a Perfect rank in a minigame, you naturally have to complete it without making a single mistake, which is hard enough as it is (keep in mind, the games are very finicky about what counts as a mistake. You have to be completely precise; getting a "half-hit" won't count). But, oh wait, you can't just choose any minigame and try to get a Perfect on it, you have to wait until one is picked at random, and then you're given three tries to get a Perfect on it before you lose the opportunity. After that, you'll just have to wait until the next time it's picked. You can't even ignore it and try to complete it later when you feel it, because playing a different minigame instead still takes up one of your chances. Even if you're generally good at the games, the added pressure of knowing you only get a limited number of chances really doesn't help for your concentration, and it just plain sucks when you complete a minigame perfectly when it hasn't been called up, it won't count.
  • BIT.TRIP COMPLETE comes with 120 Challenges; 20 in each of the six games. To complete a challenge, you have to make a perfect run through it - hit all the Beats, dodge any Avoid Beats, etc. In RUNNER, this also extends to hitting everything that gives points - but not all of them, or else you jump into a pit or another enemy. Challenges like Labyrinth (VOID: get through a maze of Avoid Beats and collect the Beats in a strict time limit); Fool You Once (RUNNER: a large portion of stuff that give you points actually forces you into enemies, also needs to time the jump pads for specific spots); Back Attack (FATE: a large portion of enemies come from the back, and so must stay alive to fire off at least a few shots to collect their Cores); and Harder, Faster (FLUX: starts slow, increases in speed and difficulty, and essentially limits your view to nothing in the middle of it all) require near mastery of the system being used.

    Roguelike 
  • Recruiting Kecleon in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games. In the Rescue Team games, you need to raise a Pokemon to level 100, equip a Friend Bow, and defeat Kecleon until one joins you. It's a 1/1000 chance and they're insanely strong and at double Speed, but persistence is key. The Explorers games complicate this a bit. In order to make it even possible for a Kecleon to join you, you need to raise a Pokemon that can learn the Fast Friend IQ skill to level 100 and feed it enough gummis that it can learn said IQ skill. But wait—there's more. You either need the Golden Mask or Amber tear, one is in a 99-floor dungeon that reduces your level to 1, while the other is in a 40-level dungeon with similar restrictions. If you get that, you still only have a 1/200 chance and those Kecleon can still kill you effortlessly. You'd better have a plan and a ton of Reviver Seeds.
    • Actually, the Golden Mask is located in Zero Isle North- which is 74 floors (the 75th is a floor with two Wonder Gummis, a Wonder Chest and the aforementioned item) This dungeon is radically different from the other Zero Isles in that you keep your current level and items- the only restriction is that gaining of experience is disabled. You'll need all your levels and IQ, however; as the pokemon start at about Lv50 (for reference, when you unlock this dungeon, you're pushing Lv45 without Wonder Mail abuse) and midway through the dungeon the average level is 82, peaking at 90. The last 25 floors all contain Lv90 pokemon. That's not counting the plagues of trap doors that await you with an average of 10 per floor from Floor 20 onwards. That 40 floor dungeon doesn't look so bad, especially if you bring Smoochum along. Those Kecleon also get a boost in the Explorers games- increased stats and TRIPLED SPEED.
    • Any escort mission in a higher level dungeon, especially when you don't know what the target floor is. You can't control them at all like you can your partners, and they're prone to wandering off in the wrong direction.
  • In Azure Dreams, finding the Healing Herb for Cherrl is a nightmare because it looks just like every other herb in the game and it can only be found on the 28th floor, which has plenty of powerful monsters on it, not to mention that if you find it, and don't escape the tower , there's a possibility that the healing herb might be Lost Forever and prevents you from curing Cherrl's illness.
    • Also finding out how to activate the construction of certain buildings, considering that some of them can only be created after you reach the top of the monster tower.
  • Ancient Domains of Mystery features several truly painful ones.
    • If you refrain from killing cats for the entire game, you get a very good artifact ring. Most cats you meet will be hostile. Don't feel like bothering? Not only do you miss the ring, but you have to fight the cat lord.
    • Saving Khevalaster requires the player to find an amulet of life saving, and they aren't exactly common...
    • Satisfying the demented ratling requires you to feed him six artifacts. There's several that are guaranteed to be generated, but getting all of them together can be tricky. Oh, and when you get the secret out of him, he sends you off to kill Keriax.
    • Gaab'Baay offers several difficult fetch quests. One of them requires you to find a giant boar skull. Giant boars are rare, very powerful, and don't always drop their skulls. Then, she asks you to find a scroll of danger, which is often even harder to find.
    • There are two quests that require you to remember the first monster you killed: the Courage Quest and the quest to kill Filk. The Courage Quest requires you to kill twenty more of the monsters you've first killed; if you started on a rare monster, this is easier said than done. As for Filk, he's found on the same level of the Infinite Dungeon as the number of kills, i.e. if you've killed fifty of the same kind of monster that was your first kill, then he'll be on level fifty. If you forgot what your first kill was, the Courage quest is nigh-impossible to complete, and the Filk quest basically requires you to brute-force it and search every level until you find him.
    • Hell, even saving a freaking puppy is a nightmare, as the dungeon its trapped in is full of Demonic Spiders and it's time limit is ridiculously short.
    • Getting the Scepter of Chaos requires you to dive down to level 66 of the Infinite Dungeon, retrieve the Scepter from MaLaKaI (a massively powerful Chaos Knight), and then climb out. With the mechanics of the Infinite Dungeon, it's the equivalent of going through a 131 level dungeon. Also, keep in mind that the Scepter of Chaos corrupts when you carry it, meaning you'll get quite badly corrupted as you climb out.
  • FTL: Faster Than Light has sidequests available to unlock new ships. One in particular, the Crystal Cruiser, requires an insane string of luck.
    • First, find the destroyed crystal ship. The ship is found during an event in which you find a distress call coming from within an Asteroid Thicket, which only happens in Engi, Pirate, or Rock sectors. In addition, the event does not always spawn the crystal ship; other times you might find a wrecked pirate ship or find the crystal ship but fail to reach it. note 
    • Then, take the Damaged Stasis Pod from the crystal ship. You have to choose it over a random weapon and spare scrap, and it takes up an augment slot.
    • Then, find the Zoltan Sleep Research event, which allows you to reactivate it and grants you a Crystal crewmember. Said event is guaranteed to spawn in Zoltan sectors, and occasionally spawns in Engi sectors.
    • Then, find the Rock Homeworlds, which is not always guaranteed to spawn, and which may not be accessible even if it does spawn.
    • Then, find a specific event in Rock Homeworlds (thankfully, this one is marked) that allows you to travel through a wormhole to the Crystal Home Sector.
    • Finally, reach the marked beacon in the Crystal Home Sector. Note that you may be attacked by crystal ships along the way, which are armed with very powerful weapons and strong crewmembers that resist asphyxiation.

    Role Playing Game 
  • Final Fantasy X is a prime offender. Obtaining each character's Infinity+1 Sword is an extremely simple effort, but acquiring the sigils, key items that are required to power up each weapon to its full potential, is invariably a highly arduous task. Infamously, getting two sigils requires achieving a perfect score in a highly luck-based chocobo racing minigame, which is every bit as annoying as it sounds, and by dodging two hundred lightning bolts in a row in another minigame that demands, well, lightning-quick reflexes. Wakka's sigil and Overdrives, while not difficult to acquire by any means, require at least ten hours of Blitzball, the game's love-it-or-hate-it unexpected gameplay change minigame.
    • The lightning bolts were comparatively easy compared to the chocobo racing task (had 0.7s) for a long, long time. The logical conclusion is that whoever programmed that one had a grudge against the guy who designed Caladbolg.
      • To elaborate, you are racing the chocobo trainer, and you are seeking a time of 0.0 seconds (hitting a balloon is a 3 second bonus, and being hit by a bird is a 3 second penalty). That by itself is difficult enough, but the game goes out of its way to make it even harder. The trainer will jostle with you, interfering with your position, the chocobo is difficult to control and will always seek to progress toward the finish line even if you'd rather hit a balloon, birds will come at you in positions that are impossible to dodge (including when you're stunned from being hit by a bird), and the camera changes angles at inopportune times.
    • The butterfly minigame. You have to run down paths, collecting all the blue butterflies, while avoiding all the red ones, all before time runs out. What's that? That sounds easy to you? Well then, perhaps we should mention the Depth Deception-inducing camera angles, the dark blue lighting that makes identifying the colors ridiculously difficult, and the fact that each time you fail, you have to fight a battle (the penalty for hitting a red butterfly) before backtracking all the way back to the start. The time between attempts is always longer than the attempts themselves.
    • European gamers have it even worse: if you don't collect all crests as you go along, you'll have to backtrack later... usually through paths containing a Dark Aeon. And getting one of the spheres necessary to get Auron's best Overdrive also involves getting past one.
      If you forget either of two specific treasures the first time you visit the temples in the PAL version, you have to face some of the Dark Aeons just to regain access to those temples. This can really screw you over if you're trying to fully-power Yuna's Celestial Weapon, because you NEED all the Aeons to do that, which in turn requires all of the treasures.
    • Rikku's Sigil isn't annoying for its difficulty, but for its duration - you have to do a lot of walking, often to areas of Bikanel that are spelled out in unnecessarily cryptic fashion by a stone about twenty miles from the nearest save point. Even with a "No Encounters" item strapped to one of your characters, you'll still be walking around a very boring desert for something like three hours.
    • Also finding all 26 of the Al Bhed journals to translate the Al Bhed language one letter at a time can be a real pain considering that several of them can be Lost Forever if your not thorough with your searches.
  • Final Fantasy XII is another bad one. To get the game's most powerful Infinity+1 Sword, you need a strategy guide, because it requires you to leave four treasure chests alone without giving you the slightest indication of where those chests are. There's another way to get the weapon, but it's a 1/1000 random treasure chest drop. Another nasty sidequest involves a trek into Phase 2 of the Henne Mines, the game's most difficult Bonus Dungeon. It's an hour-long journey through a narrow and confusing dungeon infested with Goddamned Bats. There are no saves, and at the end of the Mines is Zodiark, one of the game's three most difficult optional bosses. The reward for beating Zodiark is the ability to use him as a summon, but because he requires the character to be under a certain dangerous status to use his ultimate attack, Zodiark is Awesome, but Impractical.
    • The 1/1000 chest isn't as bad when you consider the easily manipulated RNG, if you know how to manipulate it.
    • Danjuro, the ultimate dagger, is dropped by a single Rare Game, which has as its requirement 256 enemies to be slain in the Great Crystal, and then at least another 32 each subsequent time. All of the enemies are at a particularly high level, and can even take out Level 99 characters if given half a chance. While there are an unlimited number of enemies to kill, each one can take at least ten seconds to kill. If a player killed one every ten seconds, the first spawn would take 42 minutes to appear. Add onto that the obviously low drop rate for the Danjuro, and you've got a quest that is begging to be evaded via cheating or skillful moving around. Similar enemies have confirmed quirks to make dropping easier, i.e. Helvinek's Grand Helms by leaving the screen as the enemy dies.
    • Pretty much any of the ultimate weapon sidequests with the exception of Fomalhaut (which can be obtained long before the end of the game).
    • In Final Fantasy XII, filling the Sky Pirate's Den is an example of That One Sidequest made up of other That One Sidequests: finding all thirteen espers, completing all Hunts, completing the beastiary (of 500 monsters, several of which are 'rare spawns' and may only have a 1% chance to spawn, one particular set requires you to take an hour and a half to completely wipe out two adjacent zones to get the target monster to spawn, fourteen times), defeating a dozen hidden optional bosses in nondescript mazes (one of which, Yiazmat, requires two hours for a speedrun of maxed-out level 99 characters), powerlevelling every character about 20 levels above the point you fight the final boss, perform all the end-of-combo Concurrences (when you have no in-game way of finding out how many there are let alone how to do them), and fully exploring every map (including unmarked hidden areas). And to top it all off, this isn't what gives you 100% Completion — completing the Den is is a prerequisite for a completely different challenge.
    • Finding Omega Mk. XII is an exercise in hair-pulling frustration. The most satisfying part isn't beating him, but actually tracking the mofo down.
  • Final Fantasy VI has several:
    • Intangir. Not hinted at all in the guides or the game, but invisible, extremely powerful, heals from any elemental attack (a.k.a. all your magic at this point except Stone and a few Rages), uses Meteo (does a lot of damage to two party members as a counter) and then turns invisible again. If you use him as a Rage, he just casts Pep Up (suicide attack that takes all your MP and HP and gives it to an ally, and ejects you from the battle so you can't be revived). But if you want to have 100% completion, you have to fight him. Except...Gau still doesn't have 100% completion because of a bug! Oh, and did we mention that you can only find Intangir in the first half of the game? Or that it is stronger and has more HP than the final boss of the first half? (In older versions of the game, you could utilize a Good Bad Bug to kill him in one turn, but that's no longer an option in the Game Boy Advance version.)
    • There's also the Auction House, which you must visit in order to obtain the Zona Seeker and Golem magicite. It isn't very challenging because it only involves sitting through the auction, but the chances of either one appearing are incredibly small. Even worse, in the GBA remake you are required to get a sword from there if you want the Gilgamesh esper; while you'll always get it to show up by talking to the guy outside, it costs 500,000 gil. If you buy a bare minimum of gear, you may have 300,000 gil by that point...
