The later stages of the Bloons TD games can veer straight into this trope, 5 being arguably the worst game with this, throwing a bunch of ZOMGs (the most powerful enemies in the game) at you ALL AT ONCE in the post-game (Levels 50+ for Easy, 65+ for Medium and 85+ for Hard/Impoppable modes)
It gets worse. When you get all the Completion Medals for all Beginner tracks (Yes, including Impoppable) AND beat EVERY OTHER TRACK IN THE GAME you get... *drumroll* Mastery Mode. This is THE hardest mode in the game. Remember that 1 ZOMG the game threw at you on Round 85? Well, there are now TEN of the things one round earlier! They are also faster and stronger. Did I mention that a normal ZOMG has a whopping 4000 HP and a RBE level of 16656? Have fun!
Also, some of the stages in Zachtronics' programming puzzler SHENZHEN I/O (yes, it's capitalised like that) can be pretty hellish sometimes, take for example the last level where you have to track a radar signal using only basic ASM operators and chips that can hold 14 lines of code.
Flappy Bird. CNET has wisely described it as the embodiment of our descent into madness. Among the first 20 five-star reviews on the App Store include these fantastic headers: "The death of me"; "The apocalypse"; "Save yourselves"; "Life destroying"; "my life is spiraling out of control"; and "Hello Darkness My Old Friend."
Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy does this via Some Dexterity Required and No Checkpoints; it is possible to fall all the way back to the start of the game, and the controls are deliberately awkward, as you have to climb the side of a mountain of trash using nothing but a hammer whose swings are controlled by your mouse - you can't even jump or move outside of that.
Breakdown: Controls take a very long time to master, although not in a Fake Difficulty way. The most recurring enemies (the T'lon) are very strong, invunerable to your guns, and almost every one of their hits disorients the player, forcing him to adjust the view while under attack. Its penultimate battle is a five round deathmatch with no save points. Actions are slow but in a great, detailed manner, not Fake Difficulty. Save points are sometimes very distant. Suffice to say, the game has a very meaningful title.
And halfway through the game, you lose your HUD, meaning the only way to tell how much damage you've taken and how much power you've got left for special attacks is either by pausing or taking note of the effects on the screen and/or your arms mid-game.
There's a new generation of Nintendo Hard games, which take play mechanics from NES classics and crank up the difficulty way past eleven, to a number that can't be displayed on a standard pocket calculator. Homebrew game designer Dessgeega has referred to these games as "masocore," or games for hardcore masochistic players. She also created her own game in the genre, Mighty Jill Off, which is a tribute to Mighty Bomb Jack. The difference is that there are no bombs... instead, the player is forced to master the high jumps and gliding that defined the Bomb Jack series in order to climb to the top of a very high, very dangerous tower.
The first tower is relatively tame, but the second one... Well, just to tip you off, the criteria to play it is to finish the first level under twelve minutes. If you still want to play it, you'd better be prepared for some nasty tricks, such as jumping through a section with seemingly glitched graphics, jumping through what looks like solid floor, or having to kill yourself to get through a dead end... twice. Fortunately, the game plays fair and these obstacles aren't that hard to figure out.
The game Stuntman, especially in the later levels. You have to drive a car through a long sequence with numerous stunts with very little margin of error. The strict time limit and stunt requirements make it so that if you make a mistake at any point, you pretty much have to restart the level. Several levels take dozens of retries to get through. The sequel, thankfully, was much more forgiving, allowing you to get through most levels without much trouble, though it's still challenging to get a high score on them.
Odama. Picture a real-time strategy game where you had to keep an eye on the battlefield while maintaining a game of pinball, with a time limit.
Robo Warrior on the original NES. Similar to Bomberman, you had to drop bombs to create a path through a labyrinth of breakable rocks, unbreakable rocks and enemies. Your life meter was constantly draining, the enemies ranged from very annoying to downright dangerous, and then there were several sections where you had to bomb a certain breakable (or even "unbreakable") block multiple times to continue on with the game. DO NOT try to play this without a guide.
