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Guide Dang It / First-Person Shooter

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  • Alien Trilogy:
    • The game is loaded with secrets which no normal player would find. Between many levels, there were "ammunition dump" stages which could only be accessed by achieving above a certain percentage of the previous level's objective. There were hidden rooms which could only opened if the player did things like shoot random walls (causing a wall to open somewhere for some reason), blow up random walls (which uses precious explosives), walk over specific spots and even a few even found down supposedly bottomless pits in levels filled with legitimate bottomless pits. Many of these rooms were not near their triggers (though you did get a door opening message) and many were timed with very strict timers and some wouldn't open twice meaning you had to know where they are beforehand. It's not uncommon for a player to suddenly find a wall or door open or a lift suddenly moving without having any clue as to what triggered it and then spend hours on subsequent playthroughs trying to trigger it again.
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    • The game gave you a kill percentage at the end of each level but many enemies were actually inside walls or lockers and the ones in walls would only come out if you made a hole (by for example blowing up a locker) or finding an broken air vent cover and drawing them to the hole from where they are. (You can hear them through walls, but that's your only clue.)
    • The ability to blow up lockers is in itself a minor example. Most lockers are not breakable and the fact that some are is not properly explained by the mission briefings. While many mission items and enemies are found in them, it's possible to find enough of each item/enemy on those levels without breaking any lockers to be able to progress to the next level, meaning it's possible to finish the entire game without realising you can break some lockers. This in turn will lock you out of many ammunition dump stages due to not achieving a high enough mission complete percentage.
  • Battlefield 4:
    • The final paid expansion, ''Final Stand', required players to complete a series of unapparent challenges to unlock a secret "Phantom" compound bow. The requirements for the Phantom challenge tree weren't even available to view unless the player had a Premium account, logged into Battlelog and keyed in a set of passcodes in a secret password screen. From there, the player had to team up with three others (who had also completed these challenges) and equip their Phantom camouflage and one of the four secret Phantom dog tags found throughout the new maps. Then the players had to go to the Hangar 21 map and work in unison to activate an elevator that would take them to a secret room, where they were required to enter a long alphanumeric code (written in Morse Code in fragments throughout the four Final Stand maps) in order to access and unlock the bow. It's telling that this method was later nerfed so that players could get the Phantom bow in seconds instead of hours.
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    • The unlockable Easter Egg/Bragging Rights Reward "DICE L.A." camouflage is an extreme example of this trope in the first-person genre, as it requires a ridiculous amount of time to complete and access (not helped by the fact that you can't skip the most time-intensive section, unlike most other examples), and makes the aforementioned Phantom weapon discovery look like a walk in the park. A summary:
      • There is a skull symbol in Dragon Valley that is placed near a set of lanterns that produce Morse Code when stood near for several seconds. This also requires the player to be in unranked servers, where they'll see that certain lanterns are lit while others aren't.
      • There are also seven hidden buttons that are deviously placed in very difficult spots throughout certain maps. One of these is hidden in a tree that must be destroyed. Pressing these buttons changes the lanterns that are lit. What follows is a complicated process of figuring out which switches activate what lanterns, and the end goal is to ensure that all lanterns are lit up. Even better, every combination is specific to each player's account, and there is no way to skip this step.
      • Once all the lanterns are activated, a keypad spawns adjacent to the skull symbol in Dragon Valley. Pressing any number on the keypad causes the nearby lantern to type out another Morse code message, which has cryptic clues that direct the player to go to Graveyard Shift (a nighttime map). Once the player goes there and gets to a specific place (the North Woods, at the edge of the map by a rock), they'll hear a strange noise. This noise is actually a slowed-down song taken from the Battlefield Friends webseries, and when two of the words in the song are given numeric values for each letter and multiplied, it produces a long code that can be entered into the aforementioned keypad.
      • Once that's done, this causes another coded message to appear, which (when translated) prompts the player to go into a large Conquest game on Dragon Valley and find another keypad at the north-western water tower, where they must enter another unique code after waiting for two minutes in real-time. This finally unlocks the DICE L.A. camo for use after the match is complete.