    • Mog is a total Guide Dang It, but you don't want to go into the Esper world without him. You also can't get Umaro unless you have Mog.
    • Mog's Water Rondo, especially. The only time when you go underwater is the serpent trench in the World of Balance. If you get to the World of Ruin and then see his empty slot when you're going for 100% Completion then you're too late. And even when you pick up Mog in the WoB, the serpent trench is probably the furthest thing from your mind at that point, right when the story is really picking up speed. The saving grace was in the Advance remake where you get to have one last underwater battle versus Leviathan. And even then, you had to have Mog in your party while fighting him.
    • Strago has one of these if you're trying to get all of his Lores. One in particular, Force Field, is only cast by Doom in Kefka's castle. The boss is pretty much at the end of the dungeon, right before the final boss himself, and you're going in with three parties. This means that if you don't explicitly know which party goes to that boss, and you guessed wrong on your first run-through, then you have to teleport out of the dungeon and try again. That and all the high-powered monsters in Kefka's castle, plus the castle being pretty much a Boss Rush in itself makes this all the more irritating.
    • The Phoenix Cave. Requires a whole lot of switching, and if one party dies, both parties are dead. Not to mention actually finding the dungeon can be quite difficult to begin with... To make matters worse, it's required for two of the best weapons, the best shield, one of the best healing spells, AND the best attack spell.
    • Doom Gaze (Deathgaze in the GBA translation). That name isn't just for show; he specializes in One-Hit Kill attacks, and he runs away after a few shots (though, thankfully, he can't heal himself). And how do you find him? By flying randomly around the world, of course!
  • The Coliseum. It's where you get some of the best items in the game, including the Infinity+1 Sword. To get these items, you have to bid specific items and then send a single character into the arena to fight a monster one-on-one. The problem is that the character you send is then controlled by an RNG, with no player input whatsoever. Some characters (Sabin in particular is notorious for this) have been known to outright commit suicide in the Coliseum, and even if they don't take it quite that far, it's doubtful they'll actually make competent use of the Game Breaker setups you give them. If your character loses, you lose the item you bid...which will often be a unique item, forcing you to reload your save. It's a Luck-Based Mission of the highest order, and for no good reason whatsoever. Add to that the Guide Dang It factor of the items you need to bid being spelled out all of absolutely nowhere, and it's no wonder the Coliseum is so hated.
  • The GBA version brings the Dragon's Den, a highly confusing dungeon filled with powerful enemies and mini-bosses that could give the final boss a run for his money, rematches with the eight Legendary Dragons which are much, much stronger than before, ending with a battle against the even nastier Kaiser Dragon. Better yet, for 100% Completion you have to complete the Dragon's Den twice, as you'll then fight yet another Bonus Boss, Omega Weapon where the Kaiser was.
  • THE FISHING. Oh, by Demon and Fiend, THE FISHING. To help the game's resident Cid recover from illness, you need to consistently feed him the fastest fish, caught by hand at the shore, on a timer. You can only step one tile into the water. There are four speeds of fish, and the fastest ones don't always appear. He DIES if you don't heal him. Honestly, you can't really blame the Video Game Cruelty Potential abusers with that thing.
  • While we're on Final Fantasies, there's also the Sunken Gelkina in Final Fantasy VII. Completely optional, but a prime source for some rare Materia and stat-boosting Sources. Of course, to get them you have to fight unique creatures that can take three or four 9,999 HP Demis before normal attacks can take them down. And wipe out the party without breathing hard (if you've been progressing normally up to that point and not Level Grinding). Fun.
    • There's a reason why Yuffie's Infinity+1 Sword is one of the first weapons you can find in that dungeon: Using the morph command with it does not reduce its attack power. Combine the Morph materia with Double Cut or Slash-all and...
    • Two words: Emerald Weapon. For one thing, it's a Timed Boss. You get twenty minutes to cut down its one million hitpoints. This can be removed with the Underwater materia, but not only is finding that a massive Guide Dang It, it does nothing else. Then there's Aire Tam Storm, which is based off of how much materia the party is carrying, and since you fight Emerald Weapon near the end of the game, it's possible for the attack's damage to be a One-Hit Kill...
    • CHOCOBO. BREEDING.
      • Guide Dang It meets Luck-Based Mission with a side of Squick. And if you sold your Chocobo Lure materia, forget it.
      • The game does just hand you a Gold Chocobo if you don't care about Chocobo Racing and just want the stuff it can get to. Of course, you get it by killing the aforementioned Ruby Weapon.
    • Getting all the Enemy Skills is pretty difficult. One of them won't get all of them because only bosses use Trine and you get it after you kill the last boss that uses it (unless you wait to complete the Pagoda sidequest until after you get the last Enemy Skill Materia). You can only get Pandora's Box once. Chocobuckle is even worse, because if you're too strong, or you think I've got KOR now so why don't I just sell Chocobo Lure?, you won't get it. And a spell actually has to hit and you survive it; Manipulate is pretty much the only way this will happen with some spells, and some have instant death.
      • It bears mentioning that one of the easiest skills to pick up is "Death Force" (requires Manipulate, but that's one of the most useful tools against that particular enemy's autocounter attacks anyway). Death Force makes a character immune to instant death attacks and is super useful (to the point of being necessary) to pick up a skill like "Roulette" (which randomly kills a single target, make sure to use Death Force on the manipulated enemy itself too, just in case).
  • Final Fantasy IX. Excalibur II. It requires a ridiculous Speed Run, and is found in the final dungeon, after most other sidequests become unavailable- suffice to say that if you completed the game fast enough to find it, you didn't experience much of the game. The PAL version is an incredibly major offender. Because of the game playing slower but the timer still going at a normal pace, it's so extremely hard, for years it was thought to be impossible on the PAL version of the game.
    • Well, yeah actually. Running through Final Fantasy IX under 12 hours (which implies that the gamer has to already jump through hoops and do some strategic homework to survive a few fights) proves that you don't need the sword after having made it so far already in such a short amount of time. Running through 4 discs (on one of the better games in the series) for a 108 powered holy sword really screams Schmuck Bait. After having done all of the work, what would really be the point in using that sword when any possible threat that required that sword is already dead?
    • In addition, locking it to those who don't do a speed run is. On that note, Quina's skills, like most games' Blue Magic, definitely qualifies. Instead of merely being hit by the attack, Quina has to 'Eat' enemies, meaning their HP must be dropped to 12.5% (or 25% if Quina is Tranced) and then using the command, with no indication whether the enemy will give a skill or not.
    • Getting the highest score in Tetra Master. There are hundred different cards in the game and you can carry 100 at once. For max points you have to get 1 of each, some of which are only used by one player in the entire world. If you’ve found the right player, you may still have to play several times against him before he uses the card you want. Even if he uses it, you have to win the round and have the card turned into your color by the end of the battle to get it. That battles between cards are often randomly decided, doesn’t help either. Then you have to have a different arrow combination on each of your cards. If two cards have the same arrow combination, you get less points, even if the cards are unique otherwise. And then you have to get each card to rank A. Normally cards start with either rank P(hysical) or M(agical). Then, when you use them in the card game, they get randomly (and very rarely) upgraded to rank X, if you have them battle other cards. Then, when you use them after they turned X, you use them again and they may turn to rank A (what is even more rare than turning to X). And you have to do this with all 100 of your cards. Oh, and while you’re trying to get them to rank A, you may loose a game and the other payer takes your unique card, meaning, you have to win it back from him. And the best of all? You don’t even get a reward for doing all this. Not even a Bragging Rights Reward. Nothing, except the score shown in your card menu.
  • Final Fantasy IV the Pink Tail, needed to get the best armor in the game. It is randomly dropped by the Pink Puffs/Flan Princesses, which only appear in a single room in the final dungeon and have a 1 in 64 chance of appearing in a given battle. Even if you did find the Pink Puffs, each one has only a 1 in 64 chance of actually dropping said ore (and that's when it dropped an item at all, which only has a 1 in 20 chance of happening). Some players have literally fought hundreds of battles against the Pink Puffs and not received a single Pink Tail - very annoying to say the least.
    • In the original Japanese version (and the subsequent re-makes in all regions), the 1 in 64 drop rate (on top of 1 in 20 chance of dropping anything) applied not only to the Pink Tail, but also to FOUR optional summons for Rydia and nearly every character's best weapon; the fact that the enemies which can drop these items appear more often than the Pink Puffs offsets this only slightly. Subsequent versions of the game added even more subquest items with this property. If you try to get them during the regular course of the game, expect to be obscenely overlevelled by the time you get to the end!
  • In Final Fantasy X-2, the sidequests to get the Lady Luck and Mascot Dresspheres are difficult (read: virtually impossible) unless you're good at math, and have a ton of patience and a guide book. And a willingness to play the game about six times to get a perfect score up through the end of Chapter Four. If you even forget to rest in one chapter, no Mascot dressphere for you. If you don't beat Shinra during the actual Spherebreak tournament, you have a 50% lowered chance of getting Lady Luck until the end of that chapter, and a 75% by Chapter Five (at least, I believe those are the numbers). Lady Luck is actually completely worth the trouble (doubled EXP, Gil, Items, and the points you need to gain new abilities).
  • Final Fantasy VIII has the Queen of Cards sidequest, which sounds straightforward at first: trade unique Triple Triad cards to the Queen of Cards so that her artist father can create new unique cards. The problem is that you can't just give her the cards she asks for - you have to lose them to her in a card game, during which she's likely to use the Random draw rule and one of any number of bizarre trade rules designed to make sure you lose half your other unique cards to her in the process, all of which you'll have to win back the hard way. Every time she wins or loses a unique card, she moves to a new randomly-selected location somewhere around the world map, with only a vague hint as to her destination. The cards that she requested, and the new uniques her father creates, are distributed to random NPCs around the world with no hints to their locations at all. Failure to complete this quest before Disc 4 results in all these cards becoming Lost Forever, although you can still encounter the Queen of Cards. Oh, and hey, the Random rule has spread throughout this region.
    • Technically, all of the cards in the Queen of Cards Quest can be obtained from the Left Diamond Girl aboard the Ragnarok on Disk 4, but just to be able to challenge her requires that you complete not one but two vaguely hinted-at sidequests (the CC Group and the Chocobo Forests), plus realize that the Ragnarok is even available on Disk 4, when everything that the game has told you so far would indicate that it's not, and find the convoluted path that takes you to it.
    • Also notable is the Obel Lake sidequest, in which Squall must talk to a mysterious shadow hidden in an inconspicuous lake on the world map, who gives him vague clues to find more vague clues at locations that have no significance otherwise. These clues lead you to rocks with seemingly random letters on them that create an anagram when grouped together. When you finally get to the end of the sidequest, the treasure you find is a Three Stars, which teaches a GF the ability to cast three spells for the cost of one. Not really worth the trouble, especially since you can get them elsewhere.
    • And the minigame where you have to treasure hunt by talking to different rocks and hope they lead you to the treasure in the field of nothing but different colored rocks.
    • Several sidequests in Final Fantasy VIII with Centra Ruins, where you must first go through the ruins and defeat Odin under an unnerving time limit and then battle dozens of powerful Tonberries in order to summon and defeat the extremely powerful Tonberry King (none of this is hinted in the game) and Chocobo Forests, where you must find several annoyingly secluded forests throughout the world map and solve the confusing puzzles within, with the only in game help being a cryptic douchebag who more often than not leads you in the wrong direction, sidequests being arguably the worst.
    • The Deep Sea Research Facility deserves a mention too. The first challenge, defeating two Ruby Dragons and then Bahamut in a sequence, is not particularly challenging to a player who knows what they're doing and is Genre Savvy enough to solve the puzzle quickly. The second challenge, reaching the Bonus Boss at the bottom of the dungeon, is significantly harder and can be a nightmare for the unprepared, as it involves a resource-management puzzle to even reach the lowest level and be able to access the boss; screw it up and you'd better have saved at the beginning or your efforts were all for nothing. The puzzle has two possible solutions, the easier of which results in the player wading through unavoidable monster encounter after encounter. And just to add insult to injury, the save point at the bottom? It's hidden. Hope you remembered to learn and junction Move-Find.
    • Also, those monster encounters? They start with simple mooks and then climb from there the further down you go, till you're fighting Ruby Dragons in GROUPS. When I entered the DSRF, I was a level 47. When I left, I was a 99.
  • Dragon Quest VII is the game where you find God. And then find out he's really the devil. But after you beat him, you have a sidequest where you can find God again. But you have to get all the shards, some of which can be Lost Forever, to go to one dungeon, where you find shards for the other dungeon, and then you can fight God.
    • Dragon Quest VIII has the Dragovian sidequest. Works fine until you face the Darksteel Dragon.
      • Humorously, during the Boss Rush against all the dragon's forms, the Darksteel Dragon is the easiest if you have Dragon Soul, since all forms have their HP halved, and Darksteel's gimmick is very low HP and very, VERY high defenses, and Dragon Soul ignores defense. All other forms require 2 or 3 shots of Dragon Soul from a fully-tensioned hero. Against Darksteel? One shot at 20 tension, maybe 50, and he's done.