Legacy of the Wizard. The game is one massive dungeon, there is no map, you will get stuck if you try to play without knowing where everything is, and the only Save Point is at the house where you start.
You would think that as long as you have the necessary skills in whatever it is the game is trying to teach you, Edutainment Games would avoid this, right? You've obviously never played Operation Neptune.
Robot Odyssey is about as hard as... no, it's much harder than you would expect a game about electrical engineering to be like. The first two levels are reasonable enough, but then the game shifts to "brutal" to "soul-crushing" to "virtually impossible" in each subsequent one. Puzzles that will make your brain melt, require inhuman amounts of dedication and endurance, and harrowing punishments for failure are just the tip of the iceberg that awaits.
Not only is Siren full of terrors, but if you slip up just once, the game WILL kill you.
If you want 100% Completion, you need a guide to complete all of the alternate level goals and get an extra ending in the process. Even then, if you're not thorough enough the first and second times around, you will miss most of the special document items, the last of which unlocks a bonus cutscene hat appears to be a prequel to the whole game that explains Hanuda Village's curse. There are also a couple of boss battles that are exhausting, but that's another trope.
Glider PRO and its predecessors at least approach Nintendo Hard difficulty: colliding with the floor or furniture will kill you, never mind moving enemies, and you need to ride vents in order to gain height. The few enemies that can be killed respawn quickly, but extra gliders and other powerups never respawn. Though there are houses with very Benevolent Architecture and sparse enemies, there are also houses like "Castle of the Air," which has a room titled "It Gets Worse!" The stars in "Nemo's Market" are located in rooms that transport you out in a dozen seconds or less, and you will not be forgiven for missing a single one.
The Adventure Island series would also qualify. One hit deaths, cheap AI, limited attacks, and a limited timer that had to be constantly refilled by eating fruit before you starved to death are just some of the things that make this series difficult.
Chakan: The Forever Man for the Sega Genesis. Named for both the title character's immortality and the amount of time it takes to beat it on hard mode. The Bonus Boss is Death himself. Although he's not nearly as cool as one would imagine.
Ecco CD for the Sega CD is so difficult that you can die when you have the invincibility god mode on. Even the cheat codes are hard to use and difficult to implement (there's one that lets you teleport to X Y coordinates, which will usually end up with Ecco crushed in a wall... which will probably kill you). Which is a shame, since the music and FMVs are quite gorgeous.
The Ecco the Dolphin series in general (except for Ecco Jr., of course) is brutally hard. Oh, sure, it stars a cute little dolphin, but he is going to die. A lot. The first game is hard to beat even if you enter the invincibility code and the level select code to begin on the final boss.
Hilariously, Ed Annunziata has actually admitted he was paranoid about kids beating it in a weekend, so made it hard.
Air Fortress actually starts off pretty easy. At Level 4, the game stops playing around. On Level 6, it officially crosses over into this trope.
The shmup section of each level can get fairly brutal, but is a lot easier once you've had some practice and know what's about to come at you. Where the game really screws you is in the infiltration sections. The fortresses themselves can get utterly mazelike, including transport tubes that don't take you to the same place if you try to return the way you came. You can only fire tiny projectiles forward, meaning hitting anything that isn't directly in front of you is a nightmare, and you move fairly slowly while most projectiles move at at least twice the speed, and a lot of them even home in on your position. There's no Mercy Invincibility, so it's very, very easy to get pinned down and locked into a Cycle of Hurting (especially when the evil spacemen and jumping robots get involved.) And even when you get to the end and destroy the core, you still have to make it to the exit in less than two minutes, and after the first stage or two it's somewhere deep within the labyrinthine levels, pretty much requiring you to plot out your escape route in advance. The only real mercy is that most enemies don't respawn after they die...except when they suddenly do.