  • Bioshock series:
    • The first game has proximity mines that can be detonated by shooting at them. However for some reason it's extremely hard to do so with anything other than the pistol, leading players to think they can't be removed short of purposefully walking over them. Annoyingly, you also can't pick them up with telekinesis, even though the rest of the game is really good at allowing you to pick up almost any object you can see. Likewise, there are electrical tripwires you can trigger by shooting the mechanism, but given they're small, easily missable, and most other games opt to have you getting close and interacting with it instead, a lot of players don't realise they can be disabled safely either.
    • The first two games had a Hyperspace Arsenal for weapons, but BioShock Infinite only let you carry two different guns. Burial at Sea went back to having multiple guns, but displayed them on a weapons wheel that was opened by holding 'F', while scrolling merely switched between the two you last used, so most players believed they had two guns when they actually had several. As you cannot pick up a weapon you already have, many players thought there was a bug where they could not pick up a weapon they had dropped.
  • The trope is so prevalent throughout Bloodwings: Pumpkinhead's Revenge that it would take less time to list self-explanatory things. The reason is quite unique even among another genre it heavily borrows elements from: the game simply doesn't provide you with any sort of even vaguely useful information. It doesn't even give you a clear objective; the only thing before the game proper is an intro consisting of an old lady giving the warning: "Beware. You are entering the world of Pumpkinhead."
    The manual is only a little help, as it explains basic gameplay a bit, tells you about the Tantanik Crystals and pictures (which you need to get items), mostly insults you, and doesn't describe any of the items. As a result, with the manual, you'll probably end up blindly experimenting with items in the hope that one of them does something useful, as Spoony did during his first review; this may or may not include Rage Quitting after your entire inventory is confiscated because you took unspecified stolen property. May whatever deity you worship help you if your copy didn't come with the manual or you downloaded it from an abandonware website; because the game itself explains nothing, you can't know about items or Tantanik Crystals or that you're meant to drag the Tantanik Crystals onto the pictures, and you'll likely be wandering around the level in a futile search for an exit until the weird white skeleton demons kill you.
    When you inevitably give up, search the internet for any sort of help, and find the walkthrough that only became available after Spoony's first review, you'll find that the item functions and the steps you should have taken are bizarre at best and the game should never have expected you to work it out on your own. Sure, Adventure Games can be rather cryptic at times, but at least important information is given in-game.
  • Bulletstorm is a game that revolves entirely around killing enemies in various creative ways. There's an in-game list of instructions for most of these "skillshots," but there's also a list of "secret" ones containing no instructions whatsoever. Some are Action Commands, and most of the rest you wind up doing naturally (if accidentally) by being as innovative as possible with your kills, but a few of them require effort on your part, and it's up to you to figure out what you need to do. Even the instructions for the non-secret skillshots can be pretty vague, leaving you to fill in the blanks.
  • Destiny has the Vault of Glass raid. Intentionally made obscure, the raid has a number of new game mechanics not found anywhere else, mostly revolving around the Relic, which is used (among other things) to remove a boss' invincibility and stop a boss from instantly wiping the party with an ability not seen in the game proper. As if that wasn't enough, there are moments where it shifts gears and stops being a straightforward shooter, changing into a platformer and a stealth segment. The first group to ever beat the raid took a full, 6 man team 10 hours and 1,605 deaths to complete.
  • Deus Ex: Invisible War. The special weapons. Most are in out of the way areas you wouldn't otherwise think about, including a sewer, the bedroom of an apartment dweller, under some junk in an antique store, and a utility hallway. The worst though, is the Hellfire Boltcaster, which is hidden in a small room only accessible by jumping over to a small ledge in an area you don't have much inclination to be in anyway (it frigging off one faction to the point of sending assassins if you complete the objective there.)
