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That One Level: Rhythm Game
"That...could have been better. Try again"
Rhythm Heaven Fever, when failing a Remix

Just when you thought it was safe to rock out, these tracks come along and can ruin your groove like no other.
Guitar Hero
  • "Raining Blood" in Guitar Hero III represents a sudden difficulty spike in the very final set, making it a Scrappy song for more than a few players, irrespective of whether one likes the actual music or not.
  • "Through the Fire and the Flames" is easily regarded as the hardest song in III, and is also the longest. At least that song is OPTIONAL.
  • "Before I Forget" is considered one of the most annoying, as most of its difficulty comes from the chorus, a mess of three-note chords that probably shouldn't have been charted like that, making a large number of fans accuse it of Fake Difficulty.
    • On real guitar, the chorus is by far the easiest part as the song is played in a Drop Tuning, meaning that those three note chords are actually played with just one finger and therefore are just as easy as single notes. However, the pre-chorus had pinch harmonics, a technique that is very difficult and can't be simulated on a Guitar Hero controller, so the chorus kinda makes up for it.
    • Guitar Hero 2 had similar songs, like "Freya," which was a repetitive hand-cramping chordfest, or "Psychobilly Freakout," which was very quick and random and could confuse the heck out of inexperienced players (or even veteran ones). And let's not even talk about "Hangar 18"...
    • "Before I Forget" is charted considerably differently in Rock Band 3 so this is definitely an example of Neversoft jerking the player around.
  • Guitar Hero 2 had "Institutionalized" by Suicidal Tendencies on Expert. This song was a nightmare simply because there are vicious guitar solos over the verses, all of which change in speed while you're playing them. The song itself actually does not have a normal speed that it settles on, the song widely fluctuates whenever it feels like it and it does it to a more insane and unpredictable degree than even "Psychobilly Freakout."
    • You'll notice the original Guitar Hero has no mention yet. It's because people are still trying to forget "No One Knows" and "Cowboys From Hell".
      • And "Symphony of Destruction". Yeah, thank you for tossing us our first solo with an impossibly bad HO/PO system, Harmonix. THANK YOU!
      • For the record, "No One Knows" was so difficult because of an odd triplet rhythm combined with some very awkward chords, just before a solo. Usually not a problem with the assistance of star power, but due to it happening two or three times, it took constant repetition.
  • Have fun trying to beat "Hot For Teacher" on drums in Guitar Hero World Tour.
  • Guitar Hero Metallica has lots of difficult stuff here and there, but nothing in that game stands out as much as Slayer's "War Ensemble" on drums. That song throws EVERYTHING at you: fast bass hits that may or may not require double bass to keep up with even on normal Expert, relentless tiring beats, and to top it all off, lots of crazy fills that will require double sticking to master. One of THE hardest on-disc FCs in ANY Guitar Hero or Rock Band game ever. As of this time, it only has four documented FCs that I am aware of (five if you count that one of the people who FC'd it FC'd it a second time, which I have to mention because of its insane difficulty). And don't even get me STARTED on Expert+.
  • At least these songs, if you're required to do them, are at or near the end of the songlist. Not so Rocks The 80's with Because It's Midnite, which is the encore song of the second venue. Actually, it's pretty managable...on Hard. On Expert, however, the solo has over a hundred notes crammed into the middle section, meaning that unless you have extremely fast fingers, you're going to see the meter plunge in a hurry. Worse, it's so long that even a full star power meter (which I most definitely recommend) might not be enough to save you. If you can get past this monstrosity, I guarantee that nothing in the next TWO venues will come close to threatening you.
  • Warriors of Rock has "Sudden Death", a song that was intentionally created to be as difficult as possible. Basically, Activision approached Megadeth and told them "We want you to make a song for our new Guitar Hero game, and we want it to be as fast and complex as you can make it."

Rock Band
  • "Let There Be Rock" on Bass in Rock Band 2. No real challenge, it's just the same note over and over and over keeping your finger on the green fret till it goes numb.
    • Don't forget that "Let There Be Rock" is a scrappy on drums too. Most boring beat ever, for a LONG TIME. But, more importantly, we must remember the true scrappy song. The one, the only, "Visions." Which is widely hated by most people, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who actually likes it.