Many online flash games unintentionally fall under this trope, as they are often created primarily by one person, thus preventing much play testing. As a result, they often start with an insultingly easy tutorial and quickly spiral into insanity, with little in the way of a curve in between.
QWOP. Who would had thought the simple act of running for even a measly five meters can be so hard?
You're supposed to get to 100... It's a long jump.
Wonderland Adventures is overall rather tame, focusing more on complex puzzles than on quick reflexes, even if it does contain an occasional hairpuller like "Button Me Down". Then you run into the level "Wakka Wakka 2". For those who don't know, it's a Pacman-like maze where you are chased by an enemy that always, always moves faster than you. Your only hope is to use the teleporters in the maze that simulate the "from one side of the screen to the other". The catch? There are only 8 teleporter pairs, and each pair can only be used once. So if you haven't got the gems before that, tough luck. Unless you have played it, you have no idea how hard it is.
Terminator Salvation the Arcade Game is a very tough Light Gun Game compared to Ghost Squad or Razing Storm. Let's see... swarm waves of enemies which can take an entire magazine of your gun to kill a single Terminator. Swarms of Demonic Spider units which will utterly overwhelm you. And there is no way to know how close you are to finishing off an enemy, unlike its cousins, which will put your skills as a resistance soldier to the test.
Larger levels in Jet Set Radio can be quite frustrating: you have to tag each of dozens of spots with graffiti, while collecting cans (you can only hold 20-25, they're limited, some spots use up nine of them, and often you'll go a while without seeing any) and running away from police, who will come at you in helicopters and on jetpacks or snipe you from afar even while you're tagging. Oh, and there's a time limit.
In Mabinogi, there are storyline events that may consider be Nintendo Hard:
Post-G9 mission difficulty is weighted by your total level. Hope you weren't level 1000+...
Peaca Dungeon is worth a mention, but the Arc Lich from Metus turns difficulty Up to Eleven.
YMMV, when you're experience lag, and in a dungeon, or Shadow Mission.
Giant Field bosses. Even though it's pointless to kill them, but they give awesome drops and several unobtainium items.
The Tower of Druaga is almost impossible to beat without knowing in advance what treasures you need to collect and how to collect them, which the game doesn't explain. Even with a Strategy Guide, every level is a Timed Mission with random player, enemy, item, and exit placements. And there are no Save Points, a fact that players who see the dreaded message "YOU ZAP TO..." will bitterly regret. (There is a Continue Mode, though.)
Super Cosplay War Ultra has its fair share of SNK Bosses, but where the Nintendo Hard aspect truely shines is in Battle Royale mode, which pits you and an AI-controlled partner against a series of mook enemies with a boss battle at the end of each stage. Even if it weren't for the fact that your AI partner is guilty of doing some pretty dumb things (like wasting supers when the enemy's got you in the middle of an attack and renders both of you untouchable) and getting caught in between two enemies can cause you to swap directions randomly, Battle Royale mode would still be tough as hell, thanks to tougher-than-they-really-should-be mooks (every one has a super move, and the recurring Pac-Helo enemy can electrify himself, hurting the player if he/she doesn't attack him from a distance) and gigantic bosses with lots and lots of HP and attacks that hurl the player across the screen for massive damage (and some of them even render the boss immune to hitstun.) Most notable are stage 3, which gets rid of your AI partner entirely and pits you against 5 enemies all by yourself (and the game doesn't wait for you; if you take too long to defeat an enemy, more will spawn until you're completely overwhelmed.) and stage 5, which pits you against two mooks, two Elite Mooks at once (both of which are practically Mid Boss material) and the boss from stage 3 (who will spawn anyway if you take too long) and then finally one of the biggest SNKBosses in the game. All in one sitting. And that's not even getting into Another Battle Royale...
Katamari Damacy has always had frustrating gimmick levels, but Katamari Forever takes it Up to Eleven with some of the King's Cosmos levels:
The Cowbear level from We Love Katamari makes its return, but is even more obscenely difficult with the black-and-white filter making it impossible to tell what, exactly, counts as a cow or a bear.