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided:
    • Marchenko's killswitch. You have two opportunities to get this item (which helps during the final boss battle if you're going the lethal route), but both of them are so well-hidden that you will not find them unless you have OCD-like tendencies of thoroughly examining every item and room you come across. The first is hidden in the G.A.R.M. facility — and in a first for this game (and likely the series), the only way to access it is to crouch-jump on top of a set of lockers, look down and press a hidden button wedged between the lockers and wall, which opens a compartment in one of the lockers that has a switch. The second is found in the final level itself — in a box hidden under a table. Up to this point, the game has never given an indication that there were items hidden in boxes, and the player is never led to believe otherwise. The second killswitch doesn't even show up on Smart Vision due to being inside another object, either.
    • Getting the "best" outcome for the Dvali Enemy Civil War. Getting Otar and the rest of the Dvali operatives to remain civil when you visit the old Prague Theater in the third act not only requires you to have done all of the optional objectives that Otar gave you earlier in the game, but also knock out or kill Radich Nikoladze during the second visit to Prague, despite nothing in the story telling you to do so besides a couple of vague emails talking about Radich and Otar's relationship. Not only that, but completing the objectives in the opportune fashion requires you to use lethal methods (and thus break a non-lethal run). If you choose to let Louis Gallois escape (via faking his death and assuming a new identity) instead of killing him and his bodyguards outright, Otar and the rest of the soldiers will still be hostile when you arrive at the theater. This is despite him telling you earlier on that you've completed his favor if you do all the requisite tasks.
    • The "Golden Rookery" achievement requires you to carry an oversized gold-plated pigeon from Ivan Berk's apartment right near the start location in Golem City to a hidden area within ARC Territory. Aside from the fact that Berk's apartment isn't even immediately noticeable from the ground (you have to climb several floors to get to it — the map doesn't help matters), the final destination requires that you've invested in the "Punch Through Walls" aug. And that's not even getting started on the bugs that can cause the penguin to disappear if you stray too far from it, especially within the Throat.
  • Doom II
    • In order to find a necessary key in MAP19 ("The Citadel"), you have to open a specific discolored wall in a generic corridor. Yep, you need to find a well-hidden secret area to finish the level - then, on top of that, you need to discern which of the five teleporters in that secret area actually leads you to that key (the far right one, for those curious). This game isn't quite so bad as most though because A) unlike most later FPS games, it includes a map (possible thanks to the 2D level design), which shows doors, and can be upgraded with a powerup to show unexplored areas as well; and B) only two of the three keys are actually necessary - the red bar in the center of the doorway to the exit takes up more space than the other two, so the red key plus one of either other key is enough to pass through.
    • The Final Boss of the game, the Icon of Sin, is normally a very straightforward Puzzle Boss in which you raise a platform to the proper height in which to fire a projectile into the opening which hides its "brain" (a sprite of Doom developer John Romero's severed head). Normally this is aligned with a texture that acts as a false wall, however in TNT Evilution the level geometry that hides the brain is underneath the "hole" texture. What's worse is that the projectiles stop at the bottom edge of the texture, which gives you the impression that you have to aim higher, but in fact you're supposed to descend one step down from the top of the stairway leading to the ledge you think is supposed to be the right spot to stand and then shoot at what looks like solid metal. The only way to figure this out outside of pure accident is to noclip into the brain area, shoot towards the ledge and see the projectiles at slightly below eye level in relation to the topmost area.
  • The spin-off game Doom 64, released originally only for Nintendo 64:
    • There are three secret levels that contain a component that powers up your Unmaker weapon. Get all three and you have effectively built your ultimate weapon. The problem lies in getting to the one of the levels; "Level 4: Holding Area" has a lengthy balcony with four switches on it, that must be pressed in a certain order to unlock the secret-exit room. Mess it up, and you must restart the level to get another try. The proper sequence is not obvious, requiring brute-force or a strategy guide.

      Once you reach each secret level, you must then solve puzzles to actually reach your Unmaker components. This is more of a test of patience than anything, with the first component requiring a jumping-puzzle through an orthogonal room where switches must be shot in a certain order. The second-component is locked with a sound-puzzle, requiring that the player notice the sound of machinery lowering and play Where's Waldo? with switches that are revealed in a limited time frame (after the first one is shot). Finally, the last component is a more straight-forward, just requiring a good running speed to reach in time before the object is teleported back to another platform and the player must try again.
