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Guide Dang It / Eastern RPG

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Pages with their own Guide Dang It! entry.


  • Corruption of Laetitia: Finding the last two books, "Daughter of Evil" and "Rin's Diary," is difficult because the former is hidden behind a hard-to-see passage while the latter depends on the first one being found and shown to a certain NPC.
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  • Crash Fever: The info page for Occupying Babylonia Tower makes it seem like you can only get the one White Nurupon (a special unit that can be awakened into one of the 4 Nurupon Rangers) from completing the first stage of the quest. That's not entirely true, however, as it meant you can only have one White Nurupon at a time. As soon as you evolve it into one of the Rangers and complete Ultimate again, it's very likely to drop when defeating Nurupon Green.
  • Etrian Odyssey:
    • The whole 6th stratum Bonus Dungeon is downright evil, with warps and pitfall traps throughout it; but it's at least theoretically possible to muddle through if you have a lot of time to burn. Navigating around the pitfalls is a bit easier when you realize an FOE will never step on a pitfall but good luck noticing this with the game's short draw distance.
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    • The final bonus boss can be beaten only if you can predict every single one of its elemental attacks (and it will probably get off about 50 of them during a typical fight) and use the appropriate one-turn elemental defense against every single one. It turns out that if you have less than ten buffs, its elemental attacks follow a set pattern (which is not hinted anywhere, and which you must know exactly in order to beat it.) Any more of them, and it's random. Worse, the defense powers you need to use are only learned by one specific class (which you may not even have) and you must level those powers to exactly 5 (out of 10) — any higher and they start to absorb damage instead of negating it. It sounds good at first, but the absorption won't protect you from accompanying status effects, which will cripple your party, and, if you're unlucky, will make the boss start attacking at random and cause you to lose immediately. It also has all three OHKO spells that former FOE bosses had and seems to use them at random.
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    • The final bonus boss of the second game has a fixed attack pattern if fought during the day. At night, it acts completely randomly, with no indication to this change in behaviour, so it's entirely possible to immediately experience a Total Party Kill. One of the bonus bosses of Nexus also carries this nighttime quirk, but with a less severe alteration in behavior.
    • Additionally, if you're going for 100% completion or trying to go for more advanced equipment, you'll need to get certain enemies' conditional drops. This can range from defeating them with a certain type of attack, defeating them without certain attacks, defeating them while they're under certain status effects, etc. Not to mention that some of them are simply very Rare Drops, and just happen to be listed in the same area as the conditional drops in the bestiary. Fortunately, there are bar patrons who give you hints as to how to obtain certain conditional drops, but these are easily missable and hints for earlier enemies disappear if you advance through the floors too quickly.
    • About a couple chapters into Etrian Odyssey III you are presented with two apparently unimportant, But Thou Must! kind of choices: whether or not to promise not to reveal the location of the hidden city, and whether or not to reveal it anyway. To get the Golden Ending you have to both make the promise and break it. And you won't see the effects until after 20-40 hours into the gameplay.
    • The King Grimoires of The Millennium Girl are obtained either through sheer luck or by matching the last digit of certain numbers on your Guild Card. The game doesn't tell you about their existence at all.
  • Many a gamer had their journey come to an end shortly after getting the boat in Dragon Quest II. Finding almost a dozen plot-essential items scattered across a humongous world is almost impossible without some sort of help (on top of that, some of the most evil dungeon designs in video game history - namely, the Sea Cave, which requires you to walk through damaging lava in order to look for staircases that may or may not lead you to the item you're looking for, and the Road to Rhone, which has several pitfalls that send you to a lower level and repeating rooms that look exactly the same, some of which indistinguishably loop around). While the NPCs generally do give useful advice, they don't point out everything. On top of that, the NPC that tells you where to find the Watergate Key is locked inside a jail cell; to open the cell, you need the Jailer's Key, which you need the Golden Key to acquire!
  • Dragon Quest VII of course is no secret to this - but the 3DS version fixes a lot:
    • The player must find tablet fragments to advance the game - however, a lot of these are hidden in the darndest places. The 3DS version fortunately highlights where the ones you need are.
    • At one point, you must use an Empty Bottle to fill with rainbow drops. Fortunately the player does not have to go out of their way to get these, but the fact that you even can do this (or when you are able to) is not specified.
    • The monster classes - how to obtain them is never specified, or what abilities actually stick with you.
    • At one point, you need to help someone remember what the face of the Earth Spirit looks like. So you venture into The Likeness and find some gems that represent facial features. Given that there hasn't been a boss fight yet in that dungeon, a player familiar with RPG tropes would assume that you need to bring the gems somewhere to open a passage with a boss and an image of the Earth Spirit, but it turns out that just leaving the dungeon (which causes your party members to tell you that you should go back in) and bringing the gems to the person is enough.
  • Dragon Quest IX:
    • The game is rife with Guide Dang Its, such that when interviewed about the game's difficulty, creator Yuji Horii said that it was set higher than on previous games specifically with the expectation that the players will look up information on the Internet. Still, there is a very good reason why the Brady's guidebook published for this game is as thick as some phonebooks...
    • Have fun completing all of the game's whopping 184 quests without a guide. Hell, have fun completing even a fourth of that amount on your own. To elaborate, most of the quests are extremely vague on what you must do, and some of them even have prerequisite quest(s) that must be completed before you can even do those. Unsurprisingly, the game doesn't even leave hints on which quest(s) needs to be done first. And far too many of those quests either require fighting monsters (or even bosses) that can only be found with the game's Grottoes or crafting a very rare item via Alchemy. Don't be shocked if the two go hand in hand with each other either.
    • Speaking of Grottoes, they themselves are massive GDIs, as they are basically randomly generated dungeons whose monsters, bosses, and respawning treasure chests (and the pool of items they contain) are all determined by a obnoxiously complicated algorithm and the TheHero's level. Even finding the location to these grottoes will often require help, as the treasure map that unlocks a Grotto only shows a very small portion of the world map where it is located, and there are 150 potential locations where that one grotto can spawn, and only one grotto can be accessible at a time. This is no jest.
    • Then there's the Alchemy Pot, the game's Item Crafting system, which is yet another mess itself. While the game does give you a bit of a break here with having recipes being learned from bookshelves and NPCs, most of them only covers items and equips that are largely balanced around the main story's difficulty curve, which doesn't even require using Alchemy to finish. All of the post-game equips and items will require significantly rarer materials, and a large number of those can only be crafted if you know the recipe from an outside source or by guesswork, as there is no way to learn the recipe for them in-game without actually making it beforehand. Oh and most of the best equips are a complete pain to make given the rarity of some materials, as many of them can only be found in the grottoes mentioned above. Lastly, some of the best items in the entire game are only crafted at a 10% chance when a weaker counterpart is made, and to top it all off, the game auto-saves when you do these kinds of recipes, preventing the player from Savescumming. Naturally, the game doesn't tell you this as well. And to get 100% completion, everyone of these items has to be made at least once. Fun.
  • Dragon Quest XI has two:
    • Every single Mini Metal is found inside a chest or other container, or received as a quest reward, except one. It's hidden in the middle of a field of wheat, not inside a treasure chest, but just in the ground with no visual indicator at all until you get within ~2 feet of it. The only hint that this thing even exists is a vague chalkboard drawing of the location, in a faraway zone. And just to make matters worse, you can't pick up or even detect the Medal if you're mounted. You *must* be on foot to trigger the interaction prompt.
    • The final boss of the game is exceptionally difficult, even at max level with the best gear... unless you use the Super Sword of Light as an item during the battle, which severely weakens the boss. The problem is that unlike every other piece of equipment that can be used as an item during battle, this one does not have any indiciation that it is usable. You simply have to guess, based on paying close attenion to the lore, that it is somehow related to the final battle.
  • Chrono Trigger:
    • To acquire one advanced attack, the player has to obtain one character's ultimate weapon (which is, fortunately, not really Guide Dang It material in and of itself), re-enter a dungeon from far earlier in the game, put that character in the lead position of the party, go to a particular room within the dungeon, then let an enemy hit the party (i.e., the first member) with a thrown rock. That character will then examine the rock and declare it is actually a magical stone. Nothing hints toward this in-game, and no other items are gained in a similar manner.
    • The "Slide Show"/"Memory Lane" ending (original/DS names) has a very specific time in which you can see it. You must defeat Lavos after seeing Schala open the door to the queen's chambers in Zeal, but before walking through that door yourself. If you wait too long, you get the normal ending after defeating Lavos. This is especially offputting since the ending usually only changes after the game's milestone events. To put it in perspective, the ending last changed after the destruction of Tyranno Lair and changes again only after Crono dies.
    • The Geno Dome has a small, but annoying one at the very beginning. When you use the computer, Robo says "Analysis complete. Please follow me." and nothing else happens. What this means is that you have to put him in front of the party and THEN use the computer.
    • It's optional, but two steps to winning the trial can be Guide Dang Its. Namely that after you bump into Marle, you need to talk to her BEFORE you pick the pendant up, and when she's buying candy, you need to stand perfectly still and not press anything until she's done buying it. Saying "No" when Melchior asks if you can persuade her to sell her pendant may or may not be a Guide Dang It! depending on what kind of player you are. The other steps - not eating the guy's lunch and bringing the little girl back her kitten - can be Guide Dang Its too, though not as severe as the first two. For some reason, one juror will only vote "Not Guilty" if you bring the little girl her lost kitten without talking to her first.
    • Shortly after the Fall of Zeal, your trio confronts Magus. He gives you a brief Exposition Break and then asks 'I suppose you want to fight me?'. Most players would assume it's a case of But Thou Must!, seeing as how he's been a thorn in your side all throughout Zeal, he's the Disc-One Final Boss, and his boss music is playing. It's not. If you refuse, he joins your party. If you fight him, he's Killed Off for Real.
    • Saving Lucca's mother. Without Save Scumming, you only get one shot at doing this, and the moment in question comes after a very lengthy cutscene, which means retries will take a lot of time. Figuring out what to do, entering her name ("Lara"), is hinted at in another room in the house, but you probably won't enter that room first before setting off the time-limited cutscene. How you enter that code also requires thinking outside the box; after hitting A to continue past the "Enter password." script, you actually enter the buttons L-A-R-A, each key followed by a chime sound. What can make this potentially worse, however, is the fact that this uses shoulder buttons, which are hardly used in the game at all. So this may be a great source of confusion and failure if your system has defective shoulder buttons, faults which would not be noticed while playing Chrono Trigger. This can also be even more confusing on the Playstation, which requires the input L1-Circle-R1-Circle.
      • This puzzle is arguably an even bigger example in the Japanese version, where her name, ララ "rara" has several possible spellings, due to the R/L issue. The correct code is LALA.
    • The completion of the Moon Stone sidequest is pretty tricky. Placing the stone in 65,000,000 BC and traveling a few time periods forward, you will discover that the Stone has disappeared sometime between the Middle Ages and the Present. A quick flyby on the world map will reveal that the greedy mayor of Porre has stolen it, thanks to his house being lit up by the energy given out by the stone, but he'll deny everything and end the conversation there if you bring it up. What are you supposed to do? Buy some (very expensive!) jerky from a guy in the Snail Stop, then travel back in time to 600 AD. A lady in the Elder's house there will offer to buy it off you for 100G more than you paid for it, but you can also give it to her for free - in which case she promises to teach her children to be equally generous. Travel back to the present, and the mayor, now a kind, caring soul, will hand over the Moon Stone next time you talk to him. The only clue you are given is that the location of the Elder's house in the past corresponds to the mayor's house in the present.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles:
    • Good luck completing the Collectapaedia's Other section without consulting the internet: basically all of the items there can only be gotten by overtrading with specific NPCs and there's no hints on who trades what.
    • And heaven help you if you're trying to complete the Kingpin questline. Not only do you have to have a certain reputation to even begin certain parts of it, but it's Permanently Missable unless you do so before completing the Mechonis Core.
  • A room in Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete required you to enter 4 doors in the correct order. The game itself gave no indication of progress until the final door is entered, making it hard to know what the puzzle actually is. There was a nearby sign meant to explain the puzzle; unfortunately, that sign was replaced with one that provided no insight to the puzzle at all. The puzzle was so obtuse, Working Designs ended up just posting the solution to it on the top page of their website for several months.
  • Valkyrie Profile:
    • The Golden Ending seemingly requires one to 1) view a certain order of cutscenes at time specific periods in the storyline, in addition to 2) making certain unintuitive decisions and 3) actually getting rid of a plot-important character before a certain chapter of the game. In fact, if you know that there is a Golden Ending but nothing about how to reach it, getting rid of said character would be the exact opposite of what you would think should be done to reach that ending. Upon examining the exact mechanisms, however, the phenomenon is a little exaggerated by players, as all the hassles (aside of banishing the character mentioned) are but a mathematical effort to reduce some variables to desirable levels, which is the second requirement. It doesn't excuse it for being a Guide Dang It! though, as (aside of pure chance) one must be first informed that the ending exists and the requirements are such and such, before trial-and-error-ing their way.
    • This still is in effect somewhat in Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume. While the ending is based solely off of how many times you used the plume, not everyone would think to not use it period if they wanted to get the "A" ending...and it's really not advisable to try to get the "A" ending on your first playthrough. You could wind up with an unwinnable boss battle.
      • Also, the game branches into three paths very early on. One is relatively easy, the other is average and one leads to a difficult Escort Mission where you have to save a character with low defense. Unless you looked up Gamefaqs, you will not know that picking the village will lead you to the hard version of chapter 2, whereas the keep (leading to three characters instead of the usual two) is the easier option.
  • Shadow Hearts"
    • Unlocking the ???? skill for a level 3 Fusion Soul is an egregious Guide Dang It, as although there is a clue in-game, it's at best so vague as to be useless, and at worst misleading. Compounding matters, what is actually required to unlock it - letting Yuri berserk - is something you want to try your hardest to avoid in all other circumstances, making it unlikely that the player would discover it on their own.
    • However, there's an even worse one earlier, combined with Permanently Missable Content. At one point, there's a series of conversation choices. To unlock a sidequest and bonus dungeon, you need to pick the first option three times in a row—however, there's no indication that which one you pick actually matters at the time... or, indeed, at any other point in the game.