Levels such as Make Mars, where you have to roll up specific types of items while avoiding others, are also made needlessly frustrating because of the black and white filter.
The superior computing power of the PS3 makes it that so small items disappear much slower as you get bigger, which means the Only 50 items level is ridiculously harder than the last time it appeared.
Katamari Drive mode takes the cake, though: your katamari rolls about ten times faster, which is a huge drawback on the gimmick levels, but on every level, you're expected to do BETTER than normal!
On top of all that, the camera is much worse this time around, and it's really easy to get it stuck behind something, which adds just another facet of BS difficulty.
Campaigns of Tokugawa Ieyasu and Toyotomi are notoriously hard. Tokugawa's campaign's Mikata Ga Hara makes you fight a losing battle. Toyotomi's campaign's first mission itself is hard.
Archer tutorial. You have 30 archers, as a unit to fight a 34-35 spear samurais. You start in a hill, but the weather is stormy, which makes archer-ing even worse.
Uesugi's 1530 scenario. The nearby Hojo will invade. Oh, to add more insult, the rebels, for some odd reason, will swarm you also. If you somehow beat that, then hope your ONLY heir didn't die. Hope you're not playing Expert or Hard...
Takeda's 1530 scenario. The rebels WILL invade Aki province, one way or another. The Computer seems to lose this province, though.
Japan vs. Mongols scenario. In the scenario, you are promisedmany strong troops. To make it worse, the Mongols won't land on that specific spot. They land on the North coasts. Meaning anything that's North have a coastline. To make it worse, you can't train the warrior monks. The only way to win? Cheat for money and bribe the Mongol forces, or wait till you can train no-dachis, which needs multiple victories to obtain.
The Segoki Jidai Rebel scenario, assessable via cheat, has you controling the Game-Breaker no-dachis. You can also build warrior monks, but guess what, when the years goes by, both the no-dachi and warrior monks will fall. Even to the ashigarus. This problem seems to be averted towards the Medieval version rebels, though.
Everything in the 1580 scenario. You have: The Shimazu, who can be invaded by the Mori. The Mori, who can be invaded by Shimazu AND Oda. The Oda, who can be invaded by rebellions and the nearby Takeda/Uesugi. The Tokugawa, who is surrounded by Takeda forces. The Hojo, who can be targeted by the aggresive rebels and Uesugi. The Uesugi, who can be wiped by the Takeda. And finally, the Takeda, which almost can be the winner, can be targeted by the Tokugawa... in which if they build a citadel and the geisha.
Campaigns. Again, these makes you fight with units that you either have no experience, and most of the time, you're pitted with enemies that never get tired.
Total Victory. If you're about to win, hope that your generals won't mutiny. If they do, you have to attack strong troops you trained. What's worse, Medieval has a year limit, and if the game is going to end, and your generals mutiny, it becomes an Unwinnable game.
Sieges. Unlike Shogun, these sieges are deadlier. You will lose many troops, if you're attacking that is.
Units. So many to pick from. If you don't have the internet (during the game is first released), picking out stronger units becomes a Guide Dang It!. Unlike Shogun, again, there's too many units to try.
The Pope. Sure, he's the Holy Father, but if conquered he comes back. Strong. And if you're his enemy, prepare to be excommunicated and for Crusades on your lands. It's averted if you're not a Catholic religion, or you are the Pope.
A not so severe case exists with peasentry forces - Players who played Shogun before will think that peasentry (ashigaru in Shogun) will be good on certain fights, right? Nope. You can try to make it fight horses. They die. Fight ranged units. They die. Make them have MAX Rank and Weaponry? Make it 16 units? (1600 men) They still lose, regardless (unless the opponent is also a peasentry force, but weaker). A non-button example of Damn You, Muscle Memory!?