    • "Level 21: Pitfalls" has a switch that must be pressed in order to open the exit to the level, but it is so needlessly far back near the start that you may not think to return here to press it.
  • In Doom 3, there are two special storage cabinets sent from a company called "Martian Buddy" that contain free stuff for personnel, and the codes to them are nowhere in the game. To find the code, you actually have to go to the website note . One of these allows you to obtain the chaingun early, which is a big help for clearing out the Demonic Spiders at the end of Alpha Labs Sector 2 on higher difficulty levels.
  • Escape from Tarkov, being the hardcore shooter as advertised pulls no punches with this trope, especially since the in-game maps do not mark important extraction zones or even specific landmarks. Looting can also be challenging to some if they don't know where to look or even what can be looted (e.g. one type of green wooden ammo crate vs the static stacks of similar green wooden crates, etc.). Finding keys to certain areas or questline objectives will be frustrating to newbies and veterans alike, especially since most of these key spawns are still at the mercy of the random number generator.
  • In E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy, the penultimate level when you side with your Mentor has you searching a Looter hideout for a wise and powerful Secrata member, Akmal. Dubious translations make the puzzle-based level extremely obnoxious - for example, a Looter tells you to shoot a "switch" to lower the water in a reservoir. Said "switch" is actually a metal cap on a pipe (in an extremely dark area) and must be shot twice. Akmal's incoherent ramblings almost make it worth the frustration.
  • GoldenEye (1997) falls under this in the Egyptian level. One of your objectives is to retrieve the Golden Gun. However, if you try approaching it directly, bullet proof glass seals it and indestructible gun turrets appear and tear you to shreds. The solution? You're supposed to walk across the floor in a certain path in order to get the gun without setting off the trap. The kicker? There is nothing in the game that even remotely hints at the solution! Even if you were to do the All Guns cheat and complete the other objective, you still need to go and collect the Golden Gun.
  • In Half-Life's level "Questionable Ethics", you are stuck inside a lab, and the only way out is by getting a scientist to open a door for you to leave the building. You find several interruptors of different kinds, many soldiers and aliens, and there are some scientists in a door you cannot open. The trick is to activate all the interruptors that provide energy to the superlaser, and then use a metal box to block the protection sheet's descent, thus making the superlaser impact on the wall and making it explode, which opens the way to the scientists' room. The only hint you get is a note about not blocking the sheet.
  • Half-Life 2: Episode Two gives us the Hunter. It is very resilient to damage from most types of weapons, but has a crippling weakness to stuff launched by your gravity gun. The game never even hints at this, which is rather jarring considering how good Valve normally is at guiding the player towards these kind of discoveries; possibly, they assumed the player would just naturally try to fight it with the Gravity Gun for the sake of trying to fight it with the Gravity Gun. It doesn't help that the finale of the game requires you to kill them in droves during a Boss Rush. Fortunately, they're also highly susceptible to being run down by your car.
  • Halo:
    • Even the official Halo 3 strategy guide won't tell you how to get the Skulls (at the behest of Bungie). While most of the Skulls are just inconvenient to track down, the IWHBYD Skull requires jumping through glowing rings in an order that plays the Halo theme, which is hinted at nowhere in the game, and then going back to the body of Truth. It was actually first found out by some tech-savvy person by cracking open the game code.
    • The IWHBYD skull in Halo 2 is even more of a Guide Dang It to get. You have to trigger exactly seven checkpoints before reaching its spawn location, which require a fair amount of roof hopping, some of the checkpoints are luck-based, and the spawning of the skull itself has an element of luck as well.
    • The above examples, and more, are probably why they made all Skulls available from the beginning in Halo 4. However, it turned out that players, despite all their past frustrations, did enjoy hunting for them, and Skulls went back to being hidden collectables in Halo 5: Guardians.