    • The Live rendition of "Let There Be Rock" on the AC/DC track pack is worse: it's much the same as its on-disc version, except it goes much faster (meaning that "boring beat" will now kill your main arm... and it'll still be boring) and it goes for over 8 minutes (not including a 1 1/2-minute Big Rock Ending).
    • There's actually a Subdued Section long enough on "Jailbreak" for the guitarist to take a little bathroom break, with enough time left to wash his hands.
    • Let's not forget "Green Grass And High Tides" from the first Rock Band. Oh, a 10 minute long songs. Only it doesn't even get hard until the second solo where it gets ridiculous. And the drums throughout the second solo is one horrible repeated beat. And the vocals stop once it hits the second solo.
    • "Pretend We're Dead" on Vocals. The end of the song is simply singing 'Dead' in the same tone, 3-5 seconds long, a total of 16 times. Not hard, but more than once you ask yourself "Will this song END already?"
      • "Psycho Killer," too. "Fuh-fuh-fuh-FAH fuh-fuh-fuh-fuh-fuh-FAAH-fuuh"
      • "Psycho Killer" is also incredibly boring on drums. Really easy, but incredibly boring.
      • And "Epic." What is it, indeed.
      • "Give It Away" is a somewhat lengthy song that contains no pitches until the very end, making it easy to be caught off guard and blow your 100% on the final phrase.
      • Inverted in "Testify". The song is a Tier 5 for vocals, but has zero pitches.
    • "Caprici di Diablo" on Expert Guitar is a nightmare for even veteran RB players. Good luck trying to pass it on your first several dozen runs let alone shooting for higher than 3 Stars.
  • "Yellow Submarine" Expert Bass in The Beatles: Rock Band is far more difficult than it should be, especially when trying to full-combo or five-star it. There aren't many notes, leaving almost zero margin for error, and in order to get a halfway-decent score you more or less have to whammy every single overdrive note which could take away from your concentration from reading the note chart.
    • When it comes to Drums in The Beatles Rock Band, there is no beating the unholy duo of "I Wanna Be Your Man" and "What Goes On." The two songs have some of the fastest right-hand work in the entire series. How fast? Well, it's almost impossible to get all the way though "I Wanna Be Your Man" without needing a break. The song is 2 MINUTES LONG.
  • "We are the Nightmare" is a challenging song overall, but it's widely regarded as having the most challenging drum work in Rock Band Network.
  • Rock Band 3 gives us "Antibodies" on guitar. Just watch the beginning, and know that it's gonna stay that way for the whole first half of the song. Then skip to 2:43, and watch all your worst nightmares come true. Oh yeah, two things to keep in mind: (1) The Rock Band guitar SUCKS at strum-fests like this, and (2) This is tier TWO!!! (We'll never know why...)
    • There's also the keyboard chart, which Harmonix actually had the good sense to rate a six... but it's only a bitch for the first half. Well, unless you're playing with a guitar controller.
    • The tier-six bass part is just as frustrating, with the last minute-plus filled with hand-cramping arpeggios.
  • "Roundabout" on normal or pro keys—it's considered the hardest non-RBN song on keys to date. If the fills don't get you, the long, grueling, arpeggio-laden interlude will. And two-handing it is not at all guaranteed to help.

Other
  • The "Rolling" level in The Rub Rabbits!, as rolling your snowball along the track is very clunky and navigating the curves is a nightmare. Worse yet, you go through it twice, the second time replacing the snowballs with robots. It's a sore spot in what is otherwise an improvement over the previous game Feel The Magic: XY/XX in every way.
  • Space Channel 5 Part 2. Report 4. In the Core, besides the game's usual cruel timing, you're subjected to a 'let's play in reverse' mini 'if you get this wrong you're dead meat'. That, and, if you played averagely on the other sections of the report, you have only four lives. Let's not even mention the 'Escape' part, which has odd beats and the robot-shooting is pure hell.
    • The game treats you to ANOTHER one of these in Extra Report 6. The report itself is hard enough normally, but now? You only get TWO, count em' TWO lives for the part before the finale. This makes Purge the Great hellish now, especially when he throws you off with ".....down!" The game was kind enough to give you three lives for the finale.