Total War: Shogun 2 is considered to be the most difficult Total War game to date thanks in part due to improved AI and gameplay. And then there's Legendary Mode, which not only makes AI opponents incredibly aggressive and generally managing your clan a challenge but also makes it impossible to save your progress outside of the autosave feature.
Total War: Attila manages to top Shogun 2. In addition to the aforementioned Legendary Mode, the game added a few new features such as immigrants fleeing on coming hordes, the land becoming gradually less inhabitable and the Titular Attila whose armies destroy just about every other faction.
There's a reason why "survival strategy" is highly emphasized when playing as the Western Roman Empire. It's the first faction in the series to get the difficulty rating of legendary.
Like in the previous game, Rome 2, each set of objectives would resolve when you achieve the linked primary objective, unlocking the next set. In Rome 2, the objectives are things like "Hold 13 territories." For West Rome in Attila, the first FOUR primary objectives are simply "Survive until XXX."
Playing as the Eastern Roman Empire is relatively easier compared to its Western counterpart, given its better stability, technology and economy. If by relatively, it means defending against both the Sassanid Empire to the east and keeping the various barbarian factions from reaching Constantinople.
BattleZone: The Red Odyssey (a RTS/FPS/Vehicle Combat game) is an entire expansion pack of Nintendo Hard missions. The very first mission has you walking over a kilometer on foot (this is a game where you spend 99% of your time inside a hover tank), while being hunted down by other foot soldiers - dark red who easily blend into the dark gray ground of the planet. Once you reach your destination (a Russian army base), you have to snipe a hover tank's cockpit to kill the pilot (no easy task, mind you), steal the tank, scan a couple buildings, then rush through the base while being shot at by everything, then escape through a labyrinth of narrow canyons, then defend a small base for upwards of 20 minutes against a nearly constant onslaught of Russian hover tanks.
Kid Icarus: Uprising for the Nintendo 3DS easily qualifies for this trope. While the difficulty level is adjustable, when it's hard, it's Nintendo Hard.
The laserdisc game Badlands plays like if Dragon's Lair had one button, extremely strict timing for the button presses, and no continues.
The Immortal. It's an isometric adventure game rather than a platformer, but just like in Another World, you can and will die a lot - to the extent that you can die in the very first room if you stand on one particular spot just a few seconds too long. To put it simply: the title doesn't refer to you.
There's something written on that amulet you picked up. Do you want to read it? You just blew up.
One of the puzzles requires you to drink poison in order to move further ahead. Better find that antidote in the next level quickly enough...
Did you miss the Fire Resistance spell? The Magnetic Hands spell? The Stone Form spell? Sorry, if you're missing even a single one, the dragon at the end cannot be defeated and the game becomes Unwinnable. Time to restart...
Electronic Arts sold a promotional T-shirt at the game's release which read "It's not when, it's how." The rest of the shirt was covered with pictures of human skulls in various states of damage with labels like "Crushed", "Fried", "Impaled", "Squid-bait"...
Nintendo Land: The Extra Stages in The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest and Metroid Blast (available after beating all standard stages) and several games as a whole, particularly Donkey Kong's Crash Course and Balloon Trip Breeze which demand very precise control.
Bloodline Champions: So you start the game, thinking to yourself "I'm a MOBA veteran, let me see what everyone's talking about this one's combat for." Approximately 15 seconds after the start of your first battle you are now thinking "What?". After giving a woefully inadequate tutorial which only convinces you that you know nothing, the game throws you in with 15 abilities (counting your two items you can take in) to manage cooldowns and such on simultaneously (most of them requiring aiming, even the self-defense ones) and says "go". This game does not have a "steep learning curve", it has a learning cliff with everyone at the bottom dying like flies to everyone at the top who walk around racking up kills on the poor souls looking like anImplacable Man.
Zombies Ate My Neighbors can make masters of Contra cry. To put it like this, you have to run through mazes and fight B-movie monsters. You also have to find and rescue your Too Dumb to Live neighbors. The Mooks are tough, and surprise, the bosses are worse. Oh, did we mention that you have to conserve ammunition?