  • Suikoden has one in the form of a Betting Minigame, which you must win to get some of the characters and thus achieve the 100% Completion and Secret Ending. The fact that such game relies so much on luck (or is blatantly rigged, depending who you ask) and also can suck your money dry has earned it a Troper Fan Nickname: 'The Game that Shall not Be Named'. That and the original name is kind of silly-sounding.
    • The first game's version can actually be a decent moneymaker (though it doesn't beat the "Coin in the cup" game), but the second game ups the difficulty to an insane degree.
    • The dice game is the best bit maker once you can do maximum bets, but Suikoden II's game will make you want to destroy your television.
      • A bit of Fridge Brilliance here— in the first game, the gambler character obviously wanted to join your team and was using the Triple Storm game as a formality. In the second game, it was run by a con artist who really didn't care that much about your army, just making money.
    • Try leveling up every playable character's weapon to their maximum level. Have fun obtaining the money to do that, especially if you don't like playing Triple Storm or the Coin Game.
    • Finding Pesmerga in the first game is pretty annoying mainly because you have to go all the way back to the top of Neclord's castle pretty late in the game, and you can't use an escape talisman in that area to instantly warp you outside afterwards.
      • Also finding the ultimate magician Crowley in the first game, because he's hidden deep within a cave, and you have to feel around the walls for the secret passage to his chamber.
      • Recruiting Clive is also a pain because it's basically a Luck-Based Mission late in the game. It's easy, but it might take a lot longer than it should.
    • In the second game, getting all the Recipes for the cooking mini-game can be a chore, especially with the notoriously hard to get recipe #24 from the Do Re Mi Elves, and especially if you're trying for Clive's Quest at the same time, which is another "That One Sidequest" for it's time limit.
      • Funny thing that while getting the Recipes are That One Sidequest, the actual cooking mini-game is a fan favorite.
      • Of course the fishing mini game to get the ingredients needed to actually cook all the recipies outside the mini game is an exercise is mind numbing tedium.
    • The Aforementioned Clive's Quest is a time-limit game that unless one is doing the Matilda Gate Trick, is pretty hard to accomplish whilst still A) getting all 108 stars, B) Leveling up at a decent rate C) collecting anything, including some Lost Forever items like Recipe #24, it's a very fine Juggling act.
    • Getting all the dogs in Suikoden III.
  • In Pokémon, of course, the biggest goal for completionists is that you Gotta Catch Them All. But this requires so much work that only the most dedicated players will be able to do it... And you have only a limited time before the next gen comes out, making you do it all over again with an even bigger number of Pokemon.
    • Special mention has to go out to Feebas. In both of the two generations that it's obtainable in, it's only available through fishing on one route. Sounds simple enough. Except that you can only catch it by fishing on a handful of specific water squares. In an area like this. Did I mention that the squares are set randomly every time a completely-unrelated saying in an entirely unrelated town changes, which can happen on a whim? Oh, and if you ever do eventually find one, make sure it's got a nature that prefers dry Pokeblocks/Poffins, since feeding it an obscene amount of these is the only way to evolve it into something useful.
      • This also leads to another That One Sidequest trying to find Mirage Island, which is the only place to get some of the rarest and most powerful berries in the game. To clarify, you have to go to Pacifidlog Town, which is pretty late in the game and talk to an old man in a house looking out a window who will say if he sees Mirage Island that day or not that day. More often than not, he will say that he can't which means that you have to wait until the next day to try again, and since the Pokémon games are set in real time, you could literally spend weeks, months, or even longer just to find all of the berries in an extreme Luck-Based Mission, and this is just one of many considering all of the fleeing Pokemon there are in the series.
      • No longer do you have to have the correct nature! Game Freak has heard your pleas and has included in HG/SS an upgraded massage, which both increases happiness and beauty. If you do it 8 times, you can max out your beauty and that's that.
      • At least with Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald, you have to manually change the phrase yourself to trigger a tile change. Diamond/Pearl/Platinum are even worse; they change every day. Thankfully, Feebas appear very often on their designated tiles, so once you lock on, you can just keep fishing on that tile.
      • Or you could just make sure to get a female one and then you can breed for the right nature. And have extras for your friends.
      • Gen V made it a lot easier. You can still find it only in one area, in rippling water off Route 1, but you also stand a chance of catching a Milotic outright. And even if you have to evolve Feebas, it's easier because you can just trade it with a Prism Scale.
    • Then there's the event-only Pokemon: Mew, Celebi, Jirachi, Deoxys, Manaphy, Shaymin, and Arceus, which can't be obtained through normal gameplay - only through giveaways done by Nintendo. Luckily these are more common than they used to be- in the early days there was usually only one chance to get the event Pokemon in a given generation, which usually involved traveling to select events such as conventions that were inevitably nowhere near you, but now there are several giveaways in each generation, and they're done through a wireless download, often at a relatively easy-to-get-to toy or game shop.
      • To allow players to get Mew, it is now a prize in the Wiiware My Pokemon Ranch... only if you upload 999 Pokemon into the game. Unless, that is, you're playing Platinum outside Japan. In that case, you're screwed, because the update to allow the game to connect to Platinum was never released internationally.
      • There was also a good bad bug in the original games that allowed you to get Mew.
    • The fleeing Pokemon! It seems like ever since Generation II, Japanese law requires there to be at least one of these in every main game. Raikou, Entei, Suicune, Latias, Latios, Mesprit, Cresselia...you're lucky if you so much as encounter one of these, let alone catch it. To add insult to injury, an NPC says that Mesprit is merely playing with you. Thanks, Professor...now I know what games Pokemon trainers play in Hell.
      • Encountering one for the first time is actually easier than most think. They can appear anywhere (well, at least anywhere outside). Best solution is to go to an area with weak Pokemon (like the route right outside your hometown) and use a Repel. Repels keep wild Pokemon that are at a lower level than the first Pokemon in your party from bothering you, so if your that Pokemon is at a high enough level that weak Pokemon will avoid them, but low enough that the Pokemon you're chasing is still at a higher level, you're guaranteed to see the running Pokemon. Chasing and capturing them is still a massive pain, though, even if you are using methods to trap them.
      • The really bad cases are in the games that have more than one Pokémon that will flee, since you can usually only get one Master Ball (which guarantees capture no matter how much HP they have). If there's only one running Pokémon, you can just throw your Master Ball at it and be done, but if there are more, you're guaranteed to have to do annoying "damage it once before it flees, then eventually just hope that your one chance to throw a ball at it works" routine. Platinum is particularly bad, since there's a total of five runners.
    • Getting Shedinja is a Guide Dang It all its own: You have to have no more than five mons and a Poke Ball.
    • The Dropped Item sidequest in Black 2/White 2, which is the only way to obtain rare mons that can't be obtained anywhere else. In Nimbasa City you can find an item (actually an Xtranceiver), and upon obtaining it Yancy (if you chose the male player character) or Curtis (if you chose female) will start calling. You have to travel all across Unova, getting in specific unmarked spots that will trigger a call from them. You have to hit 10 out of 15 spots to start the second part of the quest, which consists of calling the person via Xtranceiver 50 times. That is not an exaggeration. No, you can't just call them constantly; you have to stand in one of the unmarked spots and hope that they're even available to call.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, add the Poster Run minigame (30 seconds?!) and the Magic Carpet Ride minigame (65 kills?!) to the Hundred Acre Wood. In the Updated Re-release, you have to contend with all of the above plus the Organization Mushrooms, of which Mushroom No. 8 is far and away the one most likely to make your blood pressure spike to dangerous levels.
    • Penny Arcade has the best summary of this torment.
    • The trick is that you have to beat Sephiroth first to get the Fenrir. Of course, it's not like the game tells you that, either.
    • Most of Jiminy's requirements are hard, but not insane, as long as you either take the time to plan things out, or know the secrets. But some (like the poster duty minigame mentioned above) is impossible unless you've leveled up two of your forms to their max, others all but require you to have Fenrir, an Infinity+1 Sword gained by defeating Sephiroth (yes, that Sephiroth), winning tournaments with a certain number of points that require leveling up all of your forms and summons to their max (which takes a few hours of level grinding) just to enter, and winning a 50 round tournament with battle level 99 (the highest level in the game) with an insane point requirement... It can get to the point where you just don't want to go to Olympus Collusseum ever again.
    • Until you realise that to get the secret ending, you can also just finish the game in Hard Mode, which is the mode you should have played from the beginning, because it provides actual challenge during the story...
  • While certainly not as difficult as the requirements in II were, the reports completion requirments in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep give new meaning to the word tedious. Not only do you have to complete the levels as normal and find all the treasure chests and stickers and complete the minigames, you also have to obtain every possible item, d-link, keyblade (except the last one), shotlock, command style, ice cream flavor, ability, and passive fusion ability in the game (very difficult without a guide) and witness every attack and finishing move at least once, AND you have to complete the Mirage Arena, which requires winning severa difficult arena battles against Bonus Bosses, AND playing the racing and command board minigames again, AND collecting an un-godly number of the medals you receive from winning minigames and battles. FOR ALL THREE CHARACTERS!! Have fun playing the command board and Arean battles over and over in search of all those medals.
  • Phantasy Star IV has the dog quest, where you have to find a dog, which randomly pops up in one of five cities. If you don't have a specific item in your inventory, it runs away, and you have to search the other four cities. The only way to get said item is to find the hidden shop that has virtually no hints to where it is.
  • In later Wild ARMs games, to get 100% Completion you have to also fight the Black Box; a Bonus Boss who is only available if you've opened every single treasure chest in the game.
    • The series's ultimate That One Sidequest was 3's version of the Abyss — a 100-level, randomly-generated, tedious-beyond-tedious dungeon stuffed to the brim with the strongest enemies in the game. To proceed to the next floor, you have to collect five gems scattered around, and while it's not necessarily difficult to reach them, the tediousness is exacerbated by the difficulty of the enemies and the fact that you'll lose track of which floor you're on long before you reach one of the bosses that serve as checkpoints.
    • The cherry on top for this sidequest is the Bonus Boss at the very bottom, Ragu O Ragla. He is as difficult as you might imagine him to be (he even gets his own special battle music!). You have to be completely prepared, as he uses all elements and counters all attacks. Then you have to fight him a second time right after you beat him. The prize for your day-long endeavor? A gear for a single party member that can only be equipped at the highest level.
    • In a moment of game design sadism the likes of which are rarely seen in RPGs, there is an enemy within the deeper levels of The Abyss (past level 60 and on) with an attack that will return you back to the very fucking beginning.
  • Any The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion player who doesn't still have "Seeking Your Roots" somewhere in the back of their list of active quests to this day either specifically avoided starting it (by never picking up a single Nirnroot, ever) or console hacked or otherwise cheated like a maniac to clear it.
    • There's no time limit on the quest and Nirnroots can be picked up while doing pretty much everything else. To fully complete the quest 100 are required but there are over three times that many scattered throughout the game.
      • Of course, when you consider how big the game actually is...
    • Similarly "The Museum of Oddities" in Shivering Isles is one for players not all that interested in completionist-y dungeon diving. Unlike Nirnroots, some of the objects you must collect for this quest spawn randomly.
    • While we're on the subject of Oblivion, most sidequests that involve escorting or defending an NPC are usually difficult to get through, due mainly to everyone in the game having seemingly attended the Leeroy Jenkins self defense class.
    • Another Oblivion quest would be the collector, finishing that one is a pain, unless you opt out midway through and finish the others in that questline instead. Ir doesn't help that the original printing of tbe strategy guide actually gave an additional location for a statues that doesn't exist.
  • For Morrowind, That One Sidequest is definitely Threads of the Webspinner, which is about finding all Sanguine items. All 26note  of them, tucked into the most remote corners of Vvardenfell. 15 of them will be relatively easy (the quest-giver outright tells you where two of them are, and 13 of the others are found as part of other quests for the quest-giver). The remaining 11...
    • Another in Morrowind is acquiring Eltonbrand. First, it requires you to acquire Goldbrand as part of an obscure quest that you are extremely unlikely to find on your own. (The one person in the game who tells you about it isn't exactly trustworthy and even then, his directions are bad, leading you to swimming around in the ocean further south than you need to.) Then, you get directions from Boethiah to find him/her (it's complicated) a sculptor to rebuild his/her shrine. If you manage to do that, then wait the two in-game weeks required for the statue to be built, you can finally claim Goldbrand. To upgrade it into Eltonbrand, you need to become a vampire (something most players of the game may not even realize is in the game for many, many hours) and perform a specific quest with a specific amount of gold in your inventory. THEN you get Eltonbrand. Complicated and near impossible to find on your own, but very worth it.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the Seeking Your Roots quest from Oblivion returns, as the appropriately-named A Return To Your Roots. At least this time, it's in a really big area instead of the entire game world. Of course, that doesn't excuse the clusterfuck of enemies, including advanced Falmer, Centurions, and Giants. You're searching for this Crimson Nirnroot (a special type of nirnroot) in an incredibly dark cavern with nooks and crannies all over. This area, Blackreach, is sandwiched in the middle of a Dwarven Fortress area that is already part of That One Quest, so at this point you are probably getting sick of dwarven areas, not to mention low on health potions. Also, if you wander into the wrong area, you get to fight Falmer slaves, Falmer, and a fucking dragon. All at once.
