Playing With / Unwinnable by Design

Basic Trope: A situation where Video Game designers deliberately include a way or ways to make the game Unwinnable.
  • Straight: Alice has to find the legendary gear of the great hero Sir Bob. It's possible for her to miss collecting the Pendant of Power or Gauntlets of Greatness before the areas where they are hidden are destroyed by Emperor Evulz. If this occurs, the game is rendered unwinnable.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
  • Inverted: Winning the game is inevitable.
  • Subverted:
    • When a plot item is destroyed, it appears somewhere else.
    • You can miss the Ultimate Mon. They're the effect, not the cause.
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...except for one.
    • They're the cause of something else.
  • Parodied:
    • Charlie is playing Bob's Quest, and his first mission is for Bob to deliver Alice's lunch. He has Bob eat her lunch instead, rendering the game Unwinnable.
    • Alternately, the game has an "Impossible" difficulty setting...which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, as described in the main article.
  • Zig Zagged: Alice is told flat-out that she needs to recruit the other Chosen Ones and is warned that the legendary equipment is well-hidden and may be "Lost Forever to the sands of time" if she isn't careful. It's also impossible to miss recruiting Charlie or Belle, and several warnings are given whenever the player is about to potentially bypass a vital item. On the other hand, Carol is difficult to read and doesn't officially join until late-game, and only if treated well, while Francis can be Killed Off for Real without the player realizing Alice can rescue and recruit him, and other equipment can be accidentally missed.
  • Averted: There is no way for the player to accidentally miss something important and make the game impossible for them to win.
  • Enforced: The designers want players to pay more attention to the world they've created, so they make it that a player who isn't paying attention will stumble into one of these traps and screw themselves over without realizing it.
  • Lampshaded: The game in a bit of niceness, causes the save points to refuse to save for you after a MacGuffin is destroyed, stating "You cannot win, assisting you now would be cruel."
  • Invoked: Emperor Evulz is deliberately hiding some of the legendary equipment in dungeons with Load Bearing Bosses so that Alice might accidentally make it impossible for him to retrieve, making the prophecy impossible to fulfill.
  • Exploited: Bob torments Alice by forcing her to play the game, knowing she'll find it VERY frustrating.
  • Defied:
    • The game has entered a known unwinnable state, but some glitch or trick is used to beat the game anyway.
    • Alternatively, they made the player able to go back and get what they need.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: "It's from Sierra, half the fun is finding new and improved ways to screw up."
  • Deconstructed: The game gets panned by critics for its sadistic difficulty, and it suffers a reduction in sales because of it.
  • Reconstructed: The game designers are catering to a niche group of gamers that like this sort of thing. Anyone outside of that is a bonus.
  • Played For Laughs: You can get a Non-standard Game Over by throwing the key into the lava when you and your party are on the path to the Evulz's castle. Your party members berate you for being mind-numbingly stupid and leave you in a hilarious cut scene. This scene becomes a favorite amongst gamers.
  • Played For Drama: Making the game unwinnable requires sacrificing Alice's little sister Beth to get a sword of invulnerability, otherwise known as the Coward's Sword. The only thing left to do in the save file is to listen to everyone yell at you in disgust. Even Evulz is appalled.

Did you read this while having more than one tab and/or multiple browser windows opened?! Gosh DARN it! Now you can't head back to Unwinnable by Design for the final boss! Thanks for breaking it... bonehead...
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/PlayingWith/UnWinnableByDesign