The House of the Dead series. It doesn't help that in the Wii port of The House of the Dead 2, you don't get unlimited continues.
You would think that, by being given a shotgun in 3 and a machine gun in 4, along with a supply of grenades, would make those games easier than their predecessors. How wrong you are. How very, very wrong you are...
Some players can finish 1, 2, and 4 in one credit and get the best possible endings. 3, on the other hand, would rip your spine out and snap your head off with it. It was really long, it was tough to get shots off quickly with the heavy shotgun, and there were numerous spots where you were guaranteed to take a hit if you didn't have absolutely perfect accuracy and lightning speed. And the bosses, oh, the bosses. Did anyone beat Fool without taking at least 8 hits? No surprise that this is the least popular HotD of all and didn't even last a year in some arcades.
Hell, just about any Sega-created arcade-style light gun game could fit this trope; there's The Ocean Hunter with its slow-to-reload torpedoes and annoyingly frenetic and hard-to-kill bosses, Let's Go Jungle! with its swarms of enemies and irritating minigames to determine how you fare in certain forced scenarios...but the king has to be Brave Firefighters, a Time Crisis-like firefighting game where each and every fire you're supposed to put out, including the "boss" fires regenerate their health and spread if you don't take care of them fast enough...before throwing in a "save the hostage" scenario in each "boss" fire that — if you allow to get burned — takes time off. Prepare to have your bank account emptied by this game, and try to avoid the All Devouring Black Hole Loan Sharks, while you're at it.
What of Typing of the Dead? The last levels will have you snap your keyboard in half after giving you carpal tunnel three times on each wrist... somehow.
Unturned is a Wide Open SandboxSurvival Horror game set during the Zombie Apocalypse. You start a game with nothing, inventory is limited, supplies are scarce, and zombies are legion. You'll become hungry, thirsty, can succumb to sickness, and that's assuming the zombies don't eat you first. There are also no doors to be found so buildings are no shelter until you fortify them yourself.
The action/chess hybrid Through the Looking Glass was repeatedly made more difficult at the urging of a co-worker who had gotten hooked and mastered it. The published version has been described as "insanely hard" and "impossible to play"... by its own creator.
The excitement and horror of Five Nights at Freddy's is largely because of just how brutally hard it is. It's very easy to run out of power, and it forces the player to learn the various mechanics of the game extremely quickly - while simultaneously keeping track of five different murderous robots randomly trying to kill you. And once you beat the game, you can change the AI to make it even harder.
Five Nights at Freddy's 2 cranks up the difficulty by adding more animatronics to deal with, and taking away the doors that kept them out. Now, you have no choice but to confront the killer machines, with only a Freddy Fazbear head to protect you. In addition to keeping track of the animatronics (who are even more unpredictable now), you must also make sure a music box in one room is kept wound, because if it stops, so too will your life. Also, you can once more tinker with the AI after beating the game. Good luck juggling ten maxed-out animatronics.
And now Five Nights at Freddy's 4 upholds the tradition. Like the first game, you have only five animatronics to deal with.... Except now, there are no doors or cameras. You have to actually listen carefully in order to tell if a robot is about to attack you. The fact that their movements are now entirely random and they can move whenever they want doesn't help. Blind Mode takes this Up to Eleven by stopping you from seeing anything, along with Mad Freddy (the Mini-Freddies appear on bed at lightning speeds), and Insta-Foxy (Foxy is in the closet from the start). And yes, you can actually stack them all together.
Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies had a level that where the majority of the point items were into craters on the top of plateaus. That ascended 2500 feet in the air. To get them, you had to take your jet to nearly double that height, and nose dive until you came in firing range, which is in the hundreds of feet measurements. Okay, somewhat beatable if you can pull out and zoom away for another run. Now, tack on the bad guy's super weapon, which was capable of shooting down everything above 2000 feet within operational range instantly (operational range being nearly an entire continent the current combat zone just happens to be on) and fires something on the order of once every five minutes, forcing you to abandon precious time trying to make your runs. Then, even if were to get the points necessary to beat the level, you still had to wait for the mission to time out, and endure stuff shooting at you and the superweapon.