  • Elite Beat Agents, another rhythm game, requires you to tap on-screen symbols in time to the beat. Except on Canned Heat, where this is nigh-impossible due to the fact that the song as a swing feel and the notes are only displayed when you almost have to tap the note. It's impossible on harder difficulty settings without memorizing the patterns.
    • If you thought Canned Heat was hard, try some of the beatmaps in the freeware PC game based on the series, osu!. You've got some of the Insane/Expert beatmaps that users have made. To play in an advanced level, the time you take to move the cursor from one corner of the screen to the other shouldn't be more than about 200 milliseconds, and you should have total control of it to play on the beat. Also, some maps require aiming complex patterns rather quickly (for example, a 5-point star that covers the whole screen, with each circle about 125ms apart from each other; and then doing the same star but backwards and at an angle) . Also, maps where you have to press about 800 circles per minute are rather common, with some maps with 20-second parts that require pressing about 18.67 times per second.
    • There's also Let's Dance, which doesn't have an unintuitive beatmap or punishing timing. What it does have (on hard mode) is the first life bar that drops so quickly that you can hit every beat and still fail the level if your timing isn't spot-on. And pairs it with some very long pauses in the action where the bar ''will' drop because there are no beats to hit and restore it.
    • Jumping Jack Flash, which is bad enough as it is, but in the harder difficulties you practically have to get every beat perfect, just to keep the darn meter in the 'Yes' zone.
      • The tougher difficulties are also fond of switching between Spinners and the regular beat markers very rapidly, and repeating this trick several times.
    • The second Ouendan game has the 12th stage, "Believe", which is pretty much impossible on higher difficulties unless you get almost only perfects, since it's a rather slow song where the meter drops quickly.
  • Many mission in DJMAX Portable Black Square, starting at the Rocker Rocker club in Area 5. Missions include getting a lot of points on a song while trying to chain together upwards of 7 or 8 Fevers and high accuracy on very hard songs.
    • "Area 7" in DJMAX Technika has many repeat notes that follow a rhythm that is very awkward and irregular unless you are familiar with the song.
    • "Color" in Technika, on all difficulties. On Popular and Technical, the chart is rated a 5. That rating is a lie. Halfway through the song on all difficulties, you start facing annoying fast repeat notes reminiscent of "jackhammer" notes from Beatmania IIDX, and on Technical, there's another set near the end, which can easily cause you to have a last-second Game Over.
  • Stage 5 in Parappa The Rapper is generally agreed to be the most loathed in the game, where the protagonist, his bladder nearly ready to burst, has to out-rap all his previous senseis to get ahead of them in line before he wets himself. Some brutally difficult note patterns, combined with the game's weird take on timing, has caused many players to give up hope on ever reaching the sixth and final stage.
    • The spinoff, Um Jammer Lammy, also has a scrappy level as its sixth and, again, penultimate level, where the player character slips on a banana peel, breaks her skull and is sent to Hell, where she has to perform on-stage in a concert if she hopes to return to the realm of the living. This song features some tricky button patterns as well, even moreso than in the previous example, but its crippling flaw is how awful the level's background music is in comparison to that of the rest of the game.
  • In Fre Quency, Tony Trippi's Motomatic, Orbital's Weekend Ravers Mix, anything made by Komputer Kontroller or Symbion Project, and finally the last song, Robotkid vs. Intersekt with a punishing synth track that only masters could attempt.
  • "Holic" from beatmania IIDX and Dance Dance Revolution. The song (for the most part) does not follow the standard 4/4 time signature of most music, which trips up many first-timers, and in beatmania IIDX, its Another chart has one of the series' first examples of Difficulty Spike—at the very end of the song, you're greeted with a clusterfuck of 250 or so notes, which are enough to make you fail easily. This has resulted in many players getting as high as an AAA on the song...but having 2-10% less life than needed for a clear.
    • Also, many of the later boss charts in the DDR series are particularly scrappy. The American PS2 Challenge chart for "Horatio" is pretty much known for being an example in bad charting. The Shock Arrows used throughout the song, when hit, not only break your combo, but also lower your life AND make the arrows temporarily invisible for a split second. This was simplified in both the arcade and the Japanese versions of the game, fortunately.