    • No. Stone. Unturned. Finding 24 gemstones without quest markers tucked away in the most unlikely places in all of Skyrim, which you can't remove from your inventory once found and do not stack. After you find them all (if you find them all) you get to clear a Falmer cave, and then you get a reward that would have been REALLY useful when you started the quest at level 5, less so when you finally finish it at around level 50.
  • The Moon mission from the first Mass Effect. There's dozens of advanced Alliance drones carrying machine guns and rocket launchers which can shred through your health at an alarming rate. You get the mission at level 20, but most people can't complete it until level 30. Even worse, you'll want to do it as soon as possible to get your Prestige Class.
    • The sequel has the Secure Smuggled Cargo mission. Aria gives you the coordinates for a stash of goods on a nearby planet. Doesn't sound so bad, until you get there and find out you have to fight three YMIR heavy mechs, and if you take too long, they destroy the cargo. It's practically a guarantee that one of them will attack you while the other two go after cargo containers, and if all the containers are destroyed, they'll all chase you. Worse, this is most likely a quest a new player will do at a lower level, since you can access it fairly easily in Omega, which is the location the game points you towards when you start.
      • You can turn this into a Curb-Stomp Battle if you just use the Cain. Just fire it at the middle, everything dies, except for the crates.
      • Alternately, abuse the game's AI. The mechs only trigger when you pass a certain point on the path to the mechs; using the missile launcher, you can simply stand in the starting area and take them down without ever entering the "main" area.
    • Also in the first Mass Effect is the Pinnacle Station Downloadable Content. Thankfully it's completely optional, and the PS3 port can't even access it at all.
    • Mass Effect 3 thoughtfully provides the Citadel: Hanar Diplomat side-mission, which is notorious not because it's hard, but because it's glitchy as hell and is prone to spontaneously imploding with no provocation at all. Walking past people can cause it to break.
  • Anachronox is heavily inspired by Final Fantasy, including following this trope. To get one character's Infinity+1 Sword you need to let PAL play in a children's area for a specific amount of time at a specific point in the game. If he plays for less than 6 hours or more than 8 hours he find other items instead. Even if he plays for the right amount of time but before reaching the specific point in the game he will get yet another item instead. This is a definite Guide Dang It moment as there is nothing in the game that hints at how long he needs to play or more importantly at what point the Infinity+1 Sword appears rather than another item.
  • The piano sidequest in Mega Man Star Force. A ten-round battle with the highest-level enemies, your HP carries over between battles, a ton of attacks flying at you all at once, making them almost unavoidable, a lot of enemies having hair-tearing gimmicks (hit that giant eye enemy with its back turned? No damage, sorry!), an enemy that can heal itself and raise 200 HP shields (for reference, a lot of your cards don't even breach 150), and to top it all off, three 1000-HP enemies that fling attacks literally every half-second at you.
  • An example in the prequel series, Mega Man Battle Network: In 3, it's the Time Trials. To get the fifth star (which allows the unlocking of the Omega Navis), you have to clear every named Navi in the game (their beta versions, if available, excluding Bass) within a time limit. Not too bad, right, especially since a great folder can three-turn almost any boss? Nope. To clear them, you have to use the crappy pre-made folders found with random people in the game. You can't set a preset chip, so it's all up to randomness. The other one is the slab hiding the Hub.BAT Navicust piece. 20 battles in a row, with enemies that can cover the field with attacks, and the last few battles have the Aura nonsense going on.
  • The Kick all the Lucky Animals sidequest in .hack is one thanks to the need to hop all over the playing fields to find each variety, having to avoid getting Blessed with Suck from the unlucky types, and getting them all is pretty much a Guide Dang It because the method for generating them isn't that obvious.
    • But the Flyer quest is an even better example, once you hit all the towns you have to wander the fields and hope that the medical team would even show up, and then it's very likely you got them on the list already. Unlike the lucky animals, there's no known method for making the Medical squad appear.
    • In .hack//Quarantine, there's the Item Completion Event, which gets unlocked once you finish the main story. To complete that, you need to collect all the items and equipments in the game, except for the rare ones. Seeing how most people spent the games collecting rare (often missable) items, and that it doesn't register the items until you take them to the quest NPC (which means all the equipments you sold, gave to allies or traded don't count), most players need to start from scratch. It doesn't help that there are dozens of weapons for each class, and 90% of them can't be bought, so you have to start Data Draining monsters all around, trading with everyone and abusing Springs of Myst or check a guide. Your reward for all that hassle? A wallpaper. No wonder almost no one cares to finish it...
  • Tales of Symphonia has a few annoying sidequests, but none quite as bad as getting Sheena's Treasure Hunter title. It requires you to find every treasure chest in the game, a feat that is made significantly harder by several factors, such as many of them being well-hidden, others rendered inaccessable after certain points (most notably almost every chest from the human ranches, ALL of the Sylvarant seals save the Martel Temple, and the two late-game Tower of Salvation visits), and possibly a glitch in counting (many Katz will give you an incorrect count for the number of chests you've missed in an area, and there are several reports of people getting stuck at 99.6% despite using a guide for the ENTIRE game).
    • How about Colette's Dog Lover title (name every dog in the game) or Zelos's Gigolo title (talk to every female NPC in the game with Zelos as your onscreen character and with his Personal EX Skill equipped)? Not to mention Genis's I Hate Gels! title, which requires you to reach the first fight against Pronyma, more than halfway through the game, without using a SINGLE Gel, EVER. And since Gels are pretty much the only healing items you have... Sure, Raine can heal your HP, but what about MP?
      • The Gigolo title can actually be gotten far easier by this method: Get the three golden items (a spider figurine, a shard of glass, and a broken dagger) from the various inner self battles towards the end of the game in the now empty Half-Elf village. Before moving on to defeat the Big Bad, go back to Meltokio and talk with Zelos's butler. You'll get the title automatically. Now, does this still count? Oh, yes. Why? Guide Dang It. Come on. Given where the aforementioned village is located, would you have really ever thought to do that if it hadn't been pointed out to you just now?
      • The Gigolo title for Zelos is easy to get in game, so long as you know it exists. And even if you don't, the mofo gets items from every girl he talks to. And money. And if you put luck items on him (which are pretty easy to get) you'll get rare items like Rune Bottles from the girls you talk to. And if your luck stat is still low, just rest at the inn. Why would you ever not have Zelos as your onscreen character, and why wouldn't you talk to every girl you see? It just takes a little exploring. The truly difficult titles are the Colosseum titles, specifically for Raine and Genis. Even with the best equips you can get for them, they take forever to kill anything if you don't have the right EX Combination. Not to mention Raine's Sole Survivor title. Or the low level play through (in which all your characters combined levels needs to be UNDER level 46) at the Remote Island Human Ranch, near the end of the first disk. There's also defeating Seles at the end of the Colosseum to get Last Fencer for item completion. Using the wooden sword up until the Kilia battle. 100% completing the monster book? Figurines? Items? Nifelheim? Finding all the Demon Weapons? This game is full of irritatingly tricky and frustrating titles. At least getting Zelos' Gigolo title really helps you with item gathering.
      • Also, Paw Dandy takes FOREVER to get to pop up, and will only pop up if you've gotten the equally hard to get skit with Presea and Corrine. And it's one of Regal's titles, so if you want that 100% completion you're going to spend a long while waiting for it to show up.
      • The skit in question ("Poke-Poke") is Lost Forever if you don't see it before entering the Temple of Lightning. The skit only shows up during the trip to the Temple of Lightning and (as mentioned) takes forever to appear (exponentially longer than the trip to the Temple should take you).
      • Niflheim. Three stages of five levels each with randomly generated floor plans. A diminishing "Soulfire" counter that equals instant game over if it ever drops to zero (defeating enemies and lighting braziers restores some Soulfire; you can also examine these braziers to receive benefits but this makes your Soulfire diminish more rapidly). Levels where you're forced to find and defeat all of the enemies before the warp ring to the next level will appear. And if your Soulfire isn't high enough when you reach the end of Level 14, you won't be allowed to continue on to face the final boss and will instead be sent back to Level 1 to do the entire damn thing over again. This quest is also required to be played through to the end to get 100% completion of the Monster Book because bosses are included. (It's not required to complete the item list, though; you can also get the item dropped by the final boss by using a Rune Bottle on the item dropped by a different Bonus Boss).
    • Tales of Symphonia 2 had a VERY annoying dungeon knowns as Gladsheim. It's only ten floors... each of which takes forever. You're only allowed to save on the third and sixth floors. Did I mention that each floor is so repetitive, you'll be begging for a way out? To advance, you have to get to each of the four corners on the grid. But wait, there's the treasure on each of the floors, each of which grant you special abilities. These treasures are put in random squares. And the square's aren't all "go wherever you want." There are one way squares, dead end squares, and the like. It doesn't help that most of these squares look exactly the same, so you'll wonder if you're going in circles. And if you die on the final boss, you have to start from your previous save. Which will probably be on the sixth foor. Want to draw a map? Tough- the layout changes with each new game.
      • Even worse is one of Emil's titles requires you to play through a good portion of the game without ever changing his title, therefor robbing him of some very crucial stat buffs. Getting 100% of the skits also requires a lot of patience and waiting.
  • Tales of Vesperia has its "Secret Missions," which are special tasks you can complete during boss fights that give you extra Grade and reward you with a costume title if you get them all. A lot of these are easily done, but then there's Yeager. Jesus mothereffin' Christ, Yeager. First of all, you have to fight your way to the second half of the battle, which is quite a task in itself as he attacks very quickly and is very strong. When he reveals the blastia in his chest, you might figure, and rightly so, that the Secret Mission is to get it to somehow stop working. You do this by breaking his guard - a difficult task with normal enemies, let alone a boss - and having Raven use his first arte (which explodes on enemies if they've been guard-broken) within an extremely tight timeframe. Needless to say, there are tons of Youtube videos and message board posts asking how the hell you pull off that process correctly. The generally-agreed-upon easiest method is to have Yuri go Over Limit, spam Destruction Field once you see Yeager guarding, letting Yeager run around a bit after his guard breaks (not even FAQs mention this tidbit!) then quickly ordering Raven to use Rain once he staggers and clutches his chest. There are still enough variables involved so that success is pretty much random.
    • By the way, have fun trying to get the spear Brionac (one character's best non-Fel Arm weapon)! The sidequest for getting this one involves ten distinct parts, none of which are hinted at in-game and are very easily missable. The first two parts must be done before you even get the character in the party! To top it off, if you miss just one part, the weapon is Lost Forever unless you start a New Game+. Fortunately, you can purchase the ability to carry all of the weapons you obtained in your previous save file with enough Grade, which isn't hard to obtain.
    • Yuri's Dark Enforcer Title is fairly vague on how to start it and like Brionac above has a very small window to complete each part.
    • Also, the entire dog map sidequest.. Actually, yes, let's do just that.
      • The dog map isn't really that hard, it's just the game never tells you that you need to mark every location listed in the "fields" category of the world map (actually 95% of them), not just fill the map with the blue blur. You can easily complete the quest simply by checking the fields list and doing them all in order. What's worse, many guides don't even give this information.
  • Tales of Phantasia had the Elwin and Nancy sidequest. So many event flags, one of which can only be accomplished during a very short period of time in which you wouldn't normally be passing through that town. Anju and Kafei were easier to unite.
  • Tales of the Abyss: Gelda. Fricking. Nebilim. Have fun dying.
    • Getting all the cooking titles in Tales of the Abyss is also a pain, if only because of how freaking long it takes. Each character earns a title for mastering all twenty recipes. To master a recipe, they must cook it thirty times. Oh, and once you've cooked something, you can't cook again until after you fight another battle. That means one must fight a minimum of 3600 battles in order to get the cooking mastery titles for all six characters. To put that into perspective, unless you grind a lot, you probably wouldn't fight much more than 600 battles during the course of the entire game. At least cooking levels can be carried over into a New Game+...
      • It helps if you know that you don't need to actually win a battle to cook a recipe again. Entering a battle and then quickly running away can speed up this process substantially. Still repetitive as hell, though.
    • The Cecille and Frings sidequest. It's a lengthy quest that starts at a random point, you have no real clue what you have to do, the first two parts of it are mostly just going from Point A to Point B and back for cutscene after cutscene after cutscene. And once those are over, the last two parts are available only between random starting points again and until the player has finished the Disc One Final Dungeon.
    • Actually, tons of the sidequests could count as these. Several of them have random time-frames that make no sense and missing just one out of a multi-part one will make the rest impossible to do.
  • Baten Kaitos Origins has the nightmarish Pac-Man sidequest, which takes longer to finish than every other sidequest and the main quest combined. To accomplish it, you must feed one of your quest magnus one copy of every other quest magnus in the game. 3 of them are permanently missable, 3 of them take 30 hours in real time to create (seriously), and there's a ton more that are in highly unintuitive places. Some of them can only be acquired by accepting a sidequest that doesn't show up on your sidequest list, some of them are semi-missable (you can recreate them, but it's a major pain to do so), and MANY of them can only be acquired by letting them age. One of the quest magnus you need to use for this doubles as an ingredient for the game's Infinity+1 Sword. And to make matters even worse, you have no in-game means of keeping track of which magnus you've used for this. Forgotten which ones you're missing? Too bad! Your reward for doing this is permanent critical hits, which would be a Game Breaker, but by the time you're done with this nightmare, you should be good enough to stomp the final boss into dust without it.