    • Worse still is getting the good ending, which requires you to defeat four optional boss enemies before you reach a certain point in the story. The problem here being that if you want them to start appearing you have to let your Malice Gauge hit red, something you're generally trying to avoid. To make matters worse, the only indication the game gives you that you actually need to do this is an incredibly vague hint in one of item descriptions about what order the enemies should be beaten in. As if that wasn't enough, these bosses produce status effects that make them much more difficult to defeat except in one specific order and appear as random encounters, forcing you to do a lot of running away should the one of them arrive out of order. To add insult to injury, the game gives no indication whatsoever that this all must be done before a certain event is reached nor that defeating the enemies beforehand will affect the event.
    • Hell, getting the good ending to Covenant and From The New World counts as well. In Covenant, you have to give a certain answer to a certain question asked by Yuri's Spirit Advisor, when none of her previous questions had any impact on the plot. And in From The New World, you have to get Shania's Tirawa form and max out all the statues. Neither game gives any hints to either of these.
    • On the subject of the conversation, in its sequels Covenant and From the New World, you are placed in a conversational scene (Be it torture or interrogation) where your character is either shocked or stabbed with knives. Now obviously, do you want to pick all the "wrong" options that result in getting your character stabbed in From the New world or shocked in Covenant? You sick bastard. ...oh wait, a sec, you did it because it gives you a more powerful weapon for torturing the character afterward? Guide, Dang it!
    • The Trading Chain in Covenant is a guide dang it. It's quite easy to accidentally end the chain in Petrograd for a worthless heal item, instead of moving on to either get A) Lucia's best weapon, or b) a good chunk of money.
    • In the first game, most of the questing required to get Yuri's ultimate fusion doesn't count. You probably would get all the Fusion monsters on your own, and likely tried to solve the puzzle in the Monastery which leads to getting Amon. Hell, even turning the Erotic Book from Kuihai Tower into the Pulse Tract and getting the Stone of Rebirth from the Ancient Ruins is at least will hinted at in the game. However, what to do from there (returning to the tree in the graveyard, examining it to see the sunset and then attempting to leave, which spawns the boss) isn't alluded to at all.
  • Terranigma:
    • One wall in Zue can be broken only by knockback from a certain enemy attack. It's easy to kill the enemy in question without realizing that getting hit by it is necessary.
    • The Final Boss hits you with an unavoidable beam that cuts your life in half twice every second for about 8 seconds. If you block, however, it will only cause ten damage or so every few seconds. Problem: you haven't needed to use the block move since the first area... of the previous game!
  • Skies of Arcadia:
    • The game sometimes gave you options of what dialogue to use during conversations. Choosing the right option would be heralded by a cheerful sound and would advance your "pirate title" a little bit. The correct options are usually courageous, loyal, and all around hero-like, and you get a little tune when you get it right, so you know to reload if you don't. More ambiguous is the fact that running from battles lowers your 'pirate title'. This is only alluded too in that it's one of the stats that a hermit tells you. This hermit can only be reached after you've made it about 2/3rds of the way into the game. Did we mention that you have to have the highest rating possible to get to the game's best weapons and secret boss? note 
    • Many of the Discoveries peppered throughout the game also qualify, as many are hidden in out of the way portions of the map. Some even move around, or require you to have completed certain sidequests.
    • The Prima guide for the Updated Re-release Legends wasn't very helpful. Granted, it did have lists of where to find the bounty Bonus Boss fights, the Moonfish, and the Chams. In completely random places scattered throughout the main story walkthrough instead of, say, in the "optional stuff" appendix at the end. They didn't even provide strategies for any Bonus Boss fight that wasn't Piastol, and even then acted as though her stats were fixed, apparently not figuring out that the Bonus Boss fights made use of Dynamic Difficulty and scaled their stats based on your level, and never touched on the fact that you can fight her multiple times. Even the main story walkthrough wasn't all that great, frequently recommending strategies or items that were grossly inefficient (they never seemed to figure out that magic is heavily outclassed by special moves and items in this game) and got some facts straight-out wrong (such as spamming Gilder's Aura of Denial against Galcian to avoid instant-death attacks, claiming that Aika's 2 SP-cost Delta Shield was more expensive than Gilder's 3 SP-cost Aura of Denial [?!]). Finally, they called the final boss Ramirez Thing. Granted, they provided boss HP numbers and their Discovery map was okay.
  • Xenogears had a few of these, with hidden items in odd places that you'd essentially have to be climbing over every bit of game scenery hitting the "examine" button repeatedly to find, with little to no clue that you should actually be looking for these things.
    • Trader's Card. This item greatly increases the chance of rare items being dropped. The only way to get it is to beat a certain boss before he can self-destruct, and the only way to do THAT is to know the fight is coming and get all your characters' up to maximum Limit Break level. Even then, defeating the boss is a feat in and of itself.
    • Learning the Deathblows for the characters might count for a bit of this. It's not clued at much at all early in the game, so you'll likely only learn one or two randomly. Once you figure out the pattern, you might think just doing the combos will learn them...but it's more complex than that. The game actually counts the animations for each move of the combos you perform, and each deathblow requires each animation to be used a certain number of times. And the animations could be in different orders depending on how you input your combos, and some moves didn't require the same animations that led up to them...and while you could brute-force your way through most of the game if you didn't figure any of this out, it will be ridiculously difficult and practically every boss fight will end up being near-impossible...suffice to say: Guide Dang It!
    • Near the end of the game you can obtain a great item (the Hercules Ring) by talking to Midori, but she won't give it to you unless you trade her her own ring, which you get by digging through the bushes outside her house at the very beginning of the game.
  • Xenosaga Episode I also did, with the e-mails. These were random e-mails - sometimes plot-relevant, sometimes just fluff, and sometimes shameless plugs for other Namco games - that could be collected, usually by being at exactly the right spot at exactly the right time. Often, there was no reason the player would ever suspect they should be in that spot, like, say, running between two aisles of chairs in the dock clinic after hearing the Commander Cherenkov was being attacked in an alley but before actually running the fifty feet to go to his aid. Of course, to add to it, many of the e-mails were chained, and if you missed one, you could never get the later ones. Miss the wrong ones, and you miss several items and a ton of money.
  • Kingdom Hearts I:
    • At the beginning of the game, the character is asked a few questions by some of his friends during a dream sequence. The game doesn't tell you that your answers to these questions affect the rate at which you level up during the game. Pick the bottom answers to each question? Congratulations, you now level up slowly. Fortunately, it actually makes the game easier in the long run, because after around level 40 you start leveling up faster. Also, you can answer the questions to make you do the OPPOSITE or so that you level up at an even pace throughout the game.
    • And before that, you are shown three pedestals holding a sword, a shield, and a staff. You are told to chose one and give up another. However, which one you choose has an effect on your maximum stats, how many items Sora can carry into battle with him, and WHAT LEVELS YOU LEARN CERTAIN ABILITIES AND POWER-UPS AT! It does however at least follow a logical theme. If you pick the sword and give up the wand, you'll learn offensive attacks more than spells so it's not a random shot out of the blue. However, if you don't pick the shield as your main option, you'll have 1 or 2 less item slots in the end, which can be important in the endgame and all the other stats can be made up via Boosters you can synthesize in the endgame or different equipment.
    • After finding all of the 99 Dalmatian puppies and then visiting their house in Traverse Town, you will receive a complete gummi set, which is great if you've opened all the treasure chests in the game. However, if you haven't, you're screwed because Cid will only buy the common gummis and not the rarer ones like Holy-G and Ultima-G, meaning that the game won't allow you to open any of the chests that have unsellable gummies in them because you already have the maximum amount of them and thus you won't be able to mark them as opened in Jiminy's diary. Running out of gummies by building a ton of ships with them isn't an option either, since they're not actually removed from your inventory when you build them, only serving as a total selection of gummies you have available for every ship. For 100% completionists, this can totally wreck your game.

      Like the Permanently Missable Trinity Mark, this was fixed in Final Mix — both the Dalmatian reward and chest contents are altered so that it's not possible to lock yourself out of opening every chest... but as mentioned below, it wasn't released outside Japan until much, much later.
    • What about a certain Trinity mark in Halloween Town that is Permanently Missable unless you read up on it beforehand? This is an issue because most people will be using Jack Skellington instead of their other default party member, both of which are needed to do the trinity move. Many people would see the Trinity spot and make a mental note to get it later...but the mansion explodes and it's lost forever. This was fixed in the Updated Re-release. That only Japan got, but the US got it...almost a decade later on a PS3 compilation.
    • Also from Kingdom Hearts I: in the penultimate level Hollow Bastion, there is a treasure chest that seemingly cannot be reached. Turns out the bubbles that used to transport you to different areas can be frozen with Blizzard to create temporary platforms. This is stated ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE IN THE GAME, leaving many players scratching their heads as to how to get that one chest.
    • One of the special blueprints for the Gummi Ship in the first game is the Chocobo blueprint. How do you get this? Enter and exit Geppetto's house 30 times or more and then talk to Pinocchio. Chances are, if you didn't have a guide, you probably missed this.
  • Unlocking Final Form, which is a random event after a certain point in the game. But you have to try to go into another form and pray you get lucky.
    • Also, there's the Anti Form. It's existence is only hinted at by looking at a mirror in Yen-Sid's Tower. There's no explanation of what causes it to appear, or, since most people will not want to fight as Anti Form, how to decrease the chance of it happening. However, if you know how to use it, Anti Form can be surprisingly powerful because of it's speed, but for people who like it, the game never explains what situations cause the form to end faster than expected.
  • StarTropics:
    • The game comes with an in-character letter addressed to the player. It contains a code (which doesn't appear anywhere in the game itself) that becomes visible when you submerge it in water. You will be required to enter this. Of course, the problem is that a majority of the people that played this game either lost the letter or didn't get it with the game. The Wii Virtual Console release of the game included the letter as part of the instruction screens, making the game always beatable at the expense of making it quite obvious that the letter is part of a puzzle. On the other hand, the Nintendo Switch Online release doesn't give the code in any form at all, leaving Switch players with no option but to look it up in a guide.
    • There was also an obtuse dungeon early on in a graveyard. You would enter a dungeon by examining one of the gravestones, then go through a couple screens to find an exit. This would lead you back into the graveyard, where nothing has changed. You were supposed to find a very well hidden secret passageway (ignoring several more false exits along the way) before those stairs to continue that dungeon.
  • In Breath of Fire II:
    • Avoiding the Bittersweet Ending requires picking out a certain NPC to live in your new village, saving the old man strapped to the Eye Machine boss, and finding the hidden control room under the village. Miss the first, you'll never see the third. Miss the second, you'll never get the third to work. You'll not get a single hint as to what it does until you've already got it working.
    • The Township's potential inhabitants themselves are a large Guide Dang It! on top of that. To the uninitiated: from an early point in the game, you're tasked with turning a single run-down building into a bustling town. The first step is to find a carpenter to build a few houses; the choice of carpenter decides the layout and style of the residential buildings, as well as the function he and his wife serve in their own building. (Hint: the one you want will eventually allow you to cook items, which is a huge Game-Breaker when you consider that you can buy two cheap items and turn them into one item that permanently raises one's stats.) Pick a carpenter you don't like, and you can't change them. More to the point, your town has a rather paltry maximum of six houses, so if you're too generous early in the game, you're stuck with losers like Poo (who sits around thanking you and eventually sells an item...ONCE) or El (who literally does nothing). Inviting some of these losers leaves you unable to give houses to people like Yozo (who offers the unique deal of raising one's max AP) or the Permanently Missable Barose (who offers the equally-unique deal of granting spells to any party member you want). The real problem comes into play when you realize that each tenant will only occupy a "certain" house in the township; if you invite El, you can never invite Yozo. A real Guide Dang It! for people wondering why a prospective tenant suddenly lost all interest in moving into your town.
    • Let's not forget finding the Elemental Dragon upgrade. Miss your first chance, and Wildcat, a boss who would be a total pushover with said upgrade, instead becomes That One Boss and you have no way of going back for the upgrade. Your second chance lasts the whole game after a certain point, but it's still quite well hidden. And you don't get the Gold Dragon upgrade, which surpasses it, until very late in the game. Up to that point every boss is That One Boss because they are all designed expecting you to be using the Elemental Dragons and therefore dealing far more damage than you're capable of with your pathetic Elemental Puppies.
    • Another Breath of Fire II example involves a secret character: Deis, a recurring character from the first game. Sure, finding this character isn't as hard as some of the others on the page, but it's still a Guide Dang It! in its own right. The search involves two simple steps: first, you have to walk into a random (albeit marked) spot in the middle of a desert to find an empty abode, containing little more than two unhelpful spirits that simply proclaim that "[their] master is away". Then, you're expected to visit a building in the first town—one that you've had no business in for the whole game—and talk to a random NPC within, who inexplicably transforms into Deis. Considering that the character is met at a high level (relative to the level you're expected to be when you first enter the aforementioned desert) and knows a ton of powerful magic, pulling this off makes things considerably easier.
    • Yet another Breath of Fire II example: finding all six of the elemental shamans. Using these can power up your characters drastically, but only two of them are encountered in the course of normal play, and of the remaining four, only one (Shin) fails to qualify for this trope, and you get her right before The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. Seso is at least possible to run into by chance...except that when you do, she's Taken for Granite, and good luck remembering to go back for her after you lift the curse on everyone in the tower. Solo requires you to donate 2000Z to Namanda, when the game only lets you donate 100Z at a time - the only hint you're given is a wise tree telling you to "be generous with your donations!" and it's entirely probable for a player to miss this tree altogether. The worst part is that Solo won't even show up until after you level the St. Eva Church, in a place the player is less than likely to return to, and if you didn't donate 2000Z by this point, Solo is lost forever. And the last shaman, Seny, somehow manages to be even worse - randomly showing up in a dungeon the player beat three hours ago, with no indication whatsoever that anything is different there. This, by the way, is the second method of finding Seny - the first method is such utter Guide Dang It! that it took the playerbase fifteen years after the game's release to find it. If this isn't indicative of II taking Guide Dang It! Up to Eleven, nothing is.
    • In Breath of Fire III you use a gene blending system, combining up to three genes to determine the form and properties of your dragon. Among these is the Failure gene which eliminates all properties and elements from the other genes used in a fusion, resulting in an element-less whelp form, which lives up to the name "failure". Most players will ignore this gene once they figure out what it does. Late in the game you can obtain the Infinity gene which gives you a powerful Kaiser form, but is berserk and will likely end up killing your allies after a while, lessening the usefulness of it. Adding Failure to the mix is one of only two ways to keep control of a Kaiser dragon. Not many people found this out on their own, given the adverse affect Failure has in other combinations, and the danger of using a berserk Kaiser.