    • Would you believe that an easy song can also qualify as scrappy? In the PS2 port of beatmania IIDX 3rd Style, there are any number of songs whose timing is off, many of which are easier songs. The result: easy clears, but horribly low scores. The most infamous example of such a song is "Gambol," which came to (in)fame when it was revived on 9th Style...but didn't have its timing fixed. Konami acknowledged this and gave its Normal chart fixed timing in IIDX 12, but left the Hyper chart as is. Finally, in the PS2 port of IIDX 11, Konami decided to take Gambol's bad timing a step further: it gets a new, Another chart (unlocked from Expert Mode) with the exact same notes as its Normal and Hyper charts...but the timing is rigged such that you can only get Just Greats, the extremely rare Great, and Bads, with anything more than 1 frame outside of the timing window for a Just Great resulting in a Bad. For additional fun, play this chart with the Hard modifier, which swaps out the Groove Gauge for a more traditional Life Meter in which running out of life will instantly eject you from the song.
      • As of IIDX 15 for the PS2 and IIDX 16 in the arcade, cheat codes allow you to apply Gambol Hyper/Another timing to every song in the game
    • The song "gigadelic" is another major offender in the end-of-song Difficulty Spike department. It's particularly annoying because Konami LOVES to use it as the last song in the 8th Dan course, meaning you're likely to fail in the last 5 seconds of an 8-minute course.
      • Speaking of difficulty spikes, there's Healing-D-Vision that throws a massive 8th note stream at you at 360 BPM.
    • Pluto. Just... friggin Pluto. Count how many times the arrows randomly stop and start without warning. In fact, somebody at Konami decided that they loved this song so much that they thought it would be a good idea to carry it over to IIDX as well, where BPM antics like these are far harder for the player to deal with. This song is a Scrappy Level incarnate.
      • Just wait til you try Pluto The First. Random tempo changes and stops up the wazoo that make the original Pluto look like a cute little puppy. And while Hottest Party 3 was lucky to miss out on the Shock Arrows, the Boss Song stage makes the arrows REAL hard at the 440 BPM sections to see if you have them set to "Rainbow" or "Note". Hell, it's so bright, they're hard to see at all, no matter your arrow color. Shame the stage is so beautiful by itself.
      • Fascination MAXX is another major offender in IIDX's BPM antics department.
    • Overcrush: it's your typical Boss Rush, except it's condensed into one song. Let this video speak for itself.
    • In DDR Universe 1, some of the missions qualify as this. One such example is the Vanity Angel mission. Triple speed, boosted arrows, a low health bar that doesn't recover, and a mission that requires you to break a combo if you're about to hit the same note twice. The game itself is infamous for its bad timing, so have fun. That isn't the only bad mission, though; the Brightness Darkness mission is also insanely hard; Shuffled arrows, the arrows scroll from top to bottom (as opposed to bottom to top), you can't see the bar that you have to hit the arrows with, and the chart's timing is off by a half a beat. That last alteration is a LOT harder to get used to than it sounds. The mission? Full combo on the last third of the song. The chart is a 9 out of 10 difficulty wise, and for good reason too. Enjoy.
    • Some of the shit Universe 3's Quest Mode puts you through. The 3rd challenge on Pictor Street is Concertino In Blue on Oni, with the arrows sped up 2-and-a-half times and shuffled arrows. Your job is to get 4/5 of the chart perfect. Thank GOD it's only 6 measures. Club Tucana has you getting all Marvelouses on the last two measures of Absolute, slowdown included, with the Dark modifier. And then there's the Club Pyxis challenge. Kimochi Expert. Full combo, get NG for freezes, and you can't hit 8th notes or the same note twice. That doesn't sound hard, but here's the catch; A modifier is in place so that you can't tell the timing of the notes apart. Oof.
    • DDR X2's Dice Master mode is chock-full of missions that require you to be an expert at the game, but the last area is full of Scrappies. Jenny's mission is genuinely impossible, and Ruby's is almost as bad. Julio's mission requires you to do Pluto The First with a speed mod, and let me tell you about the final mission. Roppongi Evolved. SEVEN. TIMES. IN. A. ROW. That is all.