    • For those who dealt with the Pac-Man sidequest by pretending it doesn't exist, there's still "Gather the rock-people!" To do this quest, you have to move large stone statues throughout the Nekkar Quietlands by pushing them to the summit. Yes, pushing them, in a game where Hammerspace is a heavily Justified Trope. The Edge Gravity on said statues is beyond abysmal; you need to approach them with nearly pixel perfect accuracy just so the game registers the push, and even then it might not go the way you want it to - which is a major issue, because it's nigh-impossible to get the statues away from the walls except by leaving the area and coming back, which would be merely very bad instead of unforgivable if only Nekkar wasn't filled with narrow passages. The monsters can also block your statues, forcing you to fight them - and nearly every battle here features Queen Alraunes. And as though out of sheer spite, Nekkar is also filled with freaking invisible pit traps.
  • It doesn't compare with the Pac-Man sidequest listed above, but Mizuti's sidequest in Baten Kaitos Eternal Wings needs to be mentioned here. Remember Zosma Tower? All those damn timed 3D Block Puzzles, done with a static camera that sometimes doesn't show you what you need to see? Well, you're going back there, down into the basement for five all new levels of fun. One particularly nasty puzzle requires you to use an elevator as a block stop. While it's in motion. Finally at the bottom? Remember that irritating boss fight, between Xelha and the Ice Goddess? They recreated it, this time between Mizuti and the Shadow Wizard.
    • Eternal Wings also has the Family Tree and Star Map sidequests. The former requires a bit of maneuvering as some members of the family can only be convinced to return to Quzman's home after certain others have returned and at least one won't return if a certain other one is already there, some of the deceased members require you to talk to one of the members back at his house multiple times in order to get them signed for, and just when you think you've finished it, Quzman lays one more member on you, which can't be obtained until this point and requires going back into the aforementioned basement of Zosma Tower. The latter is even trickier, as many of the fragments appear as drops from random encounters and the final piece was with the Keeper of the Star Map all along; you have to repeatedly ask him for "info on the fragments" after returning every other fragment, then tell him that you want to complete the map and that he "deserves it", and he'll finally give you the Fragment, which you must then hand right back to him to complete the quest.
  • The Lost Sanctum quest in Chrono Trigger DS is quickly rising in the ranks as That One Sidequest. To wit: inescapable, scripted battles, going up and down the same mountain at least seven times, and not being able to progress without speaking to the right NPC to set off an event flag, despite having all the items necessary to proceed. And the rewards are quickly outclassed by those found in the post-game dungeon, the Dimensional Vortex. Hell, most of the rewards are outclassed by the rewards from the sidequests that were in the original game. The only upside to this is that the repetitive battles do allow for significant TP grinding, allowing you to quickly gain everyone's techs.
  • Good luck maxing all the social links in Persona 4 if you haven't played the game before. Magaret requires lots of sheer luck and money sunk into her link, Ai's has the most opportunities to reverse and is the only one that can be broken, the Fox's take a few days to accomplish each and if you aren't doing them concurrently with your main quest, you can never catch up, and Naoto's requires max courage and knowledge. And those are just the more obnoxious ones.
    • Persona 3 is even WORSE. A knowledgeable player in P4 can finish all the social links with a month to spare, including time for adventures. The same player in P3 would be lucky to have two days left at the end, and adventures don't even take up a full day in that game. Granted, the reason you have so little time left is because there's a social link that can only be started in the last month, but even without taking this link into account, you'll only finish with about a week and a half left.
      • And completing the Persona compendium requires maxing all the social links, grinding your character to level 90 fusing personas all the way up, and... you'll still have only 98% completion because three personas are only obtainable by special fusions that the game never tells you about. Norn can be guessed if you know a bit of mythology (Clotho + Lachesis + Atropos, the Greek equivilents of the Norns), but Messiah (Orpheus + Thanatos) makes sense only in retrospect. And without a walkthrough, you're not likely to know Shiva (Rangda + Barong) even exists.
      • Shiva is actually far simpler than the others if you've played other SMT games for one reason - Shiva's "recipe" has never changed in the entire series. If you've played any SMT or Persona game before, you'll know what Rangda + Barong will make.
      • If you actually reads the description for the personas, it's pretty easy to guess that they would be a part of a special "recipe". They're the only two personas taken from a particularly unknown island's myth and they're described as mortal enemies . It's like they're just begging to be fused.
  • Star Ocean: The Second Story has a combination sidequest plus final boss: If you get to just before the final boss, and then leave and visit a specific town, it'll remove the boss's limiter, turning the final boss, who is easily doable around level 50 to a ridiculously powerful monster, requiring levels in the 200s just to avoid being instantly killed even while wearing items which reduce the damage he does with his elemental attacks. The resultant grind is ridiculously long.
    • Beating The Cave Of Trials also qualifies for this, although it's a great place to level grind.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. The Pit of 100 Trials. Have fun.
    • Super Paper Mario: Having fun yet? How about doing the same thing twice?
      • But of course the Bonus Boss won't fight you unless you beat it for a third time.
    • The original Paper Mario has Chuck Quizmo. It's not hard, just incredibly annoying. You have to find a spot where he (might) spawn, then just keep running back and forth until he does. Over. And. Over. Again. He has fully one third of the game's Star Pieces, and will give you only one every time he shows up.
  • The most expensive Frog Coin in Super Mario RPG requires 500 coins to initiate a series of trades and you can only hold a maximum of 999 coins at a time. And you only get a Frog Coin every other time; most of the time it is...significantly less than 500 coins.
    • Guide Dang It: Seed and Fertilizer. You might not even catch the Fertilizer. But the Infinity+1 Sword and Infinity Plus One Armor are there.
    • Another Guide Dang It: The Frog Coin in Mushroom Castle. If you don't get it your first time there, it's Lost Forever.
      • To clarify, there is a hidden chest in the main room of the Mushroom Castle, which requires you to hop on the head of Toad to give you enough of a boost to actually get the damn thing. You have one shot at it, and no sign that it's even there. Mercifully, you get an item that chimes when you enter the room that still has a hidden chest. Long, long after this event.
    • Also helping Toadofsky finish his orchestra without help is incredibly hard unless you have a really good ear for music.
  • The optional Bros Attack mini games and Boss Rush in the Mario & Luigi series. In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story you've got the Cholesteroad, which gives you prizes for literally perfecting your attacks to the point you get hundreds of points on each, and the massage challenges for Bowser which do the same. In Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, there's the Mad Skillathon and Battle Broque Madame, which act the same for that game's Bros Attacks and Luiginary Attacks, and have you get over 800 points on each for prizes. These are all extremely difficult. There's also the turn limited Gauntlet and Battle Ring in game respectively, which is incredibly unforgiving as well. Oh, and the Giant Battle Ring in Dream Team as well, which is harder than anything else on normal mode and damn near impossible on hard mode (thanks to the strictest turn limits in RPG history). As you can tell, only the extremely dedicated complete them all.
  • The Fallen in The Last Remnant. Nigh impossible on a regular playthrough. Several of his attacks can randomly kill any party member in 1 hit, often killing more than 1 per turn. Any units that survive take roughly 50% damage. He also has a 10-turn limit after which your whole team is annihilated, regardless of how well you were doing. To top it off, improper (read: normal & suggested in-game) grinding makes the fight even tougher due to enemies scaling with your Battle Rank instead of your stats. To counteract this, people do the counter-intuitive "Low-BR" playthroughs in order to be maximize stat growth just for this fight.
    • There is a trick to defeating The Fallen, that while it requires a bit of grinding, pays off in the long run. The trick is grinding a specific character with a high rank in Hexes so he gets Cachexia, an energy-draining spell. If used at the end of the round, it prevents the boss from using his mega-attacks. It's fairly easy after that. However, The Fallen's DLC reskin The Lost is even harder, with higher stats, better attacks, and he only gives you 5 turns before everyone dies. And there's even less of a reward.
  • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne has the Labyrinth of Amala, which is only mostly optional, but whose mandatory parts are significantly easier than its optional parts. Bear in mind that "significantly easier" in the case of a Megaten game is like saying "we're going to blow your head off, then burn and desecrate your corpse" instead of "we're going to burn you alive and mutilate your daughter while forcing you to watch." and so you can imagine the treats you're in for in the rest of the dungeon. To top it all off, the last area has a door that can only be opened by the first ally to ever join you. Hope you didn't dismiss said ally as being too underpowered at some point along the way, 'cause you ain't getting them back.
    • The good news regarding that door is that you don't specifically need that first ally as they are when you first get them. Any evolution or fusion involving that ally will work, but you'll lose the evolution or fusion in the process. The reward might not be worth the effort, as all you get is a souped-up version of the ally's original form.
    • To elaborate: the optional Amala Grave Run involves killing all past bosses in a limited amount of turns. A very limited amount of turns. On the other hand, the reward is an Extra Press Turn.
    • Getting the Amala Ring in Digital Devil Saga is quite the task. To be able to obtain it, you have to beat the Hitoshura, who is quite possibly the hardest boss in RPG history. It's that hard to do. The kicker? The ring can't be obtained in Digital Devil Saga 1. You get it by buying Digital Devil Saga 2 and transferring data from your save file of Digital Devil Saga 1. Yes, it's a sidequest that costs actual money.
  • Digimon World 4 has a sidequest that is already brutal in that you can't use heal techs/items once you get into the area where the quest is, not to mention plenty of traps that do damage based on your MAX HP. As if that wasn't brutal enough, to unlock a specific digivolution for the Digimon you started as, you have to beat it on the hardest game difficulty setting (think Diablo II difficulty settings here), with a hinted at special condition that you finish off the boss with one HP remaining. You don't have to do this to complete the quest, you DO have to do it in order to unlock the best reward, so it's kind of a twist where the self-imposed challenge is optional. To get yourself down to 1 HP without killing yourself (and automatically failing the quest, which means you have to start it over from the beginning), you have to use a quick-sand pit and let yourself get sucked in repeatedly until you have 1 HP left. Then you have to navigate your way past a lot of traps (hopefully you took out the walls first before you went down to 1 HP, if not, you're in deep trouble), and kill the boss without letting it hit you once.
  • In Legend of Mana, one of the sidequests you can undertake is to rescue a despondant organ grinder from the Underworld. Which, for this subquest, are policed by Mook Bouncers that will teleport you back to the very bottom level of should you so much as brush against one. And in the later levels, they disappear from view a few seconds after you enter the room. (At least the game does give you a little bit of mercy in that you encounter fewer of these bouncers each time you get sent back.)
    • Slightly less annoying, but still a pain in the rear, is an early subquest to sell lamps to the Dudbears. You're taught a few phrases in the Dudbear language, and then it's off to negotiate a series of dialogue trees so that they'll buy your lamps. It's somewhat made up for by the fact that you get 1000 Lucre per lamp, and the guy you have to give the money to doesn't even care if you don't give him the full 3000.
  • Fallout: New Vegas The companion quests are hard enough to start, which, often have to be triggered by being in certain places with those companions, but sometimes you may unknowingly make it so that you lose the opprotunity to gain the "points" needed to start the quests. The worst case is Raul, who you can only find by going to a place filled with xenophobic Super Mutants that you aren't going to even want to try to get into until you're a decent level. However, once you finally get Raul, in order to start his quest, you need to talk with a few specific NPCs who you cannot have talked with before. If you have talked with them, then sucks to be you. Fortunately, this was fixed in a patch.
    • Getting to Bitter Springs, the site of Boone's companion quest, requires traversing an area swarming with Cazadors (and the occasional Deathclaw), where he can easily get killed.
    • There's also The Legend of the Star. You need fifty Sunset Sarsaparilla blue star bottlecaps. There are only one hundred of these scattered throughout the game, and the physics mean you could easily bump into them and not notice them being knocked to the floor, or heaven forbid clipping through it. You can also get them through drinking SS, but there's only a 5% of their showing, meaning you need 1000 bottles. Your only rewards are a crapton of worthless trinkets, a unique energy pistol, and a bronze trophy.
      • The chance for a bottle to drop a star cap isn't determined until you actually drink it, so you can get 50 caps right near the start of the game if you aren't averse to a little Save Scumming.
    • Another quest, "I Put a Spell on You," isn't difficult and might not even be that bad for some people. You need to find a mole in Camp McCarran, and it culminates in finding out that A bomb has been planted on the monorail. You rush to deactivate the bomb, if you do so the game will actually give you the message that the bomb has been successfully defused. But then it might go off anyway. This is either due to you stopping to talk with Col. Hsu right before going to defuse the bomb which wastes too much time despite the fact that the game tells you to report to him after stopping the mole, or you happened to earlier on unknowingly tell the mole information that makes the bomb's detonation inevitable. Like stated before, this may just be a minor nuisance, unless the only save file you have that is from before you made any crucial mistakes is several hours behind your playtime. Both objectives count towards Boone's history points.