    • There's also the "ultimate" Kaiser form, which further increases the Kaiser dragon's stats in addition to making it controllable; nothing actually indicates how to unlock it. It's by using the Infinity, Trance, and Radiance genes, leading to the Fan Nickname of IRT Kaiser.
    • There's also the one statue that says "bow down and pray before" with no indication of how to do either of those actions. What you're actually suppose to leave the text window open and stand there for half a minute.
  • Chrono Cross:
    • In order to defeat the final boss correctly, you have to use your elements in a specific order against the Time Devourer, the Final Boss. Each element has a color, and each color of spell emits a different tone when cast. During the final battle with the Time Devourer, you have to play a song with these tones in order to rescue Schala from within the boss. The final dungeon and the Criosphinx both hint rather heavily at this, but it's still a hellish leap of logic to put those pieces together. And it's mentioned very vaguely by a couple of characters if (and only if) you have the titular Chrono Cross with you when you meet them, and that's it. And on top of that, the Time Devourer's spells count, too, and it's programmed to cast the opposite of the next spell, which makes stumbling onto the answer almost impossible.
    • The Chrono Cross itself is a fair example of this, as the location where it is acquired is mentioned once, not marked on the world map, completely useless in one dimension, and can only be activated past a certain point in the storyline. And without the Cross, all you get for an ending is 'Fin'. And the Cross itself comes up as a subject of conversation once, by the same couple of characters, only if you don't have it the one time you meet them. So if you use that hint to go and get it, you'll never get any in-game indication of what it does.
    • All of the level 7 Summon elements fall into this, being that you have to set a trap specifically for that particular spell in order to steal it. Exactly one out of the six is held by an enemy that makes any sense having the spell, and for several you have to set the stage specifically for that summon. In fact, getting decent use out of any of your Traps tends to take a Walkthrough, since they mostly require foreknowledge of boss patterns and there's a sizeable part of the game where you're cut off from the trap shop in Marbule, during which several good elements are available to be trapped. If you don't know this is coming ahead of time, you'll miss out on HolyLight, BlackHole, and several others.
    • The level seven techs for the majority of the characters aren't unlocked with stars; they have to do a sidequest to find them. These range from the simple to the completely unintuitive. The only good way to reliably find them is to put characters in your party, then roam the world aimlessly interacting with everything. Not helping is how many can be Permanently Missable. Leena's is lost unless you picked the right answers to her questions on Opassa Beach, at the very beginning of the game. Razzly's (when recruiting her is already easy to miss) requires you to kill the Hydra, refuse to release its offspring, and let her sister die when the dwarves attack — to be clear, this means turning down a minor change to the plot you can only get if you recruit her in favor of things going as they would if you hadn't, the exact opposite of what you'd expect.
    • Several of the characters can be tricky to recruit. Leena, a blue-innate magical powerhouse, can only be recruited if you turn down Kid three times at Cape Howl. Most irritatingly, recruiting Glenn, who is almost as powerful as Serge, requires you to leave Kid to die after Lynx poisons her.
    • See all those Rainbow Shells you've been picking up all through the game? Wouldn't it be nice to use those to craft things? Well, go right ahead and try. No luck? First, you have to do a sidequest for Zappa to get him his ultimate hammer. Then, you have to get 'shiny' materials, which are found by killing regular monsters with the summon elements.
  • Ephemeral Fantasia. Half of the game. The game had a "Groundhog Day" Loop format where you had a limited amount of time per game "week" to figure out how to progress the story before everything gets reset to the "starting point". You had to prove to many people that the world is constantly repeating, thus "awakening" them. Some were relatively simple, but others were just obtuse. An egregious solution was that a character would smash his quill pen during a cutscene, thus you have to prove that you know this by making a duplicate of it (an arcane multi-step process by itself). There is almost no indication that is what you have to do and even the actual process of making the pen itself doesn't suggest this until you're finished.
  • Wild ARMs:
    • In order to get to the Bonus Dungeon, The Abyss, to fight the Bonus Boss Ragu Ragola and obtain the obscenely powerful Sheriff Star as well as other top-level accessories, you must have progressed up to a certain level in the game in order to get a necessary tool for a character to trigger the event. Then go to an Elw pyramid, use the tool to hit the ground near the green teleport pad, and walk onto the pad. Instead of beaming up to the satellite and ricocheting off, there's a good chance of getting stuck inside the satellite (so be prepared to try this several times). This is actually hinted in dialogue with some town characters but never explained in detail.
    • In any of the games with Puzzle Boxes, finding all of them is a Guide Dang It moment. This is taken to extremes in Wild ARMs 3 and Wild ARMs 5, where not only puzzle boxes but items are hidden all over the world map. Apparently, you're just supposed to search every square inch of the planet. Or conversely you could just get the item that exposes everything on the map for you. More to the point is the Telepath Tower quest which has such strict timing it is very missable.
    • And in Wild AR Ms XF during the Final Boss battle, you'll suddenly stop doing any damage whatsoever to the final boss. If she took a turn before this happened, the game will tell you she's entering "defensive mode," but if not you'll just be baffled. The only way to start dealing damage again is to hit her with 7 combination attacks. The only way to figure this out is trial and error.
    • In Wild ARMs 2 the last dungeon started off with a puzzle that outright confounded so many players entire sections of the game boards were dedicated to figuring it out, most people for some reason did not have the necessary semi-obscure knowledge of how the days of the week got their names. This was a result of the game's "Blind Idiot" Translation. In Japanese, the origins of the day names are clearly spelled out in the kanji making up said names, making the puzzle easy. They just directly converted the puzzle to English without realizing that the origins of the names of the days is less well-known and obvious.
    • The EX File keys in Wild Arms 3. Some are easy to find, but others are a real pain, including one that involves fighting a Bonus Boss at the end of a gruellingly long Bonus Level, one that requires the player to find and open every chest in the game and one that is found on the world screen in an area that is a pain to reach, and stops being relevant to the game around half-way through.
  • Baten Kaitos:
    • 100% Completion in Eternal Wings refers to collecting all 1000+ of the magnus, a task designed only for the truly dedicated/insane player. Ideally, such a player carries a camera everywhere, in everyone's deck, and references the internet frequently, so as not to miss that one card dropped by that one enemy in the Trail of Souls, which you visit once. Add this to the fact that magnus actually change over time (one in particular taking three hundred and thirty six hours to do so), and you have a challenging task. The prequel even adds in the lovely option of combining magnus, which makes the task all the more fun.
    • Let's talk about the pictures. You have to take a snapshot of every enemy and boss in the game. But that's not too hard, you say? How about the infamous Trail of Souls, an Unexpected Shmup Level where you have to shoot down enemies to get certain magnus that are otherwise Permanently Missable, but also have to fight them to get special magnus they drop and their pictures? Or the various character shots? Each character has two pictures; a regular one that sells for virtually nothing, and a 'rare' portrait, which only has a small chance of appearing for every picture you take. Yeah, you can go fight Shawras in Moonguile Forest with everyone's deck filled with cameras until you get the 'rare' shots. But remember that fight with Malpercio in Algorab Village, the one where Mizuti's mask breaks off? Maskless Mizuti is considered a special shot, and it only happens in that battle. Still feeling good about that 100% Magnus list? Maskless Mizuti has its own 'rare' shot. So, you have to drag out a boss battle to take as many pictures of Mizuti as possible, and just pray that you get that coveted 'rare' shot. Didn't get it? Reset the game and try again, because both shots are lost forever after that fight.
    • Want more pain? How about the magnus dropped by enemies? They're all Randomly Drops, some of them have extremely low chances of dropping, and enemies can have over ten different drops. Break out that strategy guide, you're gonna need it. Or, just give up and accept you'll never 100% Eternal Wings.
    • The Item Crafting. You might get the idea that there's a crafting system after stumbling across the secret recipes. How does it work? What's the best way to do it? What are some of the combinations? All questions you've gotta look up.
    • In Baten Kaitos Origins, the basic EX Combos aren't that hard to figure out, but if you want to unlock the advanced combos, you've gotta do some trial and error that usually involves fiddling around with the various basic attack magnus. And some of them require counterintuitive thinking (Guillo's Yin and Yang-based combos, for instance) or are so obscure you'd never think of them (one of Milly's most devastating combos requires using only Rabbit Dash + Swallowtail on a knocked-down enemy). It doesn't help that your options for late game bosses boil down to either EX Combos or a painful amount of Level Grinding (one boss in particular is almost impossible without Blackest Yang).
  • The World Ends with You:
    • A particularly annoying Pig Noise starts off asleep, and runs away as soon as you hit it. No matter how hard you hit it, it never dies. The only way to kill this Noise is to close the DS and open it up again, which causes it to die instantly. The only clue is that this action puts the DS into "Sleep Mode". At least this one could possibly be discovered on accident. It's not entirely impossible to get without a guide, but pretty damn frustrating, as every other Pig Noise requires fighting. Chances are high that most people don't discover it on their own, as what DS game would actually take advantage of the system's power mechanics?
    • Concerning the evolving of pins: Shutdown and mingle experience are actually more 'potent' than battle experience i.e. getting one point of battle experience counts less towards the pin evolving than getting that point from shutdown or mingle. THIS isn't mentioned anywhere in the game Speaking of pin evolution, the three types of PP determine whether your pin evolves, and what it evolves into. Say a pin requires Shutdown PP to evolve. If it isn't the dominant PP type when it the pin maxes out its levels, the pin won't evolve, so you have to be extremely careful as to what types of PP you give which pin. The problem? The game never even gives you so much as a hint as to which PP a pin needs. And you really do need a guide to get the most out of your pins; evolution paths can get pretty complex.
    • A guide is really needed in order to find the hard to get pins, like the Black Planet set. Not only do you have to beat the game all the way through in order to get back and go through chapters but also you have to fight a special boss, in a special area on a certain difficulty level.
    • The same is for quest items. Not only are they required for the Secret Reports (of which the game gives no hints of) but the hints for the special items in the game are somewhat vague.
  • Li'l Monster: Many of the game's puzzles were extreme Guide Dang Its, as they generally involved either A) using items in almost completely arbitrary places, B) or giving equally arbitrary items to monsters in certain areas. One part involved using the largely useless Paper Airplane item in a completely unremarkable area to find four pieces of fruit, one of which had about a 30% chance of being an item that would permanently increase your monster's HP. No guide for this game seems to exist (due to the extreme obscurity of the title).
  • Panzer Dragoon Saga
    • Rare enemies often give insane amounts of exp for when you can encounter them. But actually finding them would often require you to backtrack to areas with no other reason to do so. Quite often these rare enemies would also only spawn in specific spots in the area meaning even if you went back through every area again there was a good chance you could miss them. There are never any clues to their locations or that they even exist and even if you have encyclopedic knowledge of the Panzer Dragoon franchise it would only offer brief insights into some of their locations. For example, it's possible you may discern the existence of Sand Mites by having played Panzer Dragoon 1 or Battle Cruisers and Warships by realising that the imperial ships from the previous titles hadn't shown up in this one but good luck working out that Kolbas even exist let alone where. This was made worse by the game giving you a percentage completion of the bestiary at the end of the game, so you were informed you missed some enemies but a few rare enemies are impossible to find once the area they are found was complete, locking your save out of 100% Completion on that save file. Just as if to seemingly tease players too there are monsters which are only encountered in cutscenes or already dead so some players may spend hours trying to hunt these down with no success.
      • Normal enemies weren't exempt from this. For example, Neo Striders and Dracoliths could easily be missed due to the specific requirements to spawn them.
    • The game has many sidequests which have no indication that they even exist or which items you can find (which can often be sold) trigger them. More often than not they require you to go to areas you have no reason to visit at that point or talk to an NPC who up to that point and afterwards just says the same line repeatedly and the quests themselves are only available during specific parts of the plot. For example, the chief of Caravan's son may die without any indication that you could have participated in a quest to save him. Many of the sidequests also dead-end leaving the player feeling like they must have missed something.
    • You can destroy the brown chests on the ropes in the valley area, but you have to shoot them 8-12 times to do so. No where is this even hinted. A one of a kind item, Coolia Dung, can only be found here and this would hint it has a special use, it doesn't, it's just Vendor Trash.
    • The item Telepathy Scope, which is found in the same menu as all the Vendor Trash, has a passive effect that causes your radar to tell you if if strong enemies are nearby by or if there is a high spawn rate for enemies in the area by having your radar change colour as long as you have one in your menu. This is only vaguely hinted in the item description, which also happens to read like the rest of the vendor trash Flavor Text so there is little reason to realise it isn't just valuable vendor trash. While there are other usable items in this menu this is the only non-key item which has a passive effect.
    • The Solo Wing dragon form can be permanently lost by blowing up the the Shellcoof without reaching the final room inside. This wouldn't be so bad if the part you need to break to destroy it wasn't right next to where you spawn into the area and has the same requirements to break it as opening the final door inside.
  • In Phantasy Star Online:
    • There was a very rare random drop called the Sealed J-Sword. As the name implies, under a certain circumstance, the sword could become unsealed to become the Infinity +1 Sword Tsumikiri J-Sword. Nobody actually knew what that circumstance was. Despite this, thanks to rampant item-duping, the Tsumikiri J-Sword was actually quite common, resulting in the bizarre yet common circumstance where all four randomly selected players in your game would be equipped with an ultimate weapon that none of them actually knew how to obtain. As it turned out, the unsealing method didn't actually exist until the release of Episode I & II, at which point you had to kill 23,000 enemies with it without unequipping it.
    • Not once does the game mention what Section IDs are, why you got a specific one and what they do. Depending on the characters your Hunter's name is, they'll be assigned a colour that determines their drop table. Oh, did you get the pink one with a Hunter or Ranger? Too bad, that's the one that drops Wands and Tech Disks, both of which you'll have no use for with those classes. The best part? Each Section ID comes with their own unique rare items, some of which have abysmally low drop rates and are obviously the best gear in the game.
    • Item combinations are a screwy thing in this game because there's no hints to any of them. Tech Amplifiers are the most basic but are still confusing without a guide. You have to equip a Red, Blue, Yellow, Recover or Assist Barrier, all of which are difficult to find and are also dependent on your Section ID and then use the appropriate Amplifier, also dependent on Section IDs, to create a "Merge" that boosts the effect of specific techs. And yes, those are the easiest combinations.
