Nintendo Hard: Non Video Game Examples
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- Subverted, ironically, in the Paper Mario X series, as every boss character is taken down without hardly a sweat.
- Played straight in Paper Luigi X though: either Luigi messes something up or the boss literally is hard and poses a legitimate challenge.
- The Lone Wolf Gamebook series got progressively more difficult around book eight or so, but never really reached this level of madness... except for The Prisoners of Time. In addition to the usual death traps and Random Number God bullshit, there were three extremely difficult fights right at the end. In the first, if you brought the Infinity+1 Sword from an earlier book, the boss' stats were nearly impossible to overcome. The second featured similar issues, regardless of equipment. And the third was on the next entry, giving you no chance to heal, and you started by taking unavoidable damage.
- Fictional example: "New Cap City" in Caprica. A Dieselpunk Cyberspace MMORPG in which almost every player and NPC acts like a Hair-Trigger Temper psychopath, fighter planes randomly strafe the streets every so often, and dying once doesn't just permanently destroy your character but bans you from the game for life. And then the incredibly pissed-off AI teenage girls with God Mode powers and Resurrective Immortality turn up...
- The casino game "Diana" Surprisingly old, predating Nintendo, the TV itself, and even radio! was introduced to the Wild West in the 1800s, but did not gain popularity as the odds were apparently murderous.
- Most puzzle- or skill-based toys are simple once you get the trick. However, there are a few that remain fiendishly difficult, even after hours of practice. Worth special mention is one that consists of a box topped by a tilting platform, controlled by two knobs on the sides. The object is to navigate a marble through the maze on the platform by tilting it using the knobs. It wouldn't be that hard, except that the platform has a bunch of holes in it in addition to the walls of the maze. Falling through a hole forces you to start over, and all it takes is a momentary lapse in concentration.
- There is now a 3-dimensional version of that puzzle, called the Perplexus, which is a ball encased in a clear plastic sphere with many obstacles. This one offers points to start from in the middle, but also many new challenges.
- Homestar Runner parodied this trope. There's the easter egg game "Super Kingio Bros," in which you cannot possibly avoid the first enemy, who you find within the first second of the game.
- Real Escape Game is a series of Room Escape Games, except in the real world—you are physically locked inside the room with a team of other players and have to find the key to the room to escape within the time limit. Most if not all versions of the game have clear rates of less than five percent. Even with a full stock of teammates, you'll need to think swiftly if you so much as want a chance at victory.
- Harvard University's "Math 55" course is, by the university's own admission, "probably the most difficult undergraduate math class in the country": it covers several years of undergraduate math in two semesters, with the homework per week taking well into the double digits in hours and only a few students typically remaining at the end. The faculty deliberately made the course so difficult not simply as a weeder but to give students a new understanding of depth.