    • The quest "Come Fly With Me" is essentially a huge, layered fetch quest that requires a lot running back and forth in one general location, albeit it a large facility. The requirements to get the best possible ending and the most EXP require tricky tasks like attacking the huge invisible enemies in narrow corridors in order to save a prisoner or navigating a large, heavily booby trapped room to get to a computer. At a certain, attacking hostile enemies in the presence of certain characters in this quest will cause them to attack in return. To top it off, the quest is riddled with a number of frustrating bugs and is prone to crashing.
  • Sudeki has the Omnium Collector sidequest, required for one character's Infinity+1 Sword. As the title suggests, it involves finding a total of 21 chunks of Omnium, which are dropped by enemies in the dungeon you just cleared. The catch is these things are expensive and drop only 5% of the time (at a generous guess) from an enemy that has only a 50-50 chance of appearing at each encounter, and said encounters can only be created by running repetitively back and forth between two rooms of the dungeon. Also, unlike every other collection sidequest in the game, this is the only place to gather omnium, it never appears by breaking the crates that litter the scenery.
    • Two other sidequests are equally obnoxious, but for Guide Dang It rather than tedium. One, Heart's Heart, requires going back into a dungeon after defeating the boss and being given every indication to leave. It's not Lost Forever if you don't, but the way to get it afterward is so arbitrary some believe the event flags are badly programmed. The other is a collection request the player probably has the stuff for in their pocket when it becomes available, but just starting the quest requires heading somewhere out of the way that you have absolutely no reason to go, and claiming the reward involves tediously sneaking through an area patrolled by guards that will kick you out on sight.
  • Knights of the Old Republic 2 had the infamous sequence in the Telos military base. Already the hardest part of the entire game, it's got this annoying side quest where you have to escort the dumbest person in the universe out of the base. It's not even quest per se, You can just tell him to follow you out, and lead him back to the exit. The character's AI is so bad, he will only follow you if certain conditions are met (distance, direct line of sight, etc), leaving the player to go back for him every 10 meters. And god help you if he gets stuck behind something. The sequence can last at least 10 minutes, and besides a few light side points it's completely pointless. Of course it might be useful for lowering the cost of your healing spell, which is vital at this part.
  • Final Fantasy XIII has 'The Bigger They Are...'. You have to fight a Gigantuar. His only attack, 10,000 Needles, takes off 10,000 health, dispels buffs, and has a very high chance of causing Pain and Fog. He also has over a million HP, a high Stagger threshold, and an insanely low target time. Even if you can beat it, it's one of the hardest missions to get a five-star on.
    • 'Gaian Grudge'. Three Tonberries. Have fun.
    • 'Indomitable Will' pits you against two Raktavijas, Cie'th with an 'inertial barrier' that reduces any damage they take to Scratch Damage. To get rid of the barrier, they have to be staggered, and their chain gauge fills excruciatingly slowly. They also have devastatingly powerful offense, so it comes down to finding the right balance of defense and offense.
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2 has the Lucky Coin fragment. To get it, you have to win 7,777 coins at the slots. Besides likely requiring a high starting investment, this can take hours of mind-numbing slots until the game takes pity on you. Even the official strategy guide recommends putting a rubber band over the Autoplay button and leaving the game running for a few hours - except using Autoplay cuts your chances of winning by 33%. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.
    • There's also the Monster Professor fragment, which requires you to have fought every single enemy in the entire game at least once. There are literally dozens of Underground Monkeys in this game, many of which are incredibly unlikely to show up without the Battlemania fragment skill on. That's before you get into the Bonus Boss fights, one of which only appears as an incredibly rare random encounter in a small area of a single time period you probably have no reason to go back to, or the Paradox Scope fights, many of which are ridiculously hard, or the Archylte Steppe, which has four different weather patterns, each with their own unique set of enemies that don't spawn anywhere else, or that one boss fight whose third form is skippable if you pick the right Live Trigger answer...
    • There's also the quizzes in Academia. Many of the questions don't actually have answers in-game, but instead require you to try to work out the probable answer from what is in-game (or what's in one of the other Final Fantasy games). But this isn't too bad if you have a guide. So most of the quizzes have you hunting down an NPC that appears at one of eleven out-of-the-way locations in the largest, most crowded, and generally convoluted map in the game and is almost invisible until you use Mog to reveal him. Oh, and some of the questions have random answers that change every time you do the quiz; guess the wrong one, and you get to start all over again. Fun times!
    • Another sidequest requires you to explore 100% of all the maps in the game. Most of them are pretty easy, but some of them are infuriating, especially the Academia maps. Academia 400 AF is That One Level swarming with Cie'th, Academia 4XX AF is a massive sprawling city with dozens of tiny alleys, nooks, and crannies, and Academia 500 AF is a platformer level with several out of the way platforms, at least one of which requires the Anti-Grav Jump Fragment Skill to reach. Augusta Tower, meanwhile, is hard to explore simply because the map only shows one floor at a time, meaning there's no efficient way to check your progress barring stopping at every floor.
  • Okage Shadow King has the hellish Escapeless Abyss. The name says it all, really. If you go in without any Guidance Jewels, you won't be getting out without blind, dumb luck.
  • Dragon Fable has Embrace Your Destiny, the final sidequest in Nythera's Rise of the DragonMage chain. Almost universally disliked by players who don't have a mage build or high alchemy levels because the player character's stats are always used when playing as a different character in a sidequest.
  • NieR has Life in the Sands. You have to get 10 Pink Moonflower Seeds. Sounds deceptively simple, right? It is. You can get Red, Gold, and Blue Moonflower Seeds at the shops, but there's no pink seeds anywhere to be found. You have to hybridize them, in a complex, multi-step process that is explained nowhere in the game, can be easily messed up if you don't know what you're doing, and either takes several days real-time or a lot of fiddling with the system clock. Your reward? 10,000 gold. At this point of the game, that's a drop in the bucket. Trolled by Cavia!
  • Fully befriending Ine in Opoona. In order to befriend her, you first have to befriend Masao, which means you need to have a high enough appreciation for art, which means running around the world and being sure to check every single plaque for every artwork you come across. Then you have to make sure you're famous enough to play the ukulele, and impress her with your skills. Then you have to bother Masao into giving you his sculpture of himself, and not immediately sell it for a giant chunk of cash as the game suggests you do, but rather give it to Ine on the grounds that they're both exchange students from the same planet. And then, once you're done with all that, you have to play the ukulele for fifty in-game days to get her friendship to its highest point. And since the stat increases via her friendship is by far the most common out of all the possible friends, it's really more a Bragging Rights Reward than anything.
    • Jingle's Rogue research requests can be this as well. In order to complete his research, Jingle will sometimes ask you for various Rare Random Drops from the enemies in the world. A first-time player of the game is likely to simply spend time trying to earn the drops legitimately, which is an exercise in frustration all its own. A veteran or one using a guide knows that they can be obtained from Secret Codes as well... except that Secret Codes also happen to be extremely tiny pink stickers stuck randomly behind various pieces of furniture and landscape, and that spotting them is almost as much of a challenge. To make things worse, the Secret Codes that give the necessary drop appear far later than the quests that require them.
  • The Racer's Labyrinth in Monster Racers. A huge, 100-person long Multi-Mook Melee, across every terrain type in the game (both in the races, and in navigating the labyrinth itself), against opponents up to level 80 (when you're likely to access said labyrinth around level 60 or so). It all culminates in three of the hardest races in the game against three ridiculously tough and high-leveled bosses. On the plus side, you get rewarded with a random Exotic monster if you win, and you can repeat the process as many times as you like for all the Exotics you want.
  • In the first Fossil Fighters game, actually obtaining the series' Mascot Mook, T-Rex, is one of the most difficult tasks in the game. The area where its fossils can be found only appears post-game. And you can't even dig there to start with, because it's so hot, it interferes with your radar. You'll need to pay tons of money to build oases there to cool the area enough to even find fossils. Even ten, T-rex is easily the rarest fossil in the area—and you'll need to find every one of its parts if you want it to have all of its skills. (Thankfully, in the second game, it became the default starter for male trainers and was still pretty easy to find for female ones.)

    Simulation Game 
  • The original Wing Commander had that infamous "Saving the Ralari" mission, which classifies as both Escort Mission and Luck-Based Mission. You don't need to save the Ralari to win the game and there is no way to do a 100% Completion due to the mission branching, but if you want to complete the game without losing any mission, this one is the 13th mission.
  • Getting Gracie-brand clothing in the original Gamecube version of Animal Crossing. Considering the speed at which the game expected you to mash the A button, it probably justified the purchase of many turbo controllers.
    • That taking your chances with Wisp or the taking the easy way out (which anyone can understand why) by using universal cheat code passwords at Nook's store.
    • The Gulliver items in City Folk, due to its rarity and necessary accuracy to shoot down the spaceship to get the item.
  • The fourth mine in Harvest Moon DS: a 65,535 floor nightmare Marathon Level. The only real reasons to even try are A) To get the DragonGoddess Ball, which will grant you one of several wishes, or can be kept in your inventory to slowly increase your farm's rating and B) a special event that can only be seen by reaching the final floor. It's damned expensive (You pretty much have to fill your rucksack with TurbojoltXLs and BodigizerXLs to stand a real chance) and frustrating (the monsters there are the toughest in the game, and the mine pits can drop an instant death-bringing 100 floors at a time) and other than the aforementioned Goddess Ball, all the good mine items are in the much smaller Mine #3 - which you had to finish to even unlock #4.
    • This is actually fairly easy if you have the Kappa Hat from the 3rd mine - it prevents your health from falling below zero, so long as it isn't zero before you fall through a hole. So you find the hole in the floor, eat some Black Grass (which is common as dirt) and bingo, you'll have zero health after you fall through. And the monsters won't harm you when you're wearing this hat.
    • And before that, you had the Swimming Contest from Back to Nature, which you needed to win to gain all the engergy bar-increasing Power Berries. You had to tap a button in a certain rhythm to swim at a proper pace: too slowly and Kai will beat you every time. Too quickly, and you'll run out of energy and have to stop for a few seconds... and everybody will beat you. There isn't even a prize for second place.
  • Harvest Moon: Magical Melody: Getting to the bottom of either of the frigging caves. If you're really lucky, you'll fall down weak spots in the ground that send you down multiple floors. If you're not so lucky, you'll fall...up weak spots several floors. Using the hoe guarantees that you can go down, but that's only in special areas and only one floor at a time. Plus, by the time midnight rolls around, you'll need to save all of the stamina you can get. There are 100 floors before you get to the bottom. Oh, and the cave on the lake has a rare and valuable fish you need to catch at the bottom, so if you forget to bring the rod then opps, try again!
  • X-Universe series:
    • Any Escort Mission save the one in the Terran plot. A small convoy of freighters asks you to guard them on the way to their destination. The correct answer is "HELL NO." The freighters are made of wet newspapers, and attract small swarms of pirates every twenty kilometers that you need a destroyer to clear away, and the freighters are just fast enough to outrun a destroyer. At higher combat ranks, you end up fighting off squadrons of capital ships.
    • "Follow Ship" is a Stalking Mission that takes forever since you can't just call up the quest giver and tell him the target's destination, even though it's prominently displayed in the target's infobox. What's worse is that when taking these missions that lie near a Xenon-infested sector, the target will randomly decide that its destined clandestine base of operations will have him/her to travel through that one sector, and will promptly get shredded by those ships, especially if it's a Q. Particularly frustrating when you learn that you cannot go below 10 km or else the target will get spooked and the mission automatically fails. Try falling behind the target by about 20 km and the target will jump out with no way of telling you where the location is, which also ends in failure.
    • "Retrieve Stolen Ship" requires you to make the thief bail out, which requires you to Cherry Tap the ship until the Random Number God smiles on you. And if it doesn't smile on you soon enough, the chip damage caused by the Cherry Tapping will cause the recovered ship too slow to make it to the delivery point in time, unless you happen to be next to a shipyard and willing to dump half of your prize money into repairing it, or own a carrier ship with a warp device to haul the rescued shipnote .
    • The final step of the Hub sidequest chain. You need hundreds of some of the game's rarest resources, which can take literally hundreds of real time hours to obtain.
  • Getting the wishing well in The Sims 2: Seasons. To get it, you need to get a perfect score from the Garden Club. To do this, you spend hours and hours tending, spraying and watering your garden, praying that it doesn't snow or rain and destroy all your work, spend thousands of simoleons on flowers, hedges and decorations (Which also require a lot of upkeep) and eventually, talking to the trees to increase their health. When (if) you finally get the wishing well, you can select three wishes. Two of them are quite useful, but wishing for money gives you a pathetically tiny sum of 1000 simoleons (Which is probably nowhere near how much you've spent working on the garden) and all three wishes are likely to fail, with disastrous results.

    Sports Game 
  • Collecting all of the snowflake tokens in SSX 3. White tokens on a white surface are not easy to spot.
  • In the DS version of Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games, there are five missions for each character. One of Sonic's takes place at the triple jump. Your goal? To clear 15 feet... while making sure all your jumps are 50+ degrees DESPITE ALREADY WONKY ANGLE CONTROLS.