    • Enemy Parts, those weird rare items that seem to have no meaning? Yeah, after completing a certain number of quests in Episode 1, you can talk to Dr. Montague in the Dr. Osto's Research quest or Unsealed Door quest to turn Enemy Parts into gear you can actually use. Quite a few of which are perfectly viable for Ultimate.
    • There's also Photon Drops. You can use them in the Galleon's Shop quest to get items, customize S-Rank weapons and add percentages to weapons, the latter two require you to finish the East Tower and West Tower in favor of Galleon respectively. None of which is available to you offline, of course.
  • In Phantasy Star Online 2:
    • It's never stated in-game how critical hits and the DEX stat work, or how they are related. Anyone coming from any other game ever will look at critical hits and think they add bonus damage, but they'd be wrong. In truth, every attack has a damage variation that ranges from a minimum to 100%, and is rolled randomly at every hit. When you deal a critical hit, it just means you're guaranteed to roll 100%. So critical hits don't actually increase damage, they just guarantee you hit your max damage. And then there's the DEX stat: it reduces the lower limit of damage variance, so the higher your DEX, the less variance your attacks will have, but it caps at 10% variance (90-100%). The problem is that every weapon in the game that has a rarity of 7 or higher (with the only exceptions being Red, Invade Old Type and Val series of weapons) has a fixed 10% variance. This means that the DEX stat is completely useless for 99% of the weapons in the game.
    • This is worse if you played Phantasy Star Online first as the DEX stat (found on MAGs) would increase your accuracy. So many players likely raised their DEX thinking they were increasing their accuracy rather than into a stat which becomes useless the moment you find a half decent rare item.
    • Because of the way damage is calculated in this game, % boosts are always more valuable than flat stats. And then every single class (except Hero, which is an advanced class) has a ton of flat stat up skills right on the top of the skill tree.
    • The affix system in general. Each ability you can put on your weapons and units has its own % chance of success, but it can or can't be boosted if you use multiple of the same ability, or if you use another ability that has a synergy with it. There are also combinations of abilities that turn into more powerful abilities when used together, and abilities that can't be used at the same time as other different abilities. None of this is properly explained anywhere.
    • Damage types and Stat types can be very easily confused due to similar names, and are never really explained. There are 3 damage types: Striking (打撃威力), Ranged (射撃威力), and Technique (テクニック威力) and 3 attack stat types: Striking (打撃力), Ranged (射撃力), and Technique (法撃力). The problem comes when some Photon Arts scale off one attack type, but deal a different damage type. For example, the Twin Machineguns Photon Art Dead Approach scales off Ranged Attack, but it actually does Striking Damage. This is important because Hunter is a common subclass for Gunner, but Hunter offers more Striking Damage than Ranged Damage. In a more bizarre way, Wand attacks powered by Wand Gear cause explosions when they hit enemies: the physical hit of the Wand scales off Striking Attack, and the Wand Gear explosion scales off Technique Attack, but both of them deal Striking Damage.
  • The Sega Ages remake of Phantasy Star II has a severe Guide Dang It in the form of an added 'Easter Egg': it is possible to permanently and in a non-glitch manner resurrect Nei after her Killed Off for Real Hopeless Boss Fight / Heroic Sacrifice versus her dark half NeiFirst. However, in order to do this, the player needs to have a save from the remake of Phantasy Star I on their memory card, start a new game of PS II with it, beat PS II, start a new game (NOT a New Game+), see EVERY SINGLE LINE of dialog to include random NPCs and party members after anything happens until you reach the fight with NeiFirst (and one thing the remake did was add a good deal of additional dialog), and engage in a series of unspecified fetch quests.(as described here) After all that, the reward was the Clone Lab attendant, rather than stating that Nei cannot be cloned as usual due to being part-biomonster/losing part of her soul, just charged the party the regular rate and sent you on your merry way. No happy reuniting cutscene (especially after the one associated with her death), no extra dialog, NOTHING. On the plus side, she did get added to the ending and she is a bit of a Game-Breaker, but still ...
  • The Golden Sun games.
  • Most enemies, including bosses, have a colorful "explosion" dissolve effect when the finishing blow is dealt to them with a Djinni they're weak to.What isn't hinted anywhere in the game is that finishing them this way makes them drop 33% more Experience and Coins, making it way easier to grind for the bonus bosses. You also have to finish them off with such an attack if you want their rare drops. Abusing the "random" number generator note  can guarantee you'll get a specific item every time, as long as you use the appropriate summon.
  • Crossbone Island can only be reached near the end of the game, right? It would be cool to go there before reaching Tolbi and take all the good loot from the few floors you can clear by that point, right? During the voyage to Tolbi, four oarsmen are knocked out by monsters, and it's up to you to choose four out of eight passengers to replace them.Who would have ever guessed that picking certain passengers, in a certain order, would make the ship hit Crossbone Island and let you explore it hours before you were supposed to? The other way to reach Crossbone Island involves the player not casting Douse on a certain tucked-away pink tornado (normally 'inhabited' by a Tempest Lizard) in Suhalla Desert. However, since tornadoes in Suhalla Desert typically carry the player back to the nearby town of Suhalla (resulting in Backtracking through the Suhalla Desert from the beginning), players are usually inclined to Douse any tornado they come across for fear of getting whisked away — which could mean missing Crossbone Island entirely if one Douses the aforementioned pink tornado as well.
  • Among the most obscure Djinn in the first game is for sure Bane, which lives in the aforementioned Crossbone Island... over halfway into the dungeon. Then, in order to catch the Djinni, you must possess a Psynergy that is obtained by backtracking to Vale Village halfway through the game and completing another optional dungeon (to be fair, the Vale dungeon also contains the Djinni Kite).
  • Also, saving Hammet from Lunpa requires you to do two rather counter-intuitive actions: borrowing the Cloak Ball from Babi and crossing through a rather well-concealed cave back to Kalay. When everyone and everything is urging you to rush to the final dungeon.
  • The tunnel leading to Venus Lighthouse in the first game. You are given a puzzle room with five different-colored statues and five slots on the ground. One of the first Psynergy you could try on them is Move, which sure enough moves them. But only by placing them in a specific pattern the door will open, and to get the only hints at what that pattern is you have to probe the statues with Mind Read, a Psynergy which is only crucial at a couple points in the game, and even then can only be used on people (and the occasional dog).
  • Djinn in The Lost Age appear everywhere around the world - not only on isolated isles or "obvious secrets". Also, the world is much bigger. The Guide Dang It part is also enhanced by the fact that you need all Djinn from BOTH games for a special location with special boss guarding special summon.
  • The first Golden Sun has a blatant translation-induced Guide Dang It; in Kolima, a man speaks about a treasure but refuses to give the location. Read his mind and the Japanese version of the game says "It's hidden deep in the forest all the way west of the village, but I can't tell him that!", which fits into one text window in Japanese, but was too long for the English version, so it was replaced with "It's hidden deep in the forest, but I can't tell him that!". The forest west of the village is a patch of forest terrain with the man's treasure in it. Directly north of the village is a full-blown story-relevant forest dungeon and to the south is another forest dungeon. Confusion ensues. Luckily the Turtle Boots you find there, while the only footwear for 3/4 the game, are pretty pathetic thanks to the percentage speed penalty they have outweighing the few extra points of defence. So if you miss them, you haven't really missed much.
  • Air's Rock from Golden Sun: The Lost Age is infamous for being That One Level, but Aqua Rock is far worse in one way. If you try to enter, you get blocked by water-spewing statues. You can try pushing them, freezing them, dousing them, trying to grow plants with them, and anything else you can think of, and they won't move. The answer? Go to the nearby village, find a rock shaped like a drop of water, and use Douse on it.
  • Just finding to Air's Rock fulfills this trope, since it's actually a detour on your way to Alhafra - the story itself doesn't give you any reason to randomly go exploring, as you are chasing down a notorious pirate at the very moment. This should not be confused with optional content - the circles indicating the use of the Reveal spell you learn on Air's Rock will become frequent, and the enemy difficulty will suddenly rise since you basically skipped a chunk of content and level ups. Also the dialogue when doing this part will make no sense if you do it later.
  • Once you get your own boat, the game's goal becomes finding Lemuria - except it isn't all that apparent at all. There is no real reason to go there as the Lemurians can't really help you in any logical way (they conveniently give you the spell to destroy the single rock blocking your way to the western seas though). You have to find a way through the waters surrounding Lemuria, which is only possible by circling certain volcanoes in a certain fashion a certain amount of times to temporarily disable the streams preventing you from progressing. The only hint at how to do that is a children's dance in a village that was taught to them by a deceased explorer. Of course the dance is in no way mentioned in relation to Lemuria, and could be misinterpreted by the unknowing player. It is also quite a stretch to relate the circling of stumps on foot with circling volcanoes with a ship. The song's duration is a whopping two minutes, and you have to memorize 'all' of that to get through - meaning you need to take notes to get it all (reminder this is a game for children, on a mobile handheld). Once you do it, you will face a boss with an impenetrable shield, that will kill you instantly. To destroy his shield, you have to find the pieces of a magical trident from three separate dungeons and let someone reforge it. This is never explicitly mentioned - only a few NPCs will casually mention it. These pieces are found in ruins that can only be done with certain spells that have to be acquired from certain places - sometimes in a special order since one of those places needs one of the spells to complete as well. Yet the player, without even knowing what the spells do, will just see a bunch of sand, or a crack in a mirror, having no idea where to go next.
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn:
    • The game has "points of no return", beyond which you cannot backtrack to get things you miss. And, as usual, the Djinn and summons are in such weird locations that you'd expect to go back later with some new Psynergy to get them... only to find that in this installment, that doesn't work. If you're a 100% completionist, you're S.O.L. The guides don't even help: the official Nintendo guide for Dark Dawn says that you should go back and collect any missing Djinn before heading to the final boss. We repeat, the official guide lies to you about the Points of No Return.
    • Worse is a Djinni in Harapa that can only be gotten in the window between obtaining the Cold Snap Psynergy and heading off to Craggy Peak. Once you return, the way is blocked off. No other Djinni in the game works this way.
    • Dark Dawn also has the issue of having come out eight years after the other installments of the series, and consequently frequently ends up in the hands of players who don't know many of the series traditions, like hiding Djinn and summons off the beaten path. As a result, these new players breeze along the storyline instead of taking the time to explore every nook and cranny in every area before moving on, and never realize that they're short about half the Djinn and all but one or two of the multi-elemental summons.
  • Try to find all the following in Dark Dawn without a guide:
    • The Haures summon tablet. note 
    • The Eclipse summon tablet. note 
    • The Ghost Ship Bonus Dungeon. note 
    • You can find instructions in-game to find the Ghost Ship if you use Spirit Sense on the bodies of the Kaocho Generals at Ayuthay after the Grave Eclipse begins; they tell you where they left a note. Can't find them? That's because nobody told you they were on top of the palace by the strange tree. The note itself is embedded in a crack in the wall of Kaocho Palace, but you can only find it if you first found the Generals... Really, it's probably easier to find the Ghost Ship by blundering around than to find this.
    • Ivy the Djinni. note 
  • With the release of a new Episode 3 story mission in Phantasy Star Universe, it has become possible to obtain two particular NPC partner cards that a lot of people have been waiting for. Unfortunately, one of them requires you to go back and fulfill utterly ridiculous tasks in missions you've already cleared, just to see a few little changes to cutscenes, which will then somehow qualify you to obtain this card. Oh, and if you haven't played all twelve chapters of the Episode 2 story missions, forget it...
  • "Party RPG" Dokapon Kingdom has the "Acrobat" class, which can only be obtained by bringing a special item to the king. While it isn't the only such class to be obtained this way, it is possibly the most difficult to find—to get it, you need to go to the Casino (a place you're never required to go at story point, and which it may be downright dangerous to go to if you're playing more competitively with your friends and everyone wants to move forward) and get both all cherries on a "great" or "excellent" bonus.
  • Graffiti Kingdom. The bosses are a HUGE problem in this game, because after the first three, every single boss except Acryla [and, arguably, Deskel] becomes That One Boss; Telepin is virtually impossible no matter what you do, Palette absolutely requires you have wings and the very hidden Fly ability, Medium, the assumed final boss, has two forms, the latter of which is almost three times as hard as the first and Tablet, the REAL final boss, has FIVE, all harder than the last and with their own HP bars. You must learn this all through trial and error, or by doing things you normally wouldn't do, like hitting a certain tree in a certain stage so a certain enemy pops out that may or may not die before you get a chance to swipe it for the Fly ability.
  • Unlocking all the characters in Dragon Ball Z: Legendary Super Warriors. The game oftentimes requires you to beat a chapter with a certain character or in the case of team matches, characters. Sometimes, you have to lose the first match, before winning it on your second try. And two characters have to be unlocked by repeatedly pressing the Start button while the credits are rolling. At no point in the game is any of this so much hinted to you. And you're supposed to figure all this out without a strategy guide?
  • Magi-Nation:
    • The only way to get some of the most powerful dream creatures in the game were extremely hidden and required Guides. Some examples to get these creatures included running through a mountain on the world map or swimming past a dude's house you meet early on and never have to return to since.
    • One example of the hidden creatures is the Orathan F. In order to find it, you have to wander around between two mountains on the world map in the final overworld map.
  • The Ormagon. Reading a guide for it would make you think they're making it up as they go along!
  • Phantasy Star III: Generations Of Doom:
    • Midway through, one of the Sages tells you that you need to take care of a certain task, but he refers to the wrong place, leading the player off to nowhere. The manual attempts to hide the mistake by pleading that he's senile and offers you the right direction. Again: lose the manual and things come to a grinding halt.
    • The US localization of Dragon Warrior II does the same thing: while chasing down The Prince, the King of Middenhall may refer to the wrong city, sending you off in the entirely wrong direction.
  • Live A Live
    • The whole game is basically one giant Guide Dang It. You've got doors that only open if you stand in a specific spot and press 'A' exactly one hundred times, Bonus Bosses and special items that only appear if you backtrack and/or walk in a very specific way, and a whole host of other counter-intuitive things that are never hinted that and are sometimes needed to either advance the plot or not get completely screwed over for the rest of the game.