  • The Marathon series had some obscure secrets, but in the original, if you wanted to get the Flamethrower at an early level, you had to walk into a random corner of a maze to activate an invisible, soundless trigger to lower an elevator, sprint back to the starting point, fall down the shaft, grab the flamethrower and sprint back to the elevator before it reset. Failure to do so will trap you in the hole, with a terminal that says nothing more than 'And here you are, stuck in a hole. We could have done a lot together!'.
    • One of the most ridiculously difficult secrets of all time was the Deprivation Chamber, where you had to open an unmarked secret door, jump down a shaft,perform an amazingly complex Grenade Jumping maneuver to get up the shaft to a teleporter, and find your way through a completely-unhinted-at teleporter maze to find a secret terminal message.
  • Metro 2033, being Nintendo Hard, has several cases of this.
    • You obtain the 'good' ending by listening to conversations, lingering in hallucination sequences and so forth... the problem is that the only indication you've achieved anything with these actions is a brief, unexplained flash on the screen and a whisper. The Redux version eventually added a pause screen hint that tells you vaguely about it, but of course you can't cycle through them and their random selection from a large pool of messages means you may not see it more than once, if at all.
    • The armor system. Every pouch, helmet, magazine or armor plate subtracts a certain amount of damage dealt by a projectile that hits them. This is never explained to the player in the non-Redux version, which led to mass confusion and complaints on release that enemies are literal bullet sponges, while all it takes is a single bullet to the neck and/or head
    • You never actually need to buy any guns you see in shops, because you can always find the same gun, or a better version in some cases, for free hidden on the levels if you know where to look.
    • The Librarians are huge Demonic Spiders, but they won't attack you if you face them and stare them down at all times, which causes them to lose interest and walk away. There is no indication in-game that you can do this, which means that you'll most likely end up pumping tons of precious ammo into them to take them down. Even worse, this is also possible with the Black Librarians later on, albeit much harder as they're a lot more aggressive.
      • Also, the Library is a level where you need to spend a lot of time of the surface. Hope you brought plenty of filters!
    • Many people play through the original game not realizing you can buy special armour to increase either your defense or stealth, as the vendors for them are rather difficult to find.
    • You can buy filters at precisely two places in the game, both of them early (Riga and Market.) This can leave a new player expecting that every civilized station afterward will sell filters, and might only buy a few to save rounds, counting on being able to buy more later when they have more currency to burn. The Armory will be a nasty surprise for a player who is down to their last few filters, if they have any at all after the surface trek to get there.
    • The way the original game handles filters and the gas mask in general isn't explicitly stated anywhere unless you decide to look it up online (which seems to be the only way to find out.) When you buy or find filters, the number next to the gas mask in the lower left corner of the screen pops up and says "+##", with the "##" being whatever amount of breathing time the filters added, not the actual amount of filters you bought. An astute player may be able to notice this when they buy filters from Riga or Market Station because the number will increase by ~10 even when you buy just one filter (the filters you buy in the stations are supposedly of "higher" quality and so add more breathing time than ones found on the surface, which will add 3 or 4 if you get lucky). That being said, it's easy to see that the filter system doesn't work intuitively. One would assume you buy filters, which get added to the total in the corner of the screen, and the watch tells you how much time your filter has left. Instead, in actuality, the number in the corner is how many total minutes you have to breath with the gas mask on, the watch tells you how many minutes your current filter has left, and the amount of filters you have on you seems to be infinite until you get down to the last 5 minutes, at which point it will no longer allow you to change filters. Also, the game doesn't tell you how to change filters anywhere. There are three ways: tap the gas mask button, take the mask on and off (which automatically adds a new filter), or just wait until your current filter is completely wasted and then Artyom will automatically replace it. Another untold issue with the filter system is that it seems to cap out at around 40 total minutes or so, and the game won't let you pick up surface filters until you have less than 10 total minutes left.
    • Also, as far as the gas mask itself goes, the game won't allow you to pick up a new replacement gas mask from the ground unless it is in better condition than the one you're wearing, which is not something readily observable when looking at the world model of the gas masks.