      • That mission in Yuni's area that requires an MFC on Love Is Orange, or Louis' last (solo) mission that requires you to clear Sacred Oath with a fucked-up arrow placement with Boost turned on that only gives you a few chances to miss. For that matter, any mission whose requirement is "Get X Marvelous" and involves playing on Basic difficulty or lower is going to be impossible unless you're a robot, because of how few steps you're allowed to get less than Marvelous on.
    • DDR Universe 2's Challenge Mode has several Scrappies, exhibit A being Catastrophic 4. Synergy, Expert difficulty, on Hidden. You start with low health. In addition, start with anything that isn't perfect and you fail instantly, which segues into its first requirement; your Perfect total must ALWAYS be higher than your total of Great, Good and Almost combined. To add insult to injury, your second objective requires you to have 60 Perfects, 60 Greats, AND 60 Goods. The only requirement that isn't borderline impossible is to end with low health.
      • Apocalyptic 5. That is all. Eternus on Expert. With a few poison arrows (that you're not allowed to hit). Can't get a combo greater than 10 or step on the same direction twice. The kicker? Whilst dodging all this, you have to step 80% of the song perfectly. But wait, there's more! IT'S NOT RUNNING THE RIGHT CHART! It's running the Expert chart for Dead End instead, which is an even harder and faster song!
    • DDR Supernova's "Boss Rush episode IV". As if ten-footers weren't bad enough on their own (especially the ones in Supernova), try doing SIX OF THEM in a row! To make matters worse, the really hard ones are right at the end, when you're exhausted... AND your health bar becomes MUCH more sensitive to misses! For anyone insane enough to try this, here's what you're up against:
      • 1. MAX 300 (Super-Max-Me Mix) — Expert. While not too bad for a ten-footer, the fact that it's the opener is basically a final warning that there is no way in hell you will make it through this course alive.
      • 2. Chaos — Expert. Again, not too bad... assuming that you've memorized all FORTY-TWO times when the song stops and starts again for no reason other than to piss you off.
      • 3. Fascination MAXX — Expert. The purpose of this one is to tire you out, so the second half of the course is just that much more brutal.
      • 4. Xepher — Challenge. Wait, what? Isn't this that pathetic excuse for a ten-footer? Yeah, but it's still tiring, especially since you just got done with FaXX.
      • 5. Healing-D-Vision — Challenge. You just KNEW this one was coming. This song teases you with a steppable, but off the beat, first half... then all hell breaks loose when you launch into 360 BPM and are faced with relentless 8th note runs. And about that last one... hoo boy. To full combo it, you have to perform insanely fast crossovers, requiring you to turn your body a full 180 degrees THREE TIMES A SECOND without falling on your face. If you don't have a handbar, you're screwed.
      • 6. Fascination (eternal love mix) — Challenge. By this point, you will be close to passing out, and the final song's relatively tame intro (featuring steps with a maximum density of 400 per minute) will feel like a chore, but since HDV just did a hell of a number on your health meter, you'll NEED to hit every step to avoid failure. After the Chaos-esque middle section, it's all downhill, because you'll be faced with quarter-note streams at 400 BPM with jumps thrown EVERYWHERE. In the final stretch you'll be rapidly alternating between jumping three times in a row and complicated 8th-note patterns at 400 BPM. As you hear the end of the song starting, you get more and more anxious and afraid to screw up as you push yourself through those brutal jumps and onto that final freeze-jump, and... you forgot that there's a stop at the very end, so you get an NG and lose your last ounce of health.
      • Oh yeah, and if you somehow manage to make it through all of that, try it on Challenge mode, which means you can't miss more than three steps per song... or the arcade version, which gives you a slightly easier song list (the first song is only a nine-footer, albeit a high-end nine), but the three-miss requirement goes for the WHOLE COURSE, not each individual song.