    • Oboromaru's chapter in its entirety, if the player wants to do either a Pacifist Run or a Kill Em All Run. For both of those, the player needs a guide in order to know which door to walk into, so as to prevent or proceed killing people. And if the player is trying to get 100 Kills, they can't just willy-nilly kill every NPC they see, some of them need to remain alive until a certain point in the scenario. And if the player wants a good item, they need to not kill any women until the item is received. Oh, and you need certain party members and keep them alive, to do each run. Let's not forget, the scenario has certain encounters that don't count for kills, so such encounters either make the player think they botched it up or they need to forego any EXP, meaning no leveling up. Both scenarios can lead to great weapons being obtained early, which is the only reason one would be insane enough to do this.
    • The Item Creation in some of the scenarios. Item Creation is how you create equipment and weapons for your party. Nothing in the game tells you what combinations turn into what and how that will help you. You sometimes create items to be used in battle, which disappear after one use. And you only have limited resources, or a time-frame, to create items. So unless the player is Save Scumming or has a guide, resources will be wasted. And this isn't even getting into the Near Future chapter, where the item creator can mess up and you don't get anything; though that has the one advantage that it doesn't eat up your items if he messes up.
    • The Wild West chapter. In this scenario, you have up to the 8th ring of the bell to collect items and set them up as traps. The guide-dang-it appears in that you need to ask the townspeople to set up the traps for you. And some of them are very slow, some are very fast. A character might mention 'I am faster than (character)', but nothing tells you where in terms of speed that goes. And two traps can only be set by two specific townspeople. And the items that can be used for traps? All over the little town, meaning you need to check every nook and cranny, in case there is something. And the amount of traps set determines whether the boss battle will be against a total of 15 minions alongside the boss or less, with the most traps used leaving you only to fight the boss. Have fun figuring out the items and speed while under a time constraint. The entire premise of the scenario's guide-dang-it is a little lowered, as the scenario can be done without setting any traps, but that could make the boss battle very difficult.
  • Ys Book I and II for the Turbografx-16 CD was full of these. Some examples:
    • You find a Roda Tree Seed in the Mine in Book 1, it is used to talk to the big trees in the field to obtain the Silver Sword (in the ''Eternal'' remake you have to eat the seed first).
    • Near the end of Book I, the door to Dark Fact is sealed, and even the Evil Ring, which is also a Guide Dang It to figure out how to use without it draining your health, won't open it. In the book of Gemma, a Blue Amulet is mentioned, vaguely hinting that you're supposed to go all the way back down to where Luta was to get it, and then you can go in the boss room.
    • Halfway up Darm tower, you encounter a corridor where scary Source Music is played that drains your health. In the room halfway down, Raba/Rasta tells you that you need to break one of the pillars "on this floor" to stop the "Devil's Wind", as it is sometimes called (the name of the music piece on the soundtrack). It turns out that you're supposed to break one of the pillars on the outside of the floor where Luta Gemma resides. In the TGCD version, the hint is that the gallery on that floor is purple instead of blue, as well as having gargoyle faces on the pillars. In all variants of Eternal, the pillars look like pipes with holes in them.
    • In Book II, in the lava village, if you talk to the mayor, he tells you that the bridge is broken. If you talk to him while in beast form, he says he promised not to let Adol through. Then you have to change back and talk to him a third time , only then does he tell you where his kidnapped son is and give you the Whisper Earrings. Worse, the path to Tarf's cell is blocked by a Gas Chamber. To figure out how to get through, you have to use the Evil Bell at the entrance to the dungeon(one of the villagers tells you that Quays, the gremlin-like species the Transform magic turns you into, used to be seen there), then the Quays tell you to use a Roda Leaf, which is lying on the ground, barely visible just inside the entrance(In the PC remake, the leaf is hidden in the Quay's hideout, which you also have to use the Evil Bell to access)
    • In Rance Village, Jira tells you that he hears noises coming from his basement. When you go down there, there's apparently nothing there. A villager also says that he hears a bell when the goons are called to a meeting. This somewhat vaguely hints that you need use the Evil Bell(obtained in the Mine) in the basement to call the demons, which then break down the wall, allowing you to access the final priest's shrine.
    • Later, after the wizard Dalles turns you into a green ghoul monster(a blue or black Quay in other versions), you come upon the refugee's hideout. They block your way in, but at least in the TG-CD version they give you the hint that a room with a different wall contains the sacred cup of Dabbie who also held the Magic of Light(in the Eternal remake they give you no hints whatsoever, guide dang it).
      • Also a statue holding a sword is found in the canals. Hardly do you know that when you use the Dreaming Stone Idol to change the refugees back, he changes back too. And that sword he has is the Infinity +1 Sword critical to the Final Boss fight!
    • Ys IV: Mask Of The Sun for the Super Famicom: When you first return to Minea, Pim tells you he has lost his gold pedestal. Towards the end of the game, you are told to drive the Hero's Sword into the gold pedestal at the top of the mountain after obtaining it from the "Information Booth", which doesn't actually exist in the game. You have to go back to Pim, and it turns out he didn't lose it after all.
    • In Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim, the main quest had almost none, but many of the secret items, including the Emelas gear, were guide-dang-its to find, many of which involved going back and fighting respawned(and suped-up) mini-bosses. Biggest Guide Dang Its were the Black Tabulas and Eldian Orb in the Ruins of Amnesia, where, to see the invisible platforms, you need the Rainbow Fragment, which isn't obtained until after you complete the dungeon, and there are almost no in-game hints about its use.
    • Many achievements in the Steam version of Ys I and II:
      • Hey Baby, What's Your Width?, I Can't See You, But I Can Feel You and Police Are On Their Way: During both games' Escort Mission, there is a single narrow passage which you must push your escorted character into.
      • No Reservations: In Ys II, there are four NPCs who will give you food if you give them enough gifts. Some are somewhat hinted at because they raise meat animals, but one of them runs an armor and weapon shop and is never hinted to give you anything.
      • Bill the Duck: You must give gifts to an NPC (once again, there is absolutely no hints as to which NPC this is) until he tells you that sometimes the ducks eat gold coins. Now you can examine the ducks outside and one of them will give you gold and the achievement.
      • Where's Aldow: You must use the Alter spell and return to the first dungeon, in the area where you found the Evil Bell. One monster will give you the achievement if you talk to him.
  • The Dark Spire. As a tribute to the original Wizardry, this game is full of them, including:
    • The H3LLO KITTY door. Requires three apples. First of all, the apples already have another use in the game. Second, you have no way to know that you need three, making it impossible to solve just by trying everything. Third, you don't even know that you need apples unless you happen to know that Hello Kitty likes apple pie.
    • Several quest items that are lying on the ground with no message whatsoever (short of searching every square in the game): the Sun Jewel and the Dragon Drops.
    • Several quests which just claim that an unspecified NPC wants an unspecified item. In one case it's made to sound like a quest item, but the item is actually a random drop (a ring).
    • The true ending requires a nearly maxed charisma, which means grinding unless you know in advance and saved up the experience to buy it, and having a character with Balanced alignment wield Tyrung. There are no clues about this. Not to mention that even getting the Tyrung means finding a mysterious woman in an otherwise meaningless location on all other levels, in order.
    • The necromancy puzzle requires, among other things, a candle. There's another candle with a completely different use (and if you use it first, no way to know you didn't just lose the one you needed), and the correct one requires using an item, which aside from its obvious effect also puts the needed candle in your inventory without telling you.
    • Some steps in solving quests only have a percentage chance of working, such as the getting the golden axe and some of the ????? level skill-based quests.
    • The Mist Giant quest, which only appears if you enter a particular room without happening to trigger a random encounter at the door—which is pretty likely to happen.
    • The level, stat, and skill requirements for obtaining advanced classes are not documented. One stat needed for one class is not even available for raising during most of the game.
    • The game also rolls hit points using the original Wizardry method: reroll your entire hit points whenever you go up a level, so reloading to gain more hit points will be fruitless in the long run. How to figure this out? Umm, read guides for Wizardry and recognize that the hit point gain looks similar?
  • Infinite Undiscovery has several Guide Dang It moments.
    • Castle Prevant, where four of your allied soldiers are being held in jail cells. One is executed every 4 minutes unless you acquire the cell keys and let them out. One key is dropped by an enemy, one found in a treasure chest, one you have to talk to a freaking rat (in near absolute darkness no less) and the final one has to be crafted. What makes an already frustrating task worse is that the game gives you no hint that the task is even there. No dialogue. No timer. Nobody even says anything if you fail.
    • More than a few achievements from the game fall into this category. You may never guess that you need to have every single one of your characters avoid being hit by the tsunami at the Cerulean Chain battle in order to earn the Tide of Battle Achievement.
  • Super Mario RPG:
    • You have to be pretty darn lucky to find Grate Guy's casino on your own, because there are no hints about its location and you have to jump at a seemingly randomly chosen, unmarked spot to find the exit that leads to the casino. You'll also need to find the ID card to get into the casino, which can only be obtained by revisiting a place that you likely have no other particular reason to revisit, though this is considerably easier to discover than the casino itself.
    • The game does give you a hint about jumping at the spot occupied by a golden chain chomp, but they don't tell you where to find the said enemy nor where to obtain the membership card needed to access the casino once you find it.
    • There's the married couple (Raz and Raini) who can make an appearance on Yo'ster Isle on their honeymoon. With the Bright Card in inventory, Raz hints the whereabouts of the casino being near Bean Valley.
    • Don't forget about the hidden treasure chest in the Mushroom Kingdom Castle, which can only be accessed by jumping on Toad's head while he's walking, and then jumping off his head to the top of the door frame he's passing through. Oh, and you can only do this the very first time you enter the castle, with no hints what so ever about it and, depending on if you went out of your way to speak to a certain NPC in someone's basement, before you even know hidden treasure chests existed! Fortunately, you don't receive any rewards from finding them all (besides the contents in the chest themselves) and the only reason to complete this quest is for bragging rights.
      • Don't forget that even if you knew about it beforehand, Toad goes by so fast that you have one chance to make it and the jump definitely isn't easy, even worse, there's actually a character who will continuously tell you that you have one more hidden chest left, meaning that 100% Completionists will be forced to reset the game. Don't forget the Star Egg, an Item that you win by winning a luck based Mini-Game in the aforementioned Grate Guy's Casino 100 Times! By the way, to get the Bright Card in the first place, in addition to speaking to a character in a dungeon you have no business going back to, you have to play and win his Mini-Game 12 times. How about the Mystery Egg? Use it ten times and it becomes a Lamb's Lure and use that 48 times to get a Sheep Attack. Obviously!
  • In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, about half of the bosses in the game have missable equipment drops, which range from useless to game-breaking. One boss in particular, the Piranha Bean, has an item which can only be gotten via a certain piece of equipment, which in turn requires you to have found thirty-five of a specific variety of bean, around twenty of which are in invisible blocks, the locations of which are only vaguely hinted at by their surroundings.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, you can press Y in conjunction with X to increase the power of Bowser's Vacuum Block (something which is practically required for the final boss). The kicker? Not even the official guide mentions this. You could only find out about it from the Mario Wiki, which doesn't have it anymore. Oh, and the guide also doesn't mention the Bonus Boss of the Gauntlet (Bowser X) either.
  • Free MMORPG Mabinogi has a few of these.
    • Most of them are the result of bad translations, and there are usually people around who can give you the correct info. Some, however, are almost game-breaking. The worst are two specific skills. Since the game is skill-based and not class-based, the only restriction on how your character functions is based entirely on the skills you choose to learn. Skills are divided into Combat, Magic, and Life. Skill paths are not exclusive in any way, and it is technically possible to learn any and all available skills, given enough time and effort. However, the Guide Dang It part is that two of the most important skills can only be learned, or learned easily, if you work on them very early on:
    • The most frustrating one is "Windmill"; probably the most powerful combat skill in the game. Training to advance this skill is highly dependent on the comparison between the character's and monsters' "Combat Power", the overall combat ability rating. If your CP is too high, then you won't be able to train the skill effectively. The Guide Dang It moment comes in when you realize that the game does not display your CP, only a vague "comparison" to monsters, nor is it even remotely clear how CP works. Worse yet, if you increase the level of certain other skills too high, mainly Combat Mastery (your primary combat skill) training the higher levels of Windmill becomes nearly impossible. There are client-side mods which give more useful CP information; but these are prohibited, and are removed every time the client undergoes a major update.
    • The second is the crafting skill Refine, which affects your Dexterity stat. This is arguably the most useful "Life" skill since Dex has a huge effect on the amount of damage you inflict in combat, especially ranged combat; and this skill has the largest effect on Dex. However, in order to train the skill, you need "failures" when attempting to use it as well as "successes". If your Dex stat and main Life skill — "Production Mastery" — are too high, it will be nearly impossible to fail; and you need at least as many failures as successes to effectively train the skills, if not more. Except that if you're someone who levels "with the flow", it means you level as you train it for another cause, like Blacksmithing or Money.
    • There are ways to compensate, but they're limited. There are enchanted equips that will reduce your CP or Dex; but the effects are fairly small (although cumulative); and they are typically extremely expensive and hard to get. Rebirthing will help, but again, only to a limited degree. Finally, there are items available, known as "skill reset capsules" that will enable you to reduce any skill by one level, but they're only available to those using certain paid services, at a rate of one a week, and cannot be traded.
  • In Ace Combat games:
    • The methods for unlocking the superfighters are never spelt out clearly. For example, in Shattered Skies the X-02 Wyvern is unlocked only after beating all missions with a S rank, then beat the game again via SP. New Game, but you wouldn't guess unless you've played games with similar unlock systems. In Unsung War getting the ADF-01F Falken requires finding and destroying hangars in out of the way areas. Various optional enemy aces also don't appear on radar unless you fly close enough to their turf. Fortunately, most of these you can get by deliberately exploring the mission areas or trying every possible obvious option.
    • Speaking of aces, some have very strange spawn requirements. Some are obvious (appear after mission update, get close enough, etc.), some may require knowledge of another game (Grabacr only appears if, on Ace, you ignore Huckbein the Raven as he flees from Schwarze, keeping the timeline intact), others are just odd (Schakal only appears if you do not down any jammer aircraft, and at least 3 minutes have passed from mission start; Riese only appears on the Mercenary path by scoring 10000 points and going through the exact spawn point of four planes that, if any have been destroyed, will cause Riese to not spawn).