    • Much of this was simplified in the Redux version as it copies the system used in Metro: Last Light: pressing the gas mask key puts it on and the timer audibly starts with some clicking showing the minute hand moving a few minutes around the watch face. Pressing the key again wipes the mask, while holding it down removes the mask entirely. Every time the timer has one minute remaining, count on a message telling you to press the filter-swap-key showing up. Unfortunately, the maximum time seems to be reduced (20 minutes in Survival mode and 30 in Spartan mode) and you can't pick up filters until the amount to be added does not put you over the maximum. The issue with the world model showing damage was also changed to show different grades of wear, and if a better example than what is currently worn is found, it can be easier to tell from the amount of cracks in the faceplate.
  • Metroid Prime's Artifact of Spirit. The game tells you to seek the unseen entrance at the top of a certain room. The entrance you want is actually two or three platforms down in the room, hidden behind a completely normal square of wall. However, at the top is a Morph Ball tunnel that leads to a Power Bomb expansion. Combined with the misleading hint, this makes the hidden door way too hard to find. Just to add to that, the X-Ray Visor (which is what most people will think of when they hear 'unseen entrance') doesn't work well for seeing the hidden door.
  • Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi: You can actually carry multiple revolvers, flintlock pistols and muskets. This means you can, for example, carry 4 muskets and fire them all in rapid succession one after another, instead of reloading after one shot in the middle of combat. The game doesn't inform about this mechanic in any way whatsoever. The only clue you have is a tiny number next to weapon icon in the weapon selection screen, which can easily be mistaken for ammo count. Players unaware of this will be confused by their firearms mysteriously emptied or refilled after being selected.
  • Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath: The very useful Sniper Wasps don't become available until about halfway through the game, but you can't use them at all unless you have the Binoculars, which can only be bought in the first town and didn't seem very important at the time.
  • Getting access to many of the secret areas from Painkiller is a Guide Dang It moment. Requiring taking a Leap of Faith or exploiting the jump physics to reach otherwise unreachable areas, with the game not giving you any hints about where and when to do either to reach a secret area. Most times its better to leave well enough alone except to unlock the final difficulty requires earning collectible card powerups for meeting specific requirements when completing a level. Some levels require either finding all secret areas, or looting the contents of said secret areas to meet the card requirements.
  • Near the end of Pathways into Darkness, there's a teleporter maze, where all the rooms look exactly the same, square with a teleporter on each wall. There is nothing in the frickin' game that remotely hints at the path. Many other Guide Dang Its were also present, including the bomb code if you don't have the manual, the suffocation room; hint:use an item that speeds up time, the gauntlet of invincible green Oozes (a soldier who died from snakebite hints that they avoided him while devouring his teammates), the Violet Crystal(which is at the center of the randomly-generated Labyrinth), and opening the exit door, for which you needed to take the health-draining Artifact of Doom out of its box.
  • Payday 2:
    • Big Oil Day 2 is practically impossible without reading a FAQ first. Your target is a machine in a basement full of similar machines, and you have to determine which one is the working fusion engine based on information on some chalkboards, computer monitors, and very small notepads. If your texture settings were too low, the information would have been unreadable (until they patched it so that mission-critical information would not be affected by graphics settings). Trial-and-Error Gameplay usually doesn't work - there are a dozen possibilities, you move at a snail's pace while carrying them, you can only try one at a time, your stealth is broken as soon as your helicopter arrives if you haven't already gone loud, said helicopter lands at a private runway (read: open field with little to no cover), and you can't escape until you hand over the right engine. It also doesn't help that the computer monitor that displays some information you need can be destroyed by gunfire or grenade explosions, which means you're shit out of luck if it happens and you didn't figure out the solution yet.
    • The steps to unlocking the OVERDRILL achievement are just as convoluted and troublesome as they were in the original game, with precise positioning of all 4 players, and the activation of specific floor tiles being required.
    • The secret ending. Take the frustration caused by the Battlefield 4 "DICE L.A." example above and multiply it by a factor of three — this one's going to take a while. It falls into many of the same challenges, including sections that are randomized for each player. Discovery of this ending took many hours of research by enterprising players, and was only discovered through extreme trial-and-error.