  • The fireworks stage of Rhythm Tengoku is unpopular with fans of the game for many reasons: the music isn't that great, there are no quirky characters or strange scenes, and the timing is rather difficult. The Bon Odori stage is equally unpopular with many of those playing the game on an emulator. The DS sequel's Scrappy seems to be Fillbots, which requires precise timing and, in the second version, lasts for nearly three minutes.
    • The Bon Odori gets worse with its revisit, the Bon Dance. The clap patterns are much more complex and the beat is generally faster.
    • Rhythm Rally is the same ordeal. The first is just generally hard, but the revisit, Rhythm Rally 2, is faster, has a new queue that's basically one fast swing after another, and a Camera Screw.
    • Moai Doo wop 2. That is all. There is no pattern at all, and in a rhythm game, patterns are kinda needed.
    • The Dazzles also has its share of hate, mostly because it requires very precise timing to get a "Superb".
    • Rockers 1& 2: In a game defined by memorizing and following regimented patterns, this one is so freeform it will trip you up. And the second game adds in a Scrappy Mechanic in which you have to use the R button in addition having harder patterns.
      • Even worse are the Guitar Lessons, which are just Rockers performing to other Rhythm Heaven songs. These songs require fast flick-hold combos that don't follow the same notes as the original games, plus the more insulting fact that Guitar Lessons (and its spin-off, Battle Of The Bands) take up about a third of the unlockable content, meaning if you don't like Rockers, there's not much motivation to get all the Medals.
    • Lockstep is incredibly tricky because it constantly switches between the on-beat and off-beat. As it goes on, it becomes much harder to determine timing visually. For those with poor sense of the beat, this can be a brick wall.
    • In Fever, both Love Rap games will trip up many a player with its extremely odd timings, such that trying to play it by ear frequently yields worse results than trying to figure out some kind of visual cue.
  • Many a Cluster F-Bomb resulted from the desert level in Patapon. To get through, players must work up to Fever and summon a rain miracle to cool the sand in front of you; if you don't, your army melts to oblivion in a matter of seconds. The kicker is that, until the sequel came along, there was no timer on your miracles, so the best hope of getting through without a sudden lava geyser eradicating your troops was to just redo the juju every time you hit Fever, which took forever. And good luck if you mess up the beat.
    • And one reason Meden isn't too popular is that she gets kidnapped in each game...and to save her, you have to chase her carriage across the aforementioned deserts.
  • The Sanbone Trio level on Master mode in Gitaroo Man. Sweet Jesus. You start the level with very low health, are forced to watch a rather lengthy scene, and are given a very complex guard phase before you can start hurting them. Additionally, the game randomly gives you a different version of some parts of the song every time you play it, and one of the versions of said guard phase is much more difficult than the other.
  • Bee. They managed to condense every awkward, painful pattern they could think of into a minute thirty.
  • Project Diva has the near impossible "Dissapearance of Hatsune Miku." The second game took it to a whole new level with "The Passion of Hatsune Miku," which is likely unbeatable by humans.
  • Just Dance 4 has unlockable extreme versions of various songs. One of these, an extreme version of the One direction hit, "You Don't Know You're Beautiful" is particularly cruel, even if you like the song. It requires rapid move transitions the pictograms don't make readily apparent, as well as a great deal of technical skill. it also likes to pop up in the otherwise simple Just Sweat mode.
  • BIT.TRIP RUNNER's 1-11 Odyssey, the final level before the first zone's boss, is notorious for being significantly more difficult and frustrating than the majority of the entire second zone, due to it being literally the longest level in the game (and by a fairly large margin). Simply completing the level earns a Steam Achievement. Check the stats page for the game and note how few people have that achievement.
    • While on the subject, 3-11 Rusty Warren is the stuff of nightmares. Two gauntlets (small hallways with alternating duck/jump antics and two dozen bouncing squares), and at least three stairs that one must duck as they go down. Unlike the sequel, there's no midpoint restart, and the very end throws some red blocks that you DON'T jump for.
  • The US version of Donkey Konga 2 has "Pieces" by Hoobastank, which featured a huge departure in handling claps. It gained infamy in DK Vine's "The Slush Fun'd" due to Slush getting stuck on the song for nine months (during which he slowly lost his drive to actually play the game) until finally moving on to completing the rest of the songs before returning to "Pieces".

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