    • Not to mention the Wyvern in in Unsung War is only unlockable by buying one of every airplane except for the Falken (which, if you're going for 100% you'll only ever have money for one of anyway). Any casual player will probably pick out their favorite planes early and not really care about the rest.
    • Skies of Deception takes ace-finding to a new level, as some of them don't appear unless you carry out counterintuitive actions, like speeding through an area littered with "Instant Death" Radius radar coverage circles or ignoring a bunch of Xbox huge Frickin' Laser Beams in order to shoot down enemy planes.
  • In the Hello Kitty Online preview game Island of Fun, an optional quest requires you to clean all the statues on the island. One of them is of "Jed", who isn't an established Sanrio character, and there isn't a statue that matches with him. Turns out the "statue" is a glowing pile of rocks. Even worse, the only part of it that's actually clickable is the captain's hat on top of the pile of rocks.
  • Shin Megami Tensei
    • Devil Survivor. The game has multiple endings, determined by scenes seen and conversation choices. At the end you can pick between the endings you qualified for. This is all well and good, except that one of the endings requires you to pick one of two almost identical responses in a scene halfway through the game. Making a mistake during another event also locks you into the worst ending.
      • There's also the fact that the player needs to keep Diva singer Haru alive throughout the game. If this character dies, the player is automatically locked into Yuzu's route, no matter what conversation choices the player picked everywhere else. It's not stated that this will happen, but the game does hammer it into your skull that your objective is always to save this character.
    • Devil Survivor 2 is much more lenient as far as unlocking endings go, but introduces another Guide Dang It! mechanic in the Fate System. The Fate System works much like Social Links from the Persona games, and maxing them out for certain characters can be very difficult, again screaming "you did print out that guide from GameFAQs, right?" Getting the Golden Ending is nigh-impossible otherwise.
    • Soul Hackers. A seemingly offhand conversation with your main ally at the very beginning of the game will determine which skills she will learn as she levels up. If you didn't pick a certain one, have fun scratching your head 60 levels of grinding later figuring out why she can't learn Megidola.
    • The final flashback mission will influence the last two bosses in the game heavily. As a demon hunter, you're tasked with choosing one of two powerful demons, both in service of the final boss, and defeat him. What you aren't told but could reasonably guess is that the one you don't kill will be guarding the final room once you switch back to the protagonist what you couldn't guess is that the boss you DO beat ends up being absorbed by said final boss, giving him most of their own skills and resistances. If you're on your second playthrough, have planned ahead fusing your demons and weapons so that you will beat the final battle easily, and choose to fight a different boss when you reach the flashback mission...good luck figuring out why the final boss seems to have a completely different set of stats and powers. Especially cruel if you figure out the first part. If your party has trouble with taking physical damage, you may choose to kill the boss which is specialized in that so that the one that is left is easier to beat for you...just to find out, way too late, that doing so turned the final boss into a physical powerhouse. Oops.
    • Speaking of the second playthrough, a New Game+ option is vaguely hinted but never presented, so you'd be forgiven for thinking you did something wrong and got locked out of it, or simply that it doesn't exist to begin with. What you're supposed to do is go to one of the buildings that previously restricted your access to its higher floors, find that you can now go further inside it, and then beat a sequence of absolutely brutal bonus bosses which seem to only be there for bragging rights rewards, since the only things you get from beating them are a few items and their fusion unlocks.
  • Trying to get on Neutral alignment in Shin Megami Tensei IV is quite difficult without a guide. Throughout the game, there are dozens of conversation choices that affect your alignment to varying degrees, and the only way to discern your alignment is to talk to the "Cynical Man" who appears at several Hunter's Association bars in Tokyo, who is not available for a significant portion of the game that takes place just before alignment lock. You also don't have a convenient way to change your alignment as much as you wish right before alignment lock, the window for Neutral is extremely narrow, and the final question before alignment lock is worth so many alignment points that you can actually screw yourself out of the Neutral ending by being perfectly Neutral.note 
  • Shining the Holy Ark had the only extra character hiding as a tree in the first town you come across. No way you could know he was there unless you checked every tree in the town, you might have done that at the start of the game to find treasure but Doyle will only appear after you?ve visited his village on the other side of the map.
    • Shining the Holy Ark also had pixies hidden throughout the game, which could be used for extra attacks on enemies at the start of a battle. Finding a pixie is done by searching a space on a wall. Without a guide, there are no clues to where the pixies are. Moreover, there can be hidden areas behind pushable walls which contains pixies. Therefore, you must either both search and push every wall in the game, or use a guide.
    • There's also the Mirage Village puzzle. You have tablets which say "Face the illusion, hold ___ hand aloft, enter from the ___, and offer it to me." The solution? You must not face the illusion. Instead, you have to face such that ___ hand would be in the direction of the illusion. Then approach the tablet from the specified direction. No offer is involved. One wonders if this was a translation error.
  • Ever played Final Fantasy Legend II? Good luck being able to figure the game's leveling-up system without having a strategy guide or a fansite handy. The DS remake may potentially improve some of these.
  • The first Digimon World was absolutely chock full of this trope.
    • There were no clues on how to get several Digivolutions. This could also fit in the Double Guide Dang It because the Official Guide didn't even have knowledge of how to get some of the monsters. Also an example of Trial-and-Error Gameplay as you have no clue what you will get when your partner Digimon will turn into near the start of the game. The player eventually manages to guess their way to more powerful Digimon, but every so often there is the occasional Centarumon, Numemon (and if you are particularly messy, Sukamon). Devimon was the worst case of this (Although much later in the game you discover Items which Digivolve rookies into certain Champions). First you had to get an Angemon... Which was extremely difficult in itself, then get his discipline below 50% and THEN you have to lose a battle. Almost ALL of the Ultimate level Digimon were discovered just by random chance.
    • Recruiting all possible Digimon is required for a medal and 100% completion. This can prove to be a nightmare if you're not using a guide. There's several Digimon, for instance, that appear at complete random, and their spawn rates are so low you'd more likely than not need to be actively rezoning to even see them. Then there's Frigimon, who requires you to take a Digimon who can't withstand cold to Freezeland, and get them sick. The only clue you get for the latter is a rather vague post on the Notice Board, which you have to unlock by recruiting another Digimon.
  • Digimon World 3 as well. To fight the final group of bosses, you need five special weapons. The only confirmed way to get these items is to do lengthy quests before the Point of No Return which immediately precedes this part of the game. So walkthrough authors would make sure this was mentioned, wouldn't they? Not exactly. That part of the game was cut from the North American release, and of course the majority of English-language walkthrough authors use that version, therefore the items are either not mentioned or simply get a brief spot as a side quest.
  • Digimon World Dawn/Dusk on DS:
    • First, DNA Digivolution. Several Digimon are only unlocked by fusions, a few of which aren't mentioned in the game. They also have an extra requirement, which might be HP, levels or something similar. Few of these are mentioned.
    • Second, several normal Digivolutions. In order to be able to evolve some Digimon, you have to first find how to get that Digimon via an alternative route (often involving DNA Digivolution) which, again, are often mentioned anywhere in the game. Tsukaimon's line is the grand champion, with all of his mega forms and most ultimate forms requiring you to train Digimon which seem completely random unless you're a Digimon veteran (and even then, figuring out the combination for one of his final forms could stump even those).
    • It's really hard to understate the sheer madness that is trying to complete Tsukaimon's Digivolutionary lines. Depending on what starter pack you chose when you started the game, it can take three or four individual Tsukaimon, to get everything (the longest route and 'final' form involves DNA Digivolving both one Mega-level Digivolved from Tsukaimon, and a branched evolution also Digivolved from Tsukaimon). It's... convoluted, and figuring it out without a guide makes one's head spin.
    • Third, extra missions. They are unlocked if you have a specific Digimon with a specific nature (which doesn't have any purpose other than that) in your farm. Most of them are hinted at, but even so, you need to create and delete the needed Digimon until it comes with the required nature.
  • Every single Quest in the MMO Ragnarok Online. Period.
    • Want an example? The Homunculus Quest requires you to equip two rather useless pieces of equipment found in a town you probably skipped to infiltrate a hidden zone of a palace you otherwise get kicked out of, finding several unmarked NPCs, answering a quiz, have a certain conversation with a certain NPC with no clue or confirmation that it advanced the quest, and finally go back to the quest-giving NPC.And this is just a Sidequest.
  • Parasite Eve has a Bonus Boss that is tough to take down, but even tougher to kill quickly due being able to heal a large amount of health. The trick that is never mentioned is when the boss summons a helper on screen; you're supposed to stop attacking her until the helper goes away. Attacking the boss prematurely in this manner will have her summon a 2nd helper that heals the boss for 1000 HP and it keeps rising up every 1000 points if you keep making this mistakenote , which can make the battle Unwinnable if you are not strong and fast enough to kill the boss.
  • In the original four .hack games, you could raise pets named grunties by feeding them. The food changed attributes that, when the grunty "grew up", would decide what kind it was. However, for 8 of the 9 grunties, you had to have an exact set of attributes. If even one was off, you got the generic Noble Grunty. And, of course, the game never tells you the attributes you need for the unique grunties. Good luck figuring that out on your own...
  • In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door:
    • There's a boss battle in the final chapter against Gloomtail. After he's defeated, most players would simply leave the room; however, they likely wouldn't have noticed the crack in the wall behind Gloomtail, which can be blown up to get into another part of the room, housing some rare items. If you leave the area before getting this, the floor will drop out in the hallways leading to it, making the room inaccessible afterward.
    • Earlier in the game, during Chapter 3, you find an egg that follows you around for a while before hatching into a Yoshi that becomes your partner. The Yoshi can be one of 7 colors and seems to be randomly chosen. However, the color is actually based on the amount of time it took you to get from the point where the egg joins you to the time the Yoshi shows up (with the counter resetting to 0 every 20 minutes). If you want a certain color (like the rare black or white one, both of which have a margin of 1 minute each) you need a guide or insane luck.
    • In Super Paper Mario, there's the chapter 5 Moon Logic Puzzle involving a set of floating blocks that need to be hit in a specific order. That's just the first one; the second chain is at least 20 hits long and the combination can only be gotten from an NPC in the first area, where you probably wouldn't go back to after seeing other Cragnons getting kidnapped. When you go back to talk to him, he'll only give you this information if you manually type out "please" five times and is case sensitive. Even when he's giving this information, he does so in a way that implies that it's not the short chain and then a very long chain, he does so in a way that implies that it's the short chain, then a longer chain, then an even longer chain. And just to twist the knife in, even AFTER solving that puzzle and getting where the pipe you unlock takes you, you STILL have no idea that the only way forward is BEHIND THE BACKGROUND. Whoever designed that level had to be a sadist.
    • There's one you're not required to figure out back in the first Paper Mario. The Star Beam gets rid of Bowser's Star Rod power, yes... but it also gets rid of EVERY STATUS IN THE GAME. Fighting a Magikoopa that made an enemy invisible? The Star Beam WILL get rid of that. The game only tells you it cancels the Star Rod's power. The game expects YOU to figure out it gets rid of every other status, as well.
    • Sticker Star has become infamous for this.
      • Throughout the adventure, you find various objects the game refers to as Things that you use to clear obstacles in the field. But when you come to a part of the game that requires a Thing to get by, you are not told that you need to use one, which one you need, or where the Thing is in case you don't have it. To top it off, a good chunk of these things can be hidden extremely well in the levels, requiring unintuitive levels of exploration to find them.
      • Notably, Color Splash added a Toad who all but tells you which Things you'll need and where to find them, and you tend to get some very heavy-handed hints from Huey when you need to use them.
    • Color Splash might have avoided most of this thanks to the above mentioned Toad but he is not perfect. He will only tell you if multiple Things are required to complete a level if they are all used for the same puzzle. So he will tell you the Disco Ball and the Ice Pick Things are needed to defeat Lemmy but he will not tell you a Cork is needed to defeat Larry unless you've already used the Megaphone to wake up the Thwomp earlier in the level. Thankfully, this only happens twice in the entire game.
  • Good luck trying to get a multitude of things in Vanguard Bandits. With three different paths through the game that come about through dialogue or leveling, a secret character on one branch that requires you to lose a fight, special attacks that require both certain equipment and a character's stats to be built a certain way, and the way the endings are determined for two paths based upon images you're likely to ignore. The instruction manual is at least a little helpful with some of this, but the rest is all up to chance.
  • Inuyasha: Secret of the Divine Jewel. How bad is it? For example, the game never mentions how to save. Following story is even worse. At one point of the game you must return to an early visited village and sleep in the inn. Not only there is no hints about it, resting in inns is absolutely unnecessary in terms of restoring health - you can just use healers, and then walk around the village to restore MP.
  • Tactics Ogre. Actually, a lot of Ogre Battle games love this trope. In Tactics Ogre:
    • The PSP version requires you to be well liked amongst the Galgastani people to get a certain character. Problem? Most of the enemies in the game, especially before that character can join you are Galgastans.
    • Recruiting Sherri. You're at least told not to kill her, but she doesn't immediately join you. For no apparent reason, you must then make it stormy and go to Balmamusa before one of the very next anchor points and then you will see a scene where you will recruit her.
    • Ravness in the PSP version. If you want to recruit her, you'll have to play in a specific way. The final battle of chapter one puts her in the enemies against you. It's a "Kill all" stage, and if you want to recruit Ravness...you have to NOT KILL HER. In a "Kill all" stage? Especially when she's right in front of you, the temptation's too great. (That and enemies attack her, too.) Then in chapter two, you have to listen to the news after a certain part and then save her in an optional battle. Then in chapter three, you have to recruit Jenuan, a character who has no visible ties to her, then deploy him in the next battle. Note he may also be level one. In the next battle, don't kill the boss until Jenuan and the boss's dialogues are complete. Then you have to save her in another optional battle which is not alluded to, especially since the story hints you should go forward, and you have to go to the previous point on the map.
    • Ozma in the PSP version. Players of the original were surprised when the game gives you a very strong hint that she's playable, when she is seen harassing Hobyrim, but appears to be hesitant to strike, and survives the events of Chapter 3. (In the original, she dies in Rhime in that very battle.) however, the window for recruiting her not only requires Hobyrim to be at around 50 loyalty (Which is not shown as a number, by the way.) and requires you to use the Warren Talk. then, you are given a battle with Ozma and Volaq where you must force Volaq to retreat, and then reduce Ozma to low health. (Thankfully, the game gives you shots which can be thrown by anyone with a lobber so you can simply Cherry-tap Ozma with them, but she and the other templars are very dangerous foes.) While you are given a very strong hint that you can recruit her, the number of hoops to jump through are pretty surprising. And she's well worth it.