      • To start with, each player needs to have several pre-requisite heists completed, including the Golden Grin Casino, Breaking Feds, Henry's Rock, the Shacklethorne Auction, the Brooklyn Bank (on Overkill) and the White House, along with fully upgrading Scarface's room in the safehouse so that the piano is available. After that, you have to enter the safehouse, pick up a medallion in Duke's room and activate three boxes in the kitchen. From there, you have to go into Scarface's room and shoot several keys in order to create a melody (Human Hymn No. 6), based on a vague inference from Duke about the world's oldest melody.note 
      • After doing this, a device sitting in front of the three boxes can be activated, and shows off a rotating series of coded messages. Each player has to screenshot each message and cross-check it with a cipher. The messages are all randomized, and correspond to 20 random achievements in the game. (These can include achievements like OVERDRILL on First World Bank, which is itself a Harder Than Hard achievement to get in the first place.) When all the messages are decoded, you'll have to team up with three other friends or players who have also completed the cipher messages and enter the White House Heist on Overkill difficulty or higher. This time around, when entering the PEOC wing, a Mayan painting displayed in one of the side rooms will glow and be activated, revealing a tunnel to a secret elevator that leads down to a vault entrance.note 
      • It gets better. Upon walking up to the vault entrance and activating, reskinned cloakers (who give no warning of when and how often they appear) will begin attacking the group. While three of the players fend off the skinners, one player will have to decode another message written on the center of the vault door, using the aforementioned cipher and having to deal with rings that move together and sometimes independently. Even better, four separate riddles have to be solved, all while the group is continually attacked. This part is expected to take upwards of 30 minutes — better hope you brought a ton of ammo and medic bags!
      • After doing all that, the vault finally opens and the group can move inside, where they find... nothing. It's then revealed that the Dentist has brought Locke and the dying Bain with him in an attempt to seize the vault for himself, and he asks the group to walk out of the vault. Do that, and you'll fail to get the secret. You have to shoot the Dentist from the entrance of the vault, then use the Mayan Gold and place it in specific spots within. Do that, and you'll finally unlock a bounty of goods, including four Legendary Masks, a "secret ending" cinematic (which shows the crew living it up while Bain (who has apparently regenerated into the U.S. President) gives a speech in front of the White House), a text crawl wrapping up many of the overarching plot threads found throughout the game and its DLC, and a Theater Mode to watch all of the videos released for the game.
  • Quake II has many secrets hidden behind nondescript walls that must be shot, with no hints whatsoever. A bane to those looking for the Last Lousy Point and 100% Completion.
    • The Expansion Pack Ground Zero is even worse: some secrets cannot be discovered the usual way (shooting switches), but they also need careful firenote  or the old "trial and error"note .
  • Revolution X. All of it.
    • First, the big one, finding the five hidden band member locations to "earn" the Aerosmith wings. There's one each on the Amazon, Middle East, and Pacific Rim stages. The Amazon one requires you to take an elevator (be sure to hit the button in time!), go to the third floor, which has five hostages, and blow up the grating above them before you're forced back to the elevator. The Middle East requires you to throw a disc at the nose of a sphynx...not the eyes, not the cheeks, not the mouth or forehead or beard, it has to be the nose...then pick up the disk that emerges from its open mouth. You have maybe four seconds to do this, and then you gotta do it two more times. (Did I mention you're in a raging battle against a heavily-armed bus at the time?) The Pacific Rim one requires you to blow up a specific crate and grab the item that emerges before it's scrolled off about two seconds later, and you have one crack at this.
    • So what about the other two? Well, guess what, they're on the very first stage! First you have to watch the direction the screen scrolls in the initial rooftop battle, then, once you're inside the club, head in that direction and enter the restroom (by shooting the sign); you'll find him in one of the stalls. And yes, half the time it's the women's restroom. The second is accessed via the lounge; you must traverse the row just behind the furthest front, then blow up the two fishes and the window below them in that order.