    Stealth Based Game 
  • Due to a bug, it's impossible to get 100% completion on the VR missions of the PC version of Metal Gear Solid. One of the missions teaches the player to use the run & shoot trick, but holding down the necessary keys listed does not work. This is either a mistake by the PC conversion team, or the old problem of PC keyboard I/O not understanding too many simultaneous keypresses (the run & shoot trick requires you to hold down 5 keys at the same time).
  • Collecting all the flags in Assassin's Creed I. It doesn't help that they're tiny and are perfectly camouflaged thanks to the gray and dusty look of the game. It's slightly easier in Acre because there are three separate flag types that are only found in a specific districts, but everywhere else only has a general flag type, so it's easy to miss flags and never know where to begin searching, short of having a good memory or a guide. What makes this sidequest worse is that there is no reward to it.
    • In the second game, you have to collect 100 feathers which are also as hard to find as the flags in the first game. However, they emit a sound when you are near, are much easier to find in the night time, and actually give you a reward this time around.
    • Not to mention killing all 60 of the special Templar enemies. They're located in certain spots in Acre, Jerusalem, Damascus, and the Kingdom. Some of them are fairly well hidden, and without a guide you'll probably only find them with luck. Add to that at least one, if not more, has the tendency to glitch and not appear leading you to believe you may have already killed it. There's also no reward.
  • In Dishonored, the Sokolov Paintings are this. This is an incredibly difficult sidequest, considering that most of the time, these paintings are hidden in places where nobody would even look for them, such as on the third level of a ruined apartment with three identical levels and nothing else on the other two. Not only that, but the game never tells you you need to look for paintings, unless you notice the giant squares in upgraded Darkvision.
  • In Batman: Arkham City the Advanced AR challenges are definitely this. The finicky controls make not hitting the walls or floor in the Pass Through the Rings challenge difficult to say the least.
  • Ghost Recon: Future Soldier has the "Body Count" weapon challenge in its fourth mission - kill eight people with assault rifles within 30 seconds to unlock a new assault rifle. The problem is that in none of the combat sections in the level can a player be realistically expected to accomplish this without making some questionably suicidal tactical decisions - the first area requires stealthnote , the second is filled with both panicking civilians and easily-destroyed carsnote , and the third has most of the enemies take cover behind a jeep with an automated turretnote . The eighth level has the "Rifle Master" challenge with the same requirements, but this one is much easier since the level actually does throw enough enemies at you to accomplish it without having to worry about cars or civilians getting in the way.
    • "Master Sniper" in the penultimate level is another "fun" one. You're supposed to make fifteen kills with a sniper rifle without missing a shot, which is hard enough to do on its own, but a glitch apparently introduced in one of the patches causes the counter to reset after every kill - you have to uninstall all patches and play the mission without them to get the challenge to work properly.

    Turn Based Strategy 
  • Final Fantasy Tactics has a few. First off, there's the only real sidequest in the game, which is a long series of somewhat unconnected events, which provides two of the best unique characters in the game, as well as a few others, and Cloud. It requires you to visit unlabled sections of the map, and in some cases, use the otherwise ignorable 'rumors' section of the bar. The rumors section is only EVER used for background events (Basically, it provides info on the war that is the backdrop for the plot) besides this quest, and the plot of the game can be fully understood without ever going there. It's not so bad if you have a guide, but you'll likely never get to the end of it without a guide, as it's pretty common to forget the 'rumors' section of the game even exists.
    • Deep Dungeon requires use of the rumors section to unlock as well, and is found in a very isolated portion of the map. The Deep Dungeon itself is completely unlit, except by spell animations and crystals left behind by dead enemies. In it, you need to find the exit to proceed to the next floor, which is completely unlabled even in the light, and even changes between one of five spots each time it's loaded. Why do you want to go there in the first place? Well, two reasons.
      • First off, each floor has four very powerful and rare items hidden similarly to the exits, though their location is static. Whats worse, however, is that finding these items require a unit to be equipped with Move-Find Item, an ability that is all but useless in the rest of the game. Second, even if you do know where these items are, you have a chance of finding an Elixir (a useful item, but they hardly compare to what you lost) instead, rendering these items Lost Forever. How do you increase your odds of finding the good item? Use a unit with low Brave, a stat which, by the time you get to Deep Dungeon, all of your characters should have over 80. And your odds of finding the elixir instead is equal to your brave. While it's easy to lower, a player playing without a guide who just happens to be using Move-Find Item is likely to just get the Elixir, be happy at the nice little reward, and move on blissfully unaware that he just lost the best armor in the game.
      • The second reason is so that you can learn Zodiac, the best summon in the game. To do this, while facing the Bonus Boss of Deep Dungeon, you have to have a summoner get hit with the spell and not die. Summoners aren't known for their high HP, and this IS the most powerful summon in the game, so surviving it takes some foresight. And good luck if you want to have your own summoner teach it to another summoner in your party, which while possible, is a VERY Luck-Based Mission.
    • Like with Zodiac, Ramza can only learn the Ultima spell in three places (one of which is the final battle). The first two require you to convince Assassins with 100% success rate Stop, Charm and Insant Death status effects to use a simple damage spell on you. Not to mention it requires you draw out fights with these said units much longer than might be considered sane.
    • It's generally recommended that you learn Ultima in the first of the two fights listed above. Because the second one features Elmdor wearing a full-suit of Infinity Minus One equipment (and since multiple characters on your team can wear the same gear, you'll want to have that for the character who doesn't get first pick). You can steal it from him, but he has a very high evade rate. Until you steal the shield, you have about a 10% chance of success. Taking the shield puts it up to a 'whopping' 25%. All while trying to fight those Assassins who teach you Ultima, and Elmdor (who is no slouch himself).
      • There are several other rare items that can only be stolen from specific bosses. After Elmdor, Meliadouls Chantage is most notable. While she's not particularly hard to steal from, it doesn't change that you have to equip a special ability on all of your characters to prevent her from doing massive damage and destroying your equipment.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics sidequests, in short, are a mix of Guide Dang It, and drawing out fights with That One Boss. The worst part is that so many of them are possibly Lost Forever, meaning you can't just leave them as 100% completion side-tasks for the end of the game.
  • Recruiting the final character Lehran in Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. To do this, you must deploy the Black Knight in the Part 1 Endgame, and then Ike needs to fight the Black Knight in Part 3, Chapter 7. Now, the problem here is that under normal conditions, Ike will be unable to scratch the Black Knight, who in turn will generally only need two hits to obliterate Ike. The only way to survive is to make Ike fast enough to avoid the second hit, and then pick him up with another unit and have them flee far, far away before the enemy's turn. And grinding Ike for this encounter won't help either, because if you manage to win, you can't unlock Lehran anyway.
    • In the same game, there's a bit of dialogue during the ending that only appears under highly specific conditions and can only be found on a second playthrough. First, you have to have Soren battle Micaiah during the first Greil Mercenaries-vs.-Dawn Brigade clash back in Part 3, Chapter 7. Then, you have to choose to save Pelleas at the beginning of Part 3, Chapter 13—hence the need for a second playthrough—and have Soren battle him during the Part 3 endgame. Best off using a siege tome for this, because you'll be lucky to even get close to Pelleas before the battle ends—and it's probably not a bad idea to do the same for the Micaiah battle, because she's surrounded by loads of other enemies including the Black Knight and also because when you fight enemies who are also player-controlled at other points of the game, their weapon uses are actually consumed by their attacks. After that, you just have to make sure that both Soren and Pelleas survive until the end of the game. If you do all of these things, Pelleas will tell Almedha that it would be wise to meet with Ike, and she'll see Soren and recognize that he is in fact her long-lost son.
    • Recruiting Ilyana in Path of Radiance was a challenge. You have to get your main character to her, not have her attack you, and make it back to defend your fort. She has barely any health, and the enmies outnubmer you about four-to-one.
    • In Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword, unlocking chapter 19xx requires first unlocking chapter 19x, then defeating the Magic Seal, Kishuna, in that chapter. Kishuna is surrounded by high-level units, has decent defense and insanely high evade, and will leave either after twelve turns (unless you kill the boss) or the turn after you attack him, whichever comes first. It's near impossible to kill him without getting a critical hit, making this a Luck-Based Mission at its finest. And for a side dash of Guide Dang It, even if you do this you won't unlock the chapter unless you played the tutorial story first and leveled a character up to level 7 - and since 19xx only shows up in the Another Side, Another Story mode you unlock when you first finish the game, you most likely skipped the tutorial story altogether!
      • ...unless you'd already done a playthrough skipping the tutorial story, at which point you'll notice that all of the characters from that story will be horribly underleveled whereas they'll keep all level-ups from the story if you played it. You'll never skip the tutorial again.
    • In Fire Emblem Thracia 776, recruiting either Conomore or Amalda was quite a pain in the ass due to how many reinforcements kept coming and coming and coming. And for worse, if you wanted Amalda, you'd have to bring Sleuf to do so... and an unpromoted Sleuf = easy to capture Sleuf. (At least Miranda was a Magical Girl Warrior...)
      • That's nothing compared to Xavier. Basically, the story is that he and his men are being forced to fight you against their wills because the bad guy has their family members as hostages. You have to free the eight hostages and get each specific hostage to talk to the specific enemy whom they're related to, thereby causing that soldier to switch sides. If any of the enemies captures one of your units before being turned, game over, you're screwed. If any of them dies before being turned to your side, you can't recruit Xavier. (Mercifully, once they've switched sides, it's fine if they die—and also mercifully, the eight enemies who need to be turned won't attack the hostages—though other enemies will, and any of them who are on your side will attack any who are not.) Once all eight have been turned to your side, then you can recruit Xavier.
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics A2, the quest "The Whole Truth" pits you against six Cassies (Malboro mobs), each with a breath ability that instantly charms anyone in its area of effect with 100% accuracy, another breath ability that casts both "Sleep" and "Slow," and an ability that cures surrounding allies, raises their defense, and casts "Regen" on them.
    • If you want a real annoyance, just wait until you encouter An Earnest Delight. It's a late-game dispatch mission, which can only be cleared if you have at least two Gria or Viera with complete MVP trophies or power level to around level 80 (when a well-built team can beat the final boss at level 50 on Hard).
    • The Nu Mou vs. Bangaa mission is a serious Guide Dang It; you have to complete the mission as both sides three times before you learn it's a Batman Gambit by a third party which the two then team up to fight.
    • Speaking of Final Fantasy Tactics A2, do the words Brightmoon Tor ring any bells? First you fight about a dozen battles against reasonably difficult but still pretty easily beatable characters... and then you get to the top and some Level 99 monsters kick your ass almost before your first turn.
    • Even harder than all of the above, once you finish all 300 quests, you gain access to one final tournament. The first few battles are extremely tough even with a max-level party, but the absolute worst is the third or fourth battle. It pits you against a bunch of Master Tonberries and a bunch of enemies who are only too eager to cast Haste on them. Oh, and they get to take about six free rounds before you're even allowed to move. And the Tonberries are guaranteed to hit for 999 damage in a game where it's nigh impossible to have more than about 600 HP. If you're really lucky, you might still have one character left by your first turn. And if, by some miracle, you manage to win? You don't even get a Bragging Rights Reward, you get to watch the credits again.
  • The first Arc The Lad game contains one of the most ridiculous sidequest goals ever: win 1,000 Arena battles. The battles are easy, and by the time you've gotten even halfway to 1,000 wins, you'll have earned enough experience points to bring your entire team to the level cap several times over. The primary challenge involved in getting to 1,000 wins is simply being obsessed enough to keep fighting the same enemies, over and over again, for hour after hour, in spite of the sheer tedium involved in doing so. If you're actually insane enough to reach 1,000 wins, the Arena manager will reward you with a huge supply of the game's best accessories for you to take with you into the sequel, then tell you to turn off the console, go outside, and get a life!
  • Luminous Arc 2's Spa Battles, oh god. It's an entirely optional sidequest near the end of the game, which the party was asked by Expys of Luminous Arc's Cecille (Cecillia) and Huge (Yugo) to clear out the Kopins from their hotsprings, with free spa baths (AKA special Hot Spring Intermissions for the 100% Completion). Think it'll be easy since it's just Kopins? No, it's not. Each hot spring location is a series of battles against high-levelled stat-specialised Kopins, with either extremely high Defence or Resistence, which you won't know until the battle begins, meaning it's easy for players to accidentally dispatched the wrong party members for the battle. The last battle of each location is with That One Boss Vanessa, who can easily dishes out more damage than your HP can withstand without proper preparations (even when you nullify her Fire magic, her boosted physical attack can still hurts you). Oh and you face her while those high-levelled Popins keep on respawning and bothers you with their numbers and speed.
    • After each battle with Vanessa, you can view a Hot Spring Intermission with one of the party members who's deployed throughout the series of battles in one location. The fun comes in getting the other Intermissions from other party members you don't use normally in tough battles. You can have only 5 of the party members' Intermissions from this sidequest per playthrough. Each new hot spring location is tougher than the last. Yippee.