    • A rare justified example - The Fireseal. The way to obtain it is very long and arduous, and there's almost no hint on how to obtain it, or even mentions that it's even in the game until you're rather far into Hell Gate. This is justified in that Quest (The original developers) were holding a contest to see who could obtain it first.
    • Its Gaiden Game Knight of Lodis gives you a choice early on and doesn't actually tell you that this is the major game-changing choice that will lead to either Alphonse killing his commander and Eleanor sacrificing herself to save Shaher or Alphonse's commander instead joining him and Cybil being possessed by Shaher.
  • Tons of them in Persona 2: Eternal Punishment about how to get specific Personae.
    • The first one is Maia Custom. To get her, you need to tell Ulala's ex that he's wrong and that Joker Ulala is a nice person. Pick the other choice and she's lost forever. Then you need to equip Maia and wait for her to mutate. Wait, you released Maia already? Tough shit.
    • Then there's Hastur. To get him, go to the Wang Long-obsessed girl in 2x Slash and give your birth month as HASTURCOMEFORTH in all caps. Doing this triggers The King in Yellow to appear in your mailbox at Kismet (no, really) which you use to create Hastur along with 258 Tower cards. What makes this one shine is that as of 2018, there's still no way to know that you're supposed to do this; and there's no demon that tells you this through rumor to try to do this. Furthermore, there's the Golden Honey, a reusable item that eliminates all encounters when used. To get it, Hastur, the persona above must speak to a demon named Biyarky; which is a demon found in the fourth area of the bomb-shelter for a persona talk. Unless your Lovecraftian is spot on, good luck knowing this one ahead of time.
    • Mot, Pallas Athena, Shokuin and Michael all are obtained through mutating specific Personae which normally mutate into Minor Arcana Personae (two of which actually mutate into the same Persona). However, there's a 1/8 chance that Seth, Scathach, Wong Long, and Amurdad respectively will mutate into the listed Personae.
    • Dealing with the enemy conversation system almost requires an eidetic memory or keeping extensive notes, at that.
    • The Ancestral Personae. Three personae are found in Sumaru Castle that have a unique fusion combo that destroys Kiyotada Sumaru in one hit. However, getting Maihime Amano to appear requires a rumor spread and a mansearch hunt completed in order to get her to show up. Getting Tatsunoshin requires another rumor spread at Kismet (remember that place?). The third member is likely the one to give you a swift boot in the butt is Junnosuke Kuroda, who not only requires a 10,000 yen donation in a shrine on Mt.Mifune (which you can't return to once the sanitarium is cleared) out of the way; but he requires 4 FOOL cards to make. Unless you've been a diligent little mapmaker for Salam, fool cards are an outright pain in the ass that requires a whole different section to explain.
    • Obtaining Fool Cards is no small feat in Persona 2. Basically, the gist is that you have to keep a demon locked in a chain of conversation; alternating between interest and anger. Then, you have to get lucky and be asked a question that will result in you getting the fool card. The odds of this happening are 1/64. It takes immense save state scumming just to make that a pain in the ass.
  • Being developed by Compile Heart, Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 has the Multiple Endings of course. One particular ending, other than the Golden Ending, is called the "Conquest Ending". You are required to have a 55%+ share on the world share of Planeptune only, 80% Planeptune share on each major city, seen all the demon sword events, recruited all goddesses, and must be before your 2nd fight with CFW Magic (no need for spoilers since it was confirmed, and it's in the trophy names anyway). What do you get from all of this? The worst ending in a Compile Heart game, surpassing Agarest Senki 2's Bad Ending.
  • Mega Man Battle Network:
    • The original had the Undernet memos. The first one is easy enough to find, but the only hint you're given on the other two is that you need to find "a young beautiful lady and an old man". Never mind how vague this is, the lady is in a school in Dentown that you probably didn't know existed until this quest. To rub salt in the wounds, once you've found her, she won't give you the memo unless you've filled out enough of the Library. Hope you've been diligent on S-ranking battles! These memos are needed to progress in the story, too.
    • Some NPC trades or certain points in the plot require the player to have a certain chip of a certain code. You may need to get lucky with Mystery Data or Chip Traders, or in worse cases, hunt a rare enemy and defeat them with a certain Busting Rank. It's entirely possible to defeat the enemy too quickly and receive a different reward. Players of the third game may have bad memories pertaining to the phrase "Iceball M".
    • Piecing together Program Advances can be a little tricky without a guide. Some of them are intuitive if you discover that a particular chip has codes in sequential alphabetical order, or that a series of similar chips happen to share the same code. Others are given away if one meticulously reads the in-game BBS. The rest of the recipes, though, look a lot less intuitive even in hindsight.
    • Certain chips can behave much differently if you input a certain command code. The codes tend to differ between games, and the window to input the codes can be particularly small. While Variable Sword is outright stated (in in-game forums) to behave this way, the game hardly tells the player what those commands are. Then comes the problem of successfully inputting the code in the small time frame given, while under heavy fire.
    • When it comes to boss rematches, you usually have to fight its v2 version as a fixed encounter somewhere on the net, and then expect to find its strongest form as a random encounter in the same area. Some games change it up, however, with the v3 bosses appearing in entirely different areas, and some of them having additional conditions to even encounter.
    • Battle Network 3 is rather unforgiving to players without a guide, in addition to using the above examples. Let's count the ways:
      • Once you get access to Mod Tools for the Navi Customizer, you can input codes to counteract an incompatibility error, or in case you don't have an error, input a code for an additional bonus that may come with a side effect. While browsing through the in-game BBS gives you codes to correct certain compatibility errors, you're on your own for the rest.
      • You can slightly shrink most your Navi Customizer programs to allow them to fit onto the grid better. At no point in the game does it tell you how to input the codes or what those codes are. Looking around in promotional material may lead to the player discovering certain codes, but you don't know which program to use it for. Later games get slightly more lenient with this, dispensing compression codes either on quest rewards or as little details one gets by examining everything, but they don't say what program the codes are for.
      • Certain chips in the third game's library can only be obtained while you're using a certain Style. Not just that — you also need to S-rank a battle with that particular enemy under a short time limit (among several other conditions), and even if you do there's a chance that you could get Zenny or a different enemy's chip.
      • The "Legendary Tomes" sidequests tasks the player with recovering three tomes that point to a treasure. The reward for turning in those items to the client is already pretty good, but if one were to follow the hints given throughout the quest's progress and try to decipher the location of the treasure itself (which is an enormous amount of money), the best the player will come up with is... a bunch of symbols that don't make sense. What's actually happened is that these went untranslated from the Japanese version, and even if the player knew how to read Japanese, it's a bit of a stretch to try and investigate the right object to discover the treasure.
      • Certain chips in this game are also nigh-impossible to find without a guide as the game makes no attempt whatsoever to tell the player where the viruses that drop these chips can be found. A prime example of this is "Arrow 3", which drops from the "Elehornet" virus, the third form of a virus whose first and second form can be found in The Very Definitely Final Dungeon and the Bonus Dungeon, respectively. "Elehornet" appears in the School Server Comp, which is in Lan's school, the first area that the player can access in the game, and Megaman needs to be equipped with the Elec-Element Encounter Bait.
  • Lost Odyssey, if you want the Treasure Trove Achievement, it requires you to find every single item in the game. There is no indication in game of which items you have and which you don't and the areas the remaining items are found in. Take into account a very large map as well.
  • In Beyond the Beyond there's no way of knowing that to get Percy you have to not harm him in battle for about a dozen turns or so.
  • Sailor Moon: Another Story:
    • The optional puzzle sidequest. You start getting pieces from encounters right away, and there's a "Puzzle" option in the main menu which allows you to view the picture. What the game never tells you outright is that there exist eight "secret" pieces: one given by a character whom you can only reach by following a secret path through the forestnote , and the rest hidden in specific barrels, vases and potsnote . These pieces can only be collected during chapters 2 and 4, and you need at least four of them in order to complete the picture. Even if you do finish the picture, you're still not told what it does, and have to realize that you're supposed to find a merchant inside the Crystal Palace (which you can only access way after losing your last chance to collect the hidden pieces), who gives you something in exchange for the puzzle.
    • Another point that is known for getting players stuck is Sailor Jupiter's quest in Canada, where entering the castle in Mishii Village (which is needed to advance the plot) requires talking to three NPCs in specific order, one of those NPCs being minor, meaning that there's a chance you won't meet her the first time around, let alone realize she can be important.
  • Langrisser 2 has four different ending branches, two of which give you a choice of party members and all of which depend on things like who you kill or what answers you give to certain questions. It's so bad that the GameFAQs scenario chart for the fan translation Der Langrisser is a tangled mess.
  • NieR:
    • Going for 100% Completion? Well, you're about to hit the Point of No Return, so you'll get all your sidequesting done now. You're at 50% sidequest completion, Devola tells you there's no sidequests left, checking the towns and talking to people has yielded nothing, so you're good, right? Nope. There's one left. Visit an out of the way corner of Seafront, talk to a NPC there, then leave town and come talk to him again. Repeat, and then he'll send you on a Fetch Quest. Cavia, you are evil!
    • Life in the Sands. You have to get 10 Pink Moonflower Seeds. The Dark Id sums it up nicely here. None of these mechanics are hinted at anywhere in the game, ever.
  • There's an interesting case of this in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team with a certain piece of gear (called the 1-Up Gloves). You see, for literally 99% of bosses, any unique gear they drop is guaranteed to be gotten as a prize once they're defeated, or is available to buy somewhere else in the world later on. Not this one. Nope, it only has a 50% chance of being dropped, and the game never actually tells you or hints that this is the case. So it's quite possible to end up screwed out of all the gear simply because of luck and something the game never bothers to tell you.
    • Another possible example is thanks to Popple's poorly worded quote in Wakeport during the Ultibed Quest. You see, if you speak to him without getting all the parts, he says you need 'more experience', which refers to getting the other parts. Unfortunately, this is in a game with an EXP/level up system, so quite a few people have wasted a ton of time levelling up and talking to him under the misguided impression this was a Beef Gate type scenario.
  • Robopon has this quite often.
    • In the second game, discovering the battery combinations for some Robopon may necessitate a guide, either because you miss the person that tells you what batteries you need, or the Robopon is not available via sparking and has to be obtained some other way, like giving random and unrevealed passwords to Jasper the dog. What makes this really bad is that some of his passwords are one character long despite there being 5 spaces.
    • The "mystery softwares" FIRE*,ICE*,ROCK* and WIND*, that have a very specific and never explained rule. You need to have 4 robots and they must love at least one of the another or else you don't learn anything. But if you make it then that robot can use a very strong elemental spell, and if you equip more softwares of the same element you unlock the ultimate spell. Curiously, the cost for using those skills changes from robot to robot...
    • The game talks about how robots have different oil types and how that affect love and hate spells. And that's ALL the game says about it. Actually the oil types make love/hate softwares work SIMILAR to blood type donations, but they are still completely different than humans, (for example, A-type loves A and ? but hates B/AB/O) so you will have to use a guide anyway.
    • A lot of robots have unique passive abilities and resistances. For example, Trigon regenerates every turn, is immune to fire and ice but secretly weak to electricity. There is no information about this in game and no one ever talks about secret abilities or resistances, you either discover them by accident or trial and error.
    • The Pharo Ruins. To save a lot of mindless wandering, you can walk through certain walls, including in the leftmost ruin in the past. Moreover, specific switches need to be hit in the order of center, east, west, or nothing will happen. Aside from Maskman using the word 'correctly' this isn't even hinted at.
  • When you get the running time machine, it can make things more confusing if you're not sure what time era to be in. Especially bad during the Delica and Wonder quest, since you have to constantly move between time and talk to the right people. Also, NPCs talk about how no one in the game knows who is the Elite (rank 2), so after defeating the Champion (rank 3) it's easy to get stuck without any idea where to go. First of all, after defeating Deli King (The Champion) you have to talk to him again to get your next Xstone, then you return to Capricolony and challenge Pappyco. Yeah, it's THAT simple, but since you get clue about it it's easy to just wander around and waste hours talking to NPCs.
  • The first game has the Brownie sidequest, regarding where/when to move the rocks around.
  • In Faria, players had better use maps of the first two caves if they don't want to get lost and run out of flashlight batteries. Then there's getting through the incredibly numerous Magical Mystery Caves leading to the last tower, which makes such incredibly cruel use of one-way doors that the path to reach the part of the fourth floor containing the Final Boss is best described as an exacting series of moves.
  • Phantasy Star I has a couple of false walls in a few dungeons, most of them leading to some fairly good treasure. There are no hints whatsoever that these are there, the only way to find them is to meticulously map out the entire dungeon and notice that there is a gap, or try pushing against every wall there is. Even most walkthroughs won't mention these.
  • In Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals, cursed weapons become uncursed when lifted from a character, which also changes their stats. This is not hinted at in-game, and unless the name changes you're unlikely to consider re-equipping a previously-cursed weapon to find out. If you never figure to equip the obviously-cursed Cursed Bow, you'll never receive Artea's Bow, his Infinity+1 Bow.
  • Lufia: The Ruins of Lore:
    • In the first part of the Border Forest, you need Holy Water in order to summon a boss at the end of a side-path and defeat it so you can move forward. There is nothing that indicates that you need something or what it is that you need, and the Holy Water is inside a cupboard at the very beginning of the area...but is blocked by a priest that only moves once you gain access to that side-path.
    • With Bau in your party, you can visit the blacksmith on the Road to Gruberik to forge equipment (which is a source of one of the game's best-known Good Bad Bugs). Which item the blacksmith asks for is based on plot progress; not checking in on him often enough can lead to losing out on powerful weapon upgrades for virtually free, in a game where Money for Nothing is averted quite hard.
  • In Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals, party members can obtain Titles providing passive boosts for doing certain things. Most are obtained via story progress; the others aren't given any clue of their existence. Some require you to get a character afflicted with a status effect 10 times—which can be trial-and-error to figure out who gets immunity to which status effects. Most glaring is Guy's "Commando" Title, which requires you to have Guy get knocked-out by explosions three times.