The Polish Atari game Piekielko. The title translates to "Little Inferno" and boy, does it fit. The entire game is one long string of Smashing Hallway Traps of Doom, each of which you have to dodge pixel-perfectly or you die. Touching a wall will kill you, and the corridors are barely wider than you. You start with 255 lives, and it's nowhere near enough.
The Terminator 2 on the Game Boy. Unless you have the manual or a walkthrough or the patience to jump randomly, you're not going to know that the little flashing blocks are in fact help cubes that give hints. How bad is the game in terms of difficulty? Here's a rundown:
You start the first level in an apocalyptic future. You have to shoot the beacons at the top of each tower in the order of tallest to smallest. Get the order wrong and its game over! Anyway, once you get order right, you must fight an annoying boss. Once that's done, it's the next level.
It's Level 2 and you're health hasn't reset. You only have one life and no continues and so far there are no health picks. Down below is another box that starts a timer and you have no idea where to go. If you die here, it's back to Level One. There's a hallway in this level where, if you want to pass, you have no choice but to get hit by some land mines due to a too-low ceiling.
There is a third level which requires the player to rewire a T-800's circuitry in 3 progressively more difficult stages, in a jarring transition from Side-Scrolling Shoot 'Em Up to Puzzle Game. The idea is to move the cursor around the screen and change the junctions in a 'map' of circuits, so that when the timer hits 0 the released charges of energy travel from one side of the screen to the other, thus completing the circuit. The first is fairly obvious, though the timer is unforgiving. The second requires a keen eye and much practice, with an even shorter timer. The third randomly releases charges from any 4 of 6 possible junctions into an Escher-esque landscape of broken paths, which must be negotiated in just 20 seconds. And the charges have only 5 seconds to make their journey, which means you lose (the game ends and you have to start over from the very beginning) even if you manage to complete all the paths, but one of them takes a split-second too long to arrive. There is no fourth level.
CarnEvil, an obscure horror-comedy rail shooter, is viciously difficult. It's all in the name of stealing all your money. The game even requires that you pay 50 cents a life, instead of the more standard 25. Adding to that, the main villain's name is Baron Von Tokkentakker. Well, at least they're honest. Not that that's a comfort when you're playing, say, the Haunted House level, and you're almost immediately eviscerated by some Jason knockoff as soon as you step through the door. For these reasons, the game is best played on Free Play mode, or through an emulator.
Surgeon Simulator 2013 is difficult from hilariously bad controls that were made that way on purpose. You control just one hand for the surgeries and you need to press 5 buttons on the keyboard to grip objects while using the mouse to tilt your hand, which makes grabbing objects a chore and can make doing the actual surgeries difficult. Even if you get used to the controls, the levels ramp up in difficulty; the surgery room isn't hard, but good luck doing surgery in a moving ambulance where the vehicle makes sharp turns and hitting bumps in the road that causes everything inside to go flying while praying that your tools don't go flying out the back door and make the game Unwinnable. Think the ambulance level was tough? Try doing surgeries in outer space where there's no gravity to hold your tools in place and one wrong swipe with the arm can make your tools go flying away and out of reach. The secret alien surgery takes it up a notch by not only having the procedure take place in outer space, but the organ required to do the transplant is randomized on each attempt and their names are made up, making it difficult to know what the hell you're supposed to grab. Not only that, touching one specific organ can reverse your controls and another can induce Interface Screw.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction is one of the hardest Yu-Gi-Oh! games in existence. Opponents have much stronger monsters than yours, in the late game they exploit Field Cards to give them 30% power boosts, they will use cards to wipe out your field, and run them in threes. On your end, it takes a lot of Level Grinding to increase your duelist level so you can use better cards, the money you win is pitiful so you'll rarely be able to afford to buy any new cards thus relying on spoils of duels, and your opening deck sucks. And then in the late game, opponents have more than 8,000 Life Points, and you're subjected to Boss Rushes — in this game your Life Points don't reset after a duel, you need to visit a PC to recharge them, and thus in said Boss Rushes you need to complete them using 8,000 Life Points for all opponents. The Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors strategy? You need to do this, because if you try to take a late-game opponent on in a proper duel without doing it, you will get crushed.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Forbidden Memories is even harder than Reshef'', mainly due to the one-card-per-turn rule, the Boss Rush at the end of the game that won't let you save, and the forced grinding needed for the endgame.