  • Getting the Vandaler class in Vandal Hearts. It's an Eleventh Hour Superpower for your main character that gives him every learnable spell, autoblock on all frontal and side attacks, an absurdly high block rate for back attacks and sky high stats and unique equipment that's better than anything in the game. You just have to find each of the six Prisms, one in each chapter, in battles that aren't repeatable. Some of the Prisms just require you to examine a strange looking tile, some require you to talk to a certain person in a tavern, complete a secret objective in a battle and then talk to the person again, despite them not actually telling you the objective. One requires you to find and not sell three unique, valuable items in previous chapters that are only found by examining out of the way tiles in intense fights. And after that, each one puts you into a special challenge battle in which you not only have to defeat all the enemies, but make sure to get the special item in a difficult to get to chest. One such battle requires you to actively place your units not to kill enemies with counterattacks and navigate a difficult block pushing puzzle in which one wrong move makes it all impossible. Do all this, you get to use the Vandaler class for the past few battles.
    • The easiest Prisms to find require you to send a unit to a counter intuitive location on the off-chance that funny looking tile isn't just a quirk of some mapper's choice and is one of the pre-designated special item location.
  • Obscure PS2 game Stella Deus The Gate Of Eternity allows you to recruit the Anti-Villain half of the Big Bad Duumvirate, Viser. This is a game-long sidequest (he is only recruitable whilst Storming the Castle of the Final Boss) and is so convoluted that it's beyond Guide Dang It: of the game's two guides on GameFAQs, one is only half-sure how to recruit him and the other offers no suggestions whatsoever.
  • From Disgaea 2 onwards there is the Land Of Carnage. For all purposes it's a different HUB area that allows you to fight the stages against enemies with insane stat boosts, but also the strongest weapons, emblems and armor pieces are only found while fighting in this area. However, actually getting there is always the hardest and most time-consuming task in the games. Disgaea 4 takes the cake by a long shot, though, with requirements that aren't explained anywhere and are absolutely impossible to figure out without a guide.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • The Grand Theft Auto series has many examples.
    • The Taxi missions. Collecting an inordinate amount of passengers one at a time, each of which other demand to be driven the entire length of the island you're on, to get the useless ability to make taxi cabs (and only them) jump into the air on command. The only saving grace is that you don't have to do them all in one go.
    • The Paramedic missions, specifically in Grand Theft Auto III. A top-heavy ambulance that's prone to tipping, no map support, pitiful time bonuses, and no cumulative progress made this a LOT harder than it had to be. And God help you if you try to do this in the Portland area after killing Salvatore. Vice City was just as bad, considering that, if you did it early, you had to drive on the beach, which had so many bumps and such poor traction that you would probably do a complete roll by acccident. San Andreas was hardly better, considering the ambulance could roll over smaller cars and flip itself, the huge world map could put targets far away, and the available time resets itself with each level (unlike Vice City, which let you build up a generous amount of extra). On top of that, the overlapping roadways can lead to you driving over or under your targets, forcing you to backtrack to the right road.
    • Firefighter in Shoreside Vale in III, due to the difficulty in quickly getting across the two islands.
    • The final Ammunation shooting range and trucking missions in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
    • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City's RC Plane missions are an even better example - the horrid flying controls had legions of gamers tearing out their hair in frustration.
      • Same for Zero's RC missions in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Nearly impossible. Thankfully, not required.
    • Any missions requiring players to fly real planes, although, unfortunately, many of those were required. It only gets worse when the player has to do most of them with a plane with the poorest handling in the game.
    • There is also an unfortunate, but funny occurrence. On PC, the driving school sidequest of San Andreas cannot be done with an old keyboard because the player is required to press three keys simultaneously.
      • Except for the fact you can just activate mouse controlled steering, then just press forward and reverse, then turn.
      • Speaking of the driving school, the final mission requires you to drive the full length of the city and back, with an insane time limit. You also need to take zero damage, which means that not only can you not hit anything but you need to cross you fingers every time you mount the kerb or brake too hard.
    • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. The Driver mission. Specifically what makes it irritating is the fact that the guy who you practically killed yourself to hire dies within a minute of the mission starting anyway. The next mission (The Job) justifies how hard this one.
    • Another San Andreas example is the cycling races. To start off you need to get yourself to the top of extremely high, steep mountain. Once there you can start several races that require you to hurtle down the mountain tracks on a push bike at ridiculous speeds whilst being jossled and cut off by AI riders. If you cycle off the track (or are rammed) then you almost certainly won't make first place. If you fall off the bike then you almost certainly won't make first place. You will be disqualified if you shoot the other racers (you will quickly try to resort to this). One race even involves an obstacle course with narrow balance beams. The worst part is that there is no easy way to restart the races if you fail, so you will have to climb back up the mountain every time you screw up. In fact, the quickest way to get back for another go is to reload a save at your airport base, fly half-way across the state and crash into the summit.
    • Grand Theft Auto V has the Epsilon missions. The vast majority of them are not fun or challenging; they're tedious, time-consuming, scattered all over the map, and require you to spend exorbitant amounts of money to advance in. One requires you to wear a set of robes for ten days straight; the only way to conceivably complete it is to continue going to bed without ever switching to another character. Another mission requires you to deliver five rare cars; if you don't know where they happen to spawn, then it's a huge case of Guide Dang It. The most infamous mission requires you to run five miles in the desert. And just to rub salt in the wound, the missions are notoriously buggy; saving at the wrong time can make them impossible to complete. The silver lining is that this is one of the only side quests in the game that actually gives you a sizable monetary reward should you actually complete it.
      • That is, if you complete the last mission correctly. In order to get the money, Michael is supposed to shoot up the Epsilon vehicles and get away during the last mission. If you let them keep the money, the Epsilon officials will instead give you a "reward" that is...a rusty, old, barely functioning tractor.
  • The Quarry missions in San Andreas are generally pretty straightforward, until you get the the final one. This involves the use of a crane to dump bodies in the back of a truck. This would be relatively simple were it not for the fact that said crane has some of the worst controls in video game history. You also have to do this in 8 minutes, as well as doing some other often pedantic activities on that same 8 minute timer.
  • Picking up all the orbs in Crackdown. Unlike Grand Theft Auto's packages, there are hundreds upon hundreds orbs, many small and easy to miss, and with such density (and vertical displacement) as to be maddening to find even with a map. Reaching a scenario where one or two orbs are missing is extremely easy. To finish, the save likes to corrupt on people shortly after or before getting all the orbs.
  • Similarly, most racing missions in the latest Grand Theft Auto and many clones. Rubber Band A.I. at its worst.
    • Let the cars get ahead of you. They'll Charlie Foxtrot each other in an orgy of self annihilation. Then drive calmly, slow down in turns, and you're cherry. The biggest problem is your vehicle's endurance: you don't want it to be a flaming wreck until just after you passed the finish line. If you're playing IV, use one of the rear engined cars (like the Comet) Compared to the Ambulance missions in III and the RC missions in SA, the racing in all version is a cinch.
  • Mention the tow truck missions to any player of Saints Row 2, and they will regale you with how frustratingly hard and annoying it is. To start, the tow truck is slow. And the cars you hitch behind it love to wobble and wave, and eventually jackknife, usually getting you stuck. Especially on the higher levels when you have several gang cars shooting at you, its a hair puller. And to top it off, you can't heal. If the tow truck starts smoking before level 6, you don't have a chance. And there's no checkpoint. Blow up 2 feet from your destination on level 10? Too bad skippy, back to level 1 with you.
    • Escort is another irritatingly-difficult one. You're basically driving a hooker and a client around town while they get it on in the back seat, evading news vans along the way. Problem is, those news vans are very fast (possibly even faster than when you drive them), relentless, and will occasionally set up roadblocks in front of you. Even worse, shooting guns to kill the vans' drivers lowers the Pleasure meter (which needs to fill up for success), though satchel charges don't seem to drop the meter. But the worst part is that you will sometimes be required to drive to a certain place (often on the other side of town), perform powerslides, run over people, hit other cars, etc., and the Pleasure meter WILL NOT MAKE FURTHER PROGRESS until you do so. Good luck dodging news vans with nothing better to cover than two people having sex in the back of a car for that long.
    • In Saints Row The Third, Snatch is even more irritating than Escort. Why? The people you need to snatch sometimes get stuck on your car and won't get in. Sometimes they get knocked down and take precious seconds to get back up. Maybe they do get in the car, but some asshole gang member pulls you out of the driver's seat, making them get back out. And all while you're trying to get them in the car, you've got an entire army of gang members trying to kill you, often bringing in the Specialists and Brutes. It won't take long before they bring in enough Morning Star snipers to turn the whole damn place into a laser rave, and need we highlight the fact that their sniper rifles can make your vehicle explode after a few shots?
      • Another reason is that Escort is now easier, since the vans are slower and not as numerous. However, the irritating "do X before the Pleasure meter will fill further" requirements are still intact...at least for traditional Escort. There's also Tiger Escort, which trades that for a tiger in the passenger seat that will occasionally claw the Boss and cause your steering to drift left or right randomly, along with an Animal Rage failure meter that will decrease over time, unlike standard Escort's Footage meter.
      • Snatch and Escort-yes, even the airport Escort mission-pale in comparison to some of the Heli Attack missionsnote . Not only are you firing rocket launchers around with a helicopter (Always a good ride, those helicopters) at tiny, squirrely cars that are shooting at a slow-ass car which you must protect, but there is no automatic targeting. And there are buildings and roads in the way. And to get close enough to actually fire at the cars, you must go close enough to the ground that you are constantly bumping into things. And helicopters are shooting at you. It doesn't help that your partners constantly yell at you every time they get hit.
  • Getting 100% completion in every area of LittleBigPlanet is an exercise in futility. Completion of some of the harder areas like The Metropolis, or The Canyons is possible, but to ace The Islands, The Temples, and The Wilderness AND obtain all of the items in the stage is practically a superhuman feat. The worst offender is a spinning wheel of death that will throw you into an instant-death electrocution if you have not either: A) perfectly memorized the working's of LBP's physics system, or B) inherited a sort of muscle memory due to playing that part of the stage over and over. You'll still feel stupid when you find out how to do it the easy way.
    • Getting 100% displayed for an area does not involve finishing the whole level without dying, it is simply a matter of getting all the treasure bubbles. However, getting the Play trophy is very difficult.
      • Acing the first Don Jalepeno level. You have to beat the level without dying. Said level's primary theme is explosives. That you handle manually. Which is easy enough to do if you're careful (provided you don't accidentally stand on the wrong part of one of the switches). Then you get to the final stretch, and they throw jetpacks into the mix (more specifically flying under a series of three pillars with precise timing, then dropping a bomb on some terrain. At least twice).
      • Really getting 100% completion on this level is arguably worse, given that at least one chunk of items requires another player (and reminding you once more that this is the explosives level... With friends like these...).
    • There's also getting hundred percent completion on the Serpent Shrine level. It's not acing the level that is difficult (Although the boss fight is pretty irritating), it's the multiplayer puzzle where you must have one person manually raise and lower the fuzzy balls that bring safety, while another person goes through a tunnel of snakes. While most multiplayer puzzles can actually be completed by yourself using two controllers, this is not one of them. Only people with videogame-themed superpowers are able to pass through the tunnel with success. Even worse, what the other person is doing is always far easier-looking then it actually is, which can lead to profanity.
  • Most of the Side Quests in Borderlands that feature you killing some sort of diabolical critter could count. You will die at Moe and Marley, and Mothrakk, many, many timesnote .
  • Collecting every last blast shard in In FAMOUS, it doesn't help that after a certain amount of them your Electricity storage stops going up. Also adding insult to the injury, you only get a bronze trophy for collecting them all. Furthermore, five of them require that Cole is evil.
    • You at least have an ability to sense nearby shards, although one of them is hidden so far off the coast that you can neither sense nor see it...
    • inFAMOUS 2 made this much easier. After completing 60 sidequests you can buy Blast Shard Sense, which will spot the closest blast shard to your location. Of course, by that point you're almost finished with the game and have collected most of them anyway, but it's nice to have. (They also give you a gold trophy for collecting them all as opposed to a bronze.)
  • In Endless Ocean: Blue World, after completing the main plot, you find out that you need to save up a million pelagos in order to continue further. Your side jobs typically only reward you a couple thousand at best, and you've likely already been spending lots of money on gear upgrades. And what's worse, once you make the million, you're only charged half that amount anyway.
  • Starting your very own kingdom in Mount & Blade. It involves such an amount of politic and logistic elements it must be played as an entirely different game. It's also much more difficult just to stay alive unless you have done your deal of public relationships work beforehand, as every lord will otherwise see you as a threat to their status as hand-picked vassals of their Kings.
    • Also the Claimant quests. Each faction has a claimant to the throne with a sob story behind it. You require 200 renown just to be eligible for the quest. Then, a war ensues between the claimant's significantly smaller faction and the original faction. Your reward, should you succeed, is a lifetime appointment as the marshall of the new faction, which is a mixed blessing at best. It does help towards the ultimate goal of seizing your own kingdom since being a marshall gives you a lot of respect with your subordinate vassals.
  • SimCity 2013 has one sidequest that requires you to have less than 5 fires in 5 hours. Due to an existing bug in the game which causes the fire trucks to cluster together into a group and put out fires in the same spot, this has become a Luck-Based Mission in which all you can do is have at least one maxed out fire station, and pray that at least one of the trucks doesn't go join the cluster, due to the fact that the game will up the ante and set multiple buildings on fire at the same time nearing the end of the timed quest.


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