  • Multiple examples in A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky:
    • There is a portion of the game where you get a lot of new temporary party members. The Medic starts equipped with a gun, which will make his healing pretty pitiful. He can also equip staves, which are much more useful for this purpose, but it's not obvious that he can, and many players never notice the possibility. If you never switch him to staves, boss fights will be a lot harder.
    • Many weapon recipes consume a unique weapon. However, some weapons are used for multiple recipes, making them mutually exclusive outside of a New Game+. One NPC does warn you to be careful, but there's still no way to know exactly what you're missing out on or what you'll need later until you reach the endgame and can buy the final recipes.
    • If you miss the status protection rings, you're in for a world of hurt. They're the only way to protect against multiple status effects for about half the game, you only get one of each, and they're usually in out-of-the-way places (particularly the Ring of the Viper and the Ring of the Cobra, which involve some backtracking). They're also the only way to protect against stat downs, period. They can't be Permanently Missable Content, but there are a lot of Points of No Return in the childhood arc, which is where you need them most.
  • While Xenoblade Chronicles X doesn't have any Permanently Missable Content, there's a few of obtuse game mechanics that are either poorly explained, only explained in the manual, or omitted entirely. Luckily, the game is forgiving enough that the player has plenty of room to experiment. More specifically:
    • The game never explains exactly how you raise your segment survey percentages. Planting survey probes is clear enough, but in addition to that each segment has its own goal or mission (such as destroying a particular Tyrant or finding a specific treasure). Thing is, you can only view those goals once you've planted a probe in a nearby segment, and even then the criteria doesn't show up until you've got the recon information from some random passerby in New LA.
    • Recruiting Mia as a party member is a ludicrously convoluted process compared to the other available characters. Whereas everyone else is either recruited through the story or affinity missions, Mia requires you to perform a number of normal missions before her recruitment mission even becomes available. Oh, and one of the preliminary missions has a prerequisite of having a 65% survey rate of the game's final continent. It's entirely possible to go through the whole game without realizing that Mia isn't just an NPC.
    • To switch party members, you have to find them in New LA and ask them to join your party. The problem is that the game doesn't give you much indication where in the city they are, meaning it can take a while to find everyone: while their default locations are marked on the map, the marker used for it is identical to every other mission or Heart-To-Heart marker, making it tedious to comb through every single one of them in case you forgot where they usually appear. Oh, and if you haven't done all of a character's Heart-To-Hearts, they might not be in their default location anyway.
    • Some of the normal missions have multiple outcomes. Achieving the optimal outcome in every case is basically impossible unless you look up the mission ahead of time, as the choices aren't always intuitive, and sometimes the the best result requires you to have a certain item in your inventory. As an example, one mission involves an NPC death that can only be prevented if you overheard a certain piece of information from someone located in a completely different part of the city.
  • All over the place in each of the Trails games.
    • They generally come in three categories: Hidden sidequests that can only be completed if you go someplace or talk to someone at a specific time, often with no indication that there is a need to do so, hidden bonus conditions to get extra points when completing a mission (Sometimes in a hidden sidequest), and collectibles that can only be acquired if you talk to a specific NPC at a specific time, who sometimes is someplace where there is no reason to go at that point in the game. Finding ALL the collectibles is often a requirement for getting the Infinity +1 Sword at the end of the game.
    • Trying to do a runthrough of The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky FC? Better keep your nose firmly buried in a guide, unless you want to miss out on Max BP or the Carnelia books, all of which require perfect completion to acquire their endgame reward items. Got kicked out of a bar and ALL your characters told you to go talk to a guy to advance the plot? Sorry, no, you have to go BACK into the bar, at that EXACT time, and talk to a random NPC half hidden near a wall or else you miss out completely on the item. You can't talk to him beforehand, and you can't talk to him after and get the item, either. And of course the game never gives you any indication of this until you realize you've missed out. And you're already thirty hours in.
    • The volume in Chapter 2 is one of the worst. So you've just found out the local Orphanage of Love has been burned down and the matron was robbed after obtaining donation money to rebuild it? Let's go find these assholes, right? Wrong. But, several characters specifically say there's no time to go back to Ruan...Nope, the obvious solution is to go back to town and talk to an NPC by the bridge, where she'll spout off some random nonsense and give you the volume with no explanation. This is so weird even Estelle has no idea what that was about.
    • The one in Chapter 4 is the worst. So the military has found out where the party is, canceled all flights, and is on their way to Zies at any moment, you've gotta leave now! But wait, not only do you not want to leave, but you need to trek back through the long tunnel, back to the previous town's checkpoint, and talk to a guard at the end of a winding path that serves no purpose in story and is something you likely don't know about, specifically at this instant or you'll lose your shot. Just to emphasize how unintuitive this is, you've had no reason at any point in the game to come back to the border checkpoints prior to this moment, the towns themselves are blocked off so there's nothing in that direction to go back to, and the tunnel is about 6 screens long and the trip will take you a good 3 minutes of running assuming you don't bump into monsters along the way.
    • After you've beaten the final boss, you've been awarded the status of full Bracers and there's a festival going on, you'd assume there weren't any sidequests left. But if you talk to Olivier (a feat that's also tricky as he's in the bar right next to your starting point), and talk to him a second time, you can now go back to the Guild and register a new quest. Fortunately it's extremely simple, but getting a last-minute quest at the epilogue isn't what most had in mind, and most players lose their way and can't find Olivier, searching all over the large city not knowing he's right in front of them.
    • Averted by The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III and IV where places and important collectibles are marked on the map.
  • Keeping up the track record for Compile Heart, trying to get any of the secret characters or endings in Trillion: God of Destruction requires precise events and Violation of Common Sense. Specifically, you have to get all your Overlords to 100% affection, and then let them die against Trillion. Except you need one specific character to defeat a sub-boss (that you won't even see coming if this is your first time through the game), but that character's prerequisite needs to be dead in order for her to be available. If you do all this correctly, when the sixth and final Overlord falls, Elma and Cerberus will step up to the plate. Complete the game with one of them for their ending, or get them to 100% affection before they die to unlock Faust. Again, get her ending, or let her die with full affection to unlock Zeabolos. Make his Last Stand successful to get the True Ending. But wait! You did get 1.5 billion total AP across all characters, didn't you? No? Then prepare for a gut-wrenching Pyrrhic Victory.
  • In Lost Dimension as long as you've figured out the mechanic properly, you can coast along and figure out the traitor and get them voted off without hassle. Then you hit the fourth floor and it turns out there's two traitors on this one and you're not actually told this until it's actually time for Judgement. You can identify them both, but if you weren't expecting this, you could be in trouble with only one of the traitors getting voted off and the other sticking around. Though, then again, the game does require you play through twice to get the Golden Ending anyway.
  • Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book:
    • Pay close attention if the game says anything about the Chain and Max Damage stats that appear during fights: the help files don't mention them.
    • The help files also say nothing about the stats for Max & Min Damage, Attack, Defense and Speed, and how they do or do not affect battles.
    • The finer details of the Visual Initiative Queue also go unmentioned. For example, the small progress bar underneath enemy icons.
    • Curious about the different coloured location markers on the world map? Can you see a pattern developing? You will, however, find some information about the pop-up icons on the map in the help file entry about Requests And Rumours.
  • Capella's Promise has Hanna's postgame recruitment, which is never mentioned at all by other NPCs. While recruiting Filip and Danoh simply required the player to learn about the postgame final boss and explore an in-universe recommended dungeon to prepare for said boss, Hanna doesn't even appear on any maps as a interactive NPC until the Sanuzam Ruins is completed (minus the Dark Dragon).
  • In Nocturne: Rebirth, the Final Boss's Illusory Barrier manages to combine this with Violation of Common Sense. Unlike most other boss barriers, which must be broken by specific elemental attacks, the only way to break this barrier is to cast Eye of Souls, which is normally a skill that causes instant death to those who aren't completely immune to it. Absolutely nothing in the game hints this and most players using RPG logic wouldn't consider using an instant death move on the Final Boss, making this trick easy to miss.
  • In Vagrant Story, there is no explanation of how the crafting system works. So trying to get the best weapons made of Damascus is a crapshoot if you do it randomly. The easiest linchpin for crafting a good weapon is to take advantage of the special properties of the non-craftable Holy Win Sword, Hand of Light and Rhomphaia, otherwise you must try to combine an item with an item that is about one level below it (such as a chain coif and a spangenhelm) to get improvement in item type.
  • Liar Jeannie In Crucifix Kingdom:
    • Bombs are mainly used to destroy cracks in walls, but it's less obvious that they can work on the doors in the first room of the game. Additionally, there's no hint that bombs can also be used as temporary obstacles that enemies on the map have to walk around.
    • Since the kill/save meter is invisible, it's impossible to tell what killing the undead merchants does without looking it up online or completing the game.
  • Sacred Earth - Promise: Some of the final sidequests in Garenia won't show up unless you talk to people other than the quest holder or unless you talk to the quest holder several times.
  • Being a Spiritual Successor to Dark Souls, Bloodborne has several examples of this as well, although its not nearly as egregiously obtuse as those games could be.
    • Getting the One Third of an Umbilical Cord items, which unlocks the True Final Boss and the secret ending when you use three of them. Notably, there are actually four Umbilical Cords around the game world. One of them is given to you for free after killing Mergo's Wet Nurse at the end of the game, but the other three are fiendishly hard to find. One of them requires you to go through the back entrance of Iosefka's Clinic after killing Rom the Vacuous Spider via a hidden path in the Forbidden Woods and killing Iosefka to drop the item; one of them is in the Abandoned Workshop, a well-hidden secret area that requires extremely difficult platforming to get to; and the last one is the reward for completing Arianna's questline, which is a Guide Dang It! on its own.
    • Several fights are made much, MUCH harder if you don't know that Contractual Boss Immunity doesn't exist in the game. Pungent Blood Cocktails work on all Beast-type enemies - and that includes bosses like the Blood-starved Beast, Darkbeast Paarl/Loran Darkbeast, and Bloodletting Beast, distracting them for several precious seconds.
      • Similarly, Shaman Bone Blades work on the Shadows of Yharnam.
    • Finding the Tier 3 Moon rune. After dropping the Brain of Mensis into the pit in the Nightmare of Mensis, you have to go to where you would normally find the Blood Rock, jump into the seemingly-bottomless pit, stand in front of the Brain, and use the Make Contact gesture in front of it until the player character moves his arms (which takes around 30 seconds to a minute real-time), after which the game will automatically give you the rune and some Insight.
    • The designers originally intended there to be only one Blood Rock find per playthrough (the one right before the aforementioned Brain). However, certain Chalice Dungeons had an astronomically low chance of dropping them, requiring players to look up these glyphs to upgrade their weapons to +10. The Old Hunters DLC eventually added one more Blood Rock in the Fishing Hamlet, and the game's final patch fixed this entirely by allowing you to just buy Blood Rocks from the Insight Messengers for a costly 60 Insight.
    • Getting to Cainhurst Castle is another minor one. After killing the Witch of Hemwick, you have to find the aforementioned back entrance to Iosefka's Clinic, where you can find the Cainhurst Summons item on a table. Then you have to walk all the way to the wide open area in Hemwick Charnel Lane before the boss and stand next to the large stone pillar in the center, which will trigger a cutscene where a carriage arrives to take you to Cainhurst. The only clue to this is that you can actually see Cainhurst Castle in the distance from the bridge nearby, although the bridge itself is broken so it's not entirely clear how the carriage could actually get there.
    • Gaining Insight massively lowers your Frenzy resistance and your Beasthood stat, and having less Insight increases them. This isn't entirely obvious at a first glance without testing, and it isn't stated anywhere in the game.
      • In addition, Insight also causes Mad Ones to spawn in Hemwick Charnel Lane and Witch of Hemwick boss fight. If you go to the Hunters Dream and spend all your Insight, they won't spawn at all. This can be helpful while traversing the area, and has the added bonus of completely trivializing the (already easy) boss at the end.
    • If you send the beggar that you find in the Forbidden Woods to Oedon Chapel, he'll murder the other NPCs there one by one and give you Beast Blood Pellets for each person he kills. If you attack him, he'll transform into an Abhorrent Beast and retaliate. Although, considering you find him next to several shredded dead bodies, it's pretty obvious he's not exactly trustworthy...
  • Confess My Love:To gain access to the "Mutated Room" and get the final few endings, the player must complete multiple unrelated steps in the short amount of time they have— and this only gives a one in three shot, so players who do it correctly unknowingly may still never find out how to actually access the "Mutated Room".
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm:
    • You can upgrade the Goddess Statue to the Everlasting Goddess Statue by wagering it at the Battle Arena. You wouldn’t think to try it because most other Key Items don’t even show up in the betting menu.
    • If you don’t talk to two specific NPCs in order at the Vocaloid concert, (the souvenir vendor to get a glowstick, and Rin Kagamine to get it signed), then you won’t have an item later when a kid asks to trade you for it. That trade is one of the sidequests needed to unlock the True Ending.
    • It’s a minor example, but figuring out how to access the Katy’s Diary sidequest. You have to throw at least three karma into the fountain at the eBuy Superstore, which makes the diary appear in a totally different location.
    • Getting the PC Ending without a guide would take nothing short of a miracle. First, you have to clear Stratum 4 of the Sky Abyss, then backtrack all the way to Bell Cave - even though everything is urging you to keep going, and Bell Cave is a tiny area that you’d never even think to revisit. Then, in a new area, you have to answer a series of questions about things no player could be expected to remember. (For example: what is the maximum number of Overtaken you can fight in the game?)note 
  • Getting to The Very Definitely Final Dungeon and the True Final Boss of Octopath Traveler is not very intuitive. Completing all eight stories is logical. However, doing two seemingly unrelated sidequest chains with absolutely nothing to suggest that they are important in any way is not, especially when two of the five involved quests require you to go transit areas that you have no reason to visit when you can fast travel around.
  • Want the best summonable creature in Kartia: The Word of Fate, you'll need the Japanese guide. The mighty Pair rune is only mentioned in the Japanese guide to the game, and it's the necessary rune to create the mightiest Phantoms and spells - to get it your party can only use silk runes at Stage 15 (including for item crafting and altering terrain) and you can only attack the dragons there with physical attacks or Phantoms. Only then can the Pair rune show up. This led to MANY players in NA and EU at their wits' end for decades trying to create the Fynus phantom.

Alternative Title(s): Japanese Role Playing Games

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