Cherry Tree High Comedy Club is a cutesy Moe-style Adventure Game with some memorable characters, a decent soundtrack and some funny jokes, but it can get pretty tough at times. Averted if you know your potential recruit's liked/disliked topic or if you use an FAQ.
Carrie's Order Up!, fitting with its homage to '90s arcade games, starts out simple but greatly ramps up the difficulty as customers get faster, larger ones that are harder to avoid appear more frequently, and your trusty spin is turned against you as puddles fill the floor space.
If you have no idea what you're doing in Lakeview Cabin Collection, it's very likely you'll die quickly. The game requires a lot of scouting the area out to find the supplies you need and to do so in a timely manner, almost crossing into Guide Dang It! territory at times. The enemies are fairly quick, with some taking a lot of punishment, and can kill you in a few strikes depending on the weapon.
Sonic Spinball, oddly. The levels are very long (you have to collect several emeralds that are spread out across different areas of the same stage and to do so you have to open secret passageways and successfully pinball Sonic into those areas once they're open) and a lot of the time the objectives and what you need to do are not very clearly spelled out. The challenge in this game originates more from its complexity than the raw difficulty, although the game is still pretty hard anyway (since, being pinball, it doesn't take much to throw Sonic into the drink with some bad flippering). No saves or passwords means you're in for a pretty extensive session to get to the end as well.
Splatoon 2 has Salmon Run. If you're feeling masochistic, you came to the right place.
The mode starts with a two-stage tutorial, the second being a one-on-one duel with seven different Boss Salmonid. It's meant to teach you how to face them, but if you flunk out of this one, you don't stand a chance in the real mode, as beating the bosses and grabbing their Golden Eggs is the key to victory.
The salmonid mooks might as well have "kekeke" as their war cry, because they come in swarms and only know how to rush you. If you think that's bad, they can push you into the water this way at higher tides, so have fun with that. If you don't have a rapid-fire weapon or Roller to pave over these guys and the guys who do aren't supporting you, you had best learn to run.
And then there are the Boss Salmonid. Scrappers are plated from the front but otherwise behave like the mooks. Maws stalks a single Inkling before trying to eat them. Flyfish launch missile barrages to harass from afar. Stingers fire terrain-piercing lasers with nasty accuracy. Steelheads lob large bombs with a larger blast radius. Drizzlers can coat the terrain in ink with missile-deployed rain clouds. Grillers douse the terrain below them in ink as they pursue you. Steel Eels can do this to block off large portions of the area at a time. All of them are nasty, and at higher difficulty levels, you will contend with several of these at once. And you have to worry about Snatchers grabbing any Golden Eggs you leave around, meaning you can't dawdle, either.
The terrain is not your friend, either. The tides can change between waves, giving you more room to roam and get lost in or cutting you down to the highest patches of land (remember, Inklings cannot swim). Rolling fog obscures your vision significantly. And nighttime does a bit of it in addition to summoning Glowflies, which make the Salmonid swarm wherever they are and, as a direct consequence, make a beeline for the Inkling they are pestering. May <$deity> have mercy on you if you're using a Charger when they're doing this; your voice-chat friends will have to put up with you screaming for them to help.
Did we mention that there are certain articles of clothing you can only get by taking on this job? Have fun losing your mind!