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* The November 3, 2022 update of ''VideoGame/MiniMotorways'' adds Expert Mode, which is unlocked after reaching a certain score for each city. It presents harder challenges such as permanently placed road tiles like in ''VideoGame/MiniMetro'' and limited upgrades.

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* The November 3, 4, 2022 update of ''VideoGame/MiniMotorways'' adds Expert Mode, which is unlocked after reaching a certain score for each city. It presents harder challenges such as permanently placed road tiles like in ''VideoGame/MiniMetro'' and limited upgrades.

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* The November 3, 2022 update of ''VideoGame/MiniMotorways'' adds Expert Mode, which is unlocked after reaching a certain score for each city. It presents harder challenges such as permanently placed road tiles like in ''VideoGame/MiniMetro'' and limited upgrades.

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* ''VideoGame/ShrekTheThird'' starts off with Easy, Medium and Hard difficulties, but also has [[EasierThanEasy Charming]] and [[HarderThanHard Grimm]] difficulties available in the gift shop. Charming difficulty reduces enemy damage and increases your own output but [[EasyModeMockery gives you less coins]], while Grimm difficulty makes enemies more aggressive and heavily increases their damage but [[HardModePerks doubles all coins collected]].

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* ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork2'': After achieving HundredPercentCompletion, you can input a code when starting a new file to play the game on Hard Mode. Hard Mode increases enemy HP by half and [=MegaMan=] also takes 50% more damage.

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* ''VideoGame/LuminousAvengerIx2'' has a Hard Mode that's unlocked by collecting all Emblems and entering a secret door located in the final stage.

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* ''VideoGame/{{Dislyte}}'''s Story Mode has three difficulty levels; Easy, Hard, and Purgatory. Hard has to be unlocked after clearing Easy and Purgatory is unlocked after clearing Hard.


* ''VideoGame/Doom2016:'' Beating the game on Hurt Me Plenty or higher unlocks [[UpToEleven Ultra-Nightmare]], which is the same as the already brutal [[NintendoHard Nightmare]] difficulty but makes the player go through the entire game in a single life [[CheckpointStarvation without saving or checkpoints]], and if they die at any point on Ultra-Nightmare, they start back over from the beginning. Similarly to ''Doom 3'', however, it can also be unlocked early via a command-line argument or config edit.

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* ''VideoGame/Doom2016:'' Beating the game on Hurt Me Plenty or higher unlocks [[UpToEleven Ultra-Nightmare]], Ultra-Nightmare, which is the same as the already brutal [[NintendoHard Nightmare]] difficulty but makes the player go through the entire game in a single life [[CheckpointStarvation without saving or checkpoints]], and if they die at any point on Ultra-Nightmare, they start back over from the beginning. Similarly to ''Doom 3'', however, it can also be unlocked early via a command-line argument or config edit.

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* ''VideoGame/MaxPayne'': In the first two games, only the lowest difficulty (Fugitive/Detective) is available by default. You have to complete the game on this setting to unlock the other difficulties and game modes.

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* ''VideoGame/TwentyMinutesTillDawn'' has a whopping 16 difficulty levels, with each one requiring you to survive 20 minutes on the previous level to unlock. As these Darkness Levels are the main form of progression, the line between difficulty levels and actual video game levels is blurred.


Subtrope of UnlockableContent. As mentioned, may lead to FakeLongevity. Related to EarnYourFun, when more skilled gamers find the default difficulty levels too easy for their tastes. Compare NewGamePlus, in which a subsequent playthrough carries over content earned the first time around; the game may be made more difficult to compensate.

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Subtrope of UnlockableContent. As mentioned, may lead to FakeLongevity.FakeLongevity, especially if HardModePerks are involved. Related to EarnYourFun, when more skilled gamers find the default difficulty levels too easy for their tastes. Compare NewGamePlus, in which a subsequent playthrough carries over content earned the first time around; the game may be made more difficult to compensate.


** In ''VideoGame/KirbysAdventure'', you unlock Extra Mode upon getting HundredPercentCompletion. Here the whole game has to be beaten with no saves and with only three hit points instead of six. Its remake, ''Nightmare in Dream Land'', also unlocks Extra Mode this way, but the mode is slightly easier as saves are allowed here.

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** In ''VideoGame/KirbysAdventure'', you unlock Extra Mode upon getting HundredPercentCompletion. Here the whole game has to be beaten with no saves and with only three hit points instead of six. Its remake, ''Nightmare in Dream Land'', also unlocks Extra Mode this way, but the mode is slightly easier as saves are allowed here.here, but another mode, Meta-Knightmare, which lets you play as Meta Knight but without saves like the original Extra Mode, is unlocked upon beating it in turn.


** After beating the first quest of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaI'', or by [[ClassicCheatCode naming their save file ZELDA]], players gain access to the (even harder) second quest.
** The 3DS remake of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' unlocks Master Quest (originally a separate harder version of the game in GCN), with the added perks of stronger damage by enemies and a mirrored overworld.

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** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaI'': After beating the first quest of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaI'', the game, or by [[ClassicCheatCode naming their save file ZELDA]], players gain access to the (even harder) second quest.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'': The 3DS remake of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' unlocks Master Quest (originally a separate harder version of the game in GCN), with the added perks of stronger damage by enemies and a mirrored overworld.



* Later ''VideoGame/MarioParty'' games have each a Brutal or Intense AI level that adds to the standard Easy, Normal and Hard; the method of unlocking it depends on the game itself (in ''5'', you have to complete Story Mode in Hard; in ''7'', you can purchase it in the Duty-Free Shop with the mileage points you accumulate in the other modes; and so on).

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* ''VideoGame/MarioParty'': Later ''VideoGame/MarioParty'' games in the series have each a Brutal or Intense AI level that adds to the standard Easy, Normal and Hard; the method of unlocking it depends on the game itself (in ''5'', ''VideoGame/MarioParty5'', you have to complete Story Mode in Hard; in ''7'', ''VideoGame/MarioParty7'', you can purchase it in the Duty-Free Shop with the mileage points you accumulate in the other modes; and so on).



** In ''VideoGame/MetroidSamusReturns'', the HarderThanHard Fusion Difficulty can only be unlocked via a special Metroid Toys/{{amiibo}}.
** As of version 2.0, beating the unlockable Hard mode in ''VideoGame/MetroidDread'' unlocks Dread Mode, which turns Samus into a OneHitPointWonder.

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** In ''VideoGame/MetroidSamusReturns'', the ''VideoGame/MetroidSamusReturns'': The HarderThanHard Fusion Difficulty can only be unlocked via a special Metroid Toys/{{amiibo}}.
** ''VideoGame/MetroidDread'': As of version 2.0, beating the unlockable Hard mode in ''VideoGame/MetroidDread'' unlocks Dread Mode, which turns Samus into a OneHitPointWonder.



* ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'' and [[VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes2DesperateStruggle its sequel]] have three difficulty levels: Sweet, Mild and Bitter. In both games, Bitter is accessible upon first completion. The second game also has an extra difficulty level (Special) for the ''Bizarre Jelly 5'' GameWithinAGame, which requires completing Hard Mode without losing a life.

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* ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'' and [[VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes2DesperateStruggle its sequel]] sequels have each three difficulty levels: Sweet, Mild and Bitter. In both all games, Bitter is accessible upon first completion. The second game ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes2DesperateStruggle'' also has an extra difficulty level (Special) for the ''Bizarre Jelly 5'' GameWithinAGame, which requires completing Hard Mode without losing a life.life. ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroesIII'' goes as far as applying this to all the Side Job minigames, though in their case the difficulty levels are labeled with numbers instead (0, 1 and 2).


** In the ''[[UpdatedRerelease Special Edition]]'' of ''[=DMC3=]'', beating "Hard" mode unlocks "Very Hard", which further unlocks the "Must Die" mode, and so forth.

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** In the ''[[UpdatedRerelease Special Edition]]'' of ''[=DMC3=]'', beating "Hard" mode unlocks "Very Hard", Hard" (a mode that's not present in the original version), which further unlocks the "Must Die" mode, and so forth.


** ''[[VideoGame/DevilMayCry1 DMC1]]''unlocks an "Easy Automatic" mode if you use specific recovery/revival times in the first missions.

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** ''[[VideoGame/DevilMayCry1 DMC1]]''unlocks DMC1]]'' unlocks an "Easy Automatic" mode if you use specific recovery/revival times in the first missions.


** ''[[VideoGame/DevilMayCry1 DMC1]]''unlocks an "Easy Automatic" mode if you use specific recovery/revival times in the first missions.
** ''[[VideoGame/DevilMayCry3DantesAwakening DMC3]]'' unlocks an "Easy" mode if you [[MercyMode die three times on the Normal mode]].



** ''[[VideoGame/DevilMayCry1 DMC1]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/DevilMayCry3DantesAwakening DMC3]]'' unlock an "Easy Automatic" or "Easy" mode respectively if you [[MercyMode die multiple times on the same playthrough]].

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