    • Also in the first stage, there's an armored truck that can do pretty heavy damage unless you destroy it quickly. Trouble is, your weapons can't pull that off. What can, however, is the hidden smart bomb accessible by disc-ing the boarded-up window, which will take out everything except the missile launcher. Blow that and the truck is history.
    • The helicopter in the second stage causes problems for a lot of rookies, especially since there doesn't seem to be any way to destroy it. Here's the deal: Before the battle at the very end, you cannot damage it at all. The best you can do is shoot down its missiles; you're going to take a beating from its guns no matter what (thankfully there are plenty of power shakes in the level to offset this). When you face it at the end, then it will take damage... however, you must target the guns and missile launchers ''directly'. (Pounding the middle will damage bits of it but not destroy it.) Then you have to take out the mounts, either by targeting them or the bottom of the chopper, and then the bottom of the chopper, and finally the missile launcher on the very bottom. Anything else and you die a slow death.
    • In the Amazon stage, if you kill ALL the Everdrones in a wall, you get access to a hidden area with lots of discs and a few hostages. If you destroy the Everdrone-o-matic, this leads to another secret area. Trouble is, you need a lot of discs to accomplish either, so you'd better have saved up plenty beforehand.
    • About midway through is a scientist who hides behind a table and throws grenades at you. Only his arm is exposed (which you can't hit). The only way to take him out is to shoot the extremely inconspicuous chains holding up the extremely inconspicuous sign; the last piece will club him unconscious.
    • Oh, yeah, you know the final boss? That mutated insect thing that chases you all the way to the start of the level and fights you on the bridge? Remember how players kept pounding and pounding and pounding it and it just wouldn't die? How on earth do you kill it? Answer: You don't. Destroy the bridge supports on either the near or far side of the bridge, and this nuisance will be out of your hair for good.
    • The Middle East stage begins in a prison compound, with various hostages that don't give any telltale flash no matter where you shoot. What you have to do is hit the point where their sledgehammer hits the guitar at the exact moment it does so. Yeah, that probably should be worth more than 10,000 points, huh?
    • Finally, there's headmistress Helga herself. Shoot her, and she simply cartwheels away. Disc her, and she just flops on her back and insults you. Neither does any damage whatsoever. How, HOW do you kill her? Answer: You don't. Just disc her until she's as far back as she can go, shoot her to get her in front of the chair, and disc her one more time. This will knock her into the chair and reveal her...or rather his...true form, which can be killed. Hope you're not low on tokens at this point.
  • STALKER Call of Pripyat has the "tools" you need to find in order to be able to upgrade your weapons and armor. Gear has 3 tiers of unlockable upgrades, and there are 2 main technicians in the game who can upgrade your gear, which means that there are 6 of these tool sets available in the game. For each technician, you need to find tools for basic work, tools for fine work, and calibration tools. The game tells you at the start that these exist, but it doesn't tell you ANYTHING about their location. Even if you were to come across them, they don't look like anything out of the ordinary, and can easily be mistaken as just some some random metallic rubbish lying around, like an old tin of tuna or similar. Seeing as Call of Pripyat takes place in 3 separate (very large and open) environments, each having many well detailed areas and buildings to explore, finding these tools becomes highly unlikely without using a guide. Considering these tools are essential in upgrading your weapons and armor, which are extremely important in a game like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. where character upgrades are near-nonexistent, this can cause players a lot of grief as they end up stuck with under-powered equipment against enemies..
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knights II and III are almost always this—levels are huge and insanely complex, with inexperienced players inevitably doomed to suffer hours of running around in circles before finding out that a tiny button hidden behind a broken window or an inconspicuous console needs to be interacted with in order to continue.
    • There was one particular puzzle in Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast where you had to power down a fatal force-field in a room to use a transit system, however the only way to find the power switch for the force field was to stand on a random balcony and look down, a pipe comes out of the wall at random intervals so if you look down at the wrong time you can't see it, once the pipe comes out you needed to jump on it, enter the wall and destroy the power source for the force-field.
    • In Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, you get to put points at the beginning of every non-mandatory mission into whatever force powers you like. Among those is Force Protect, which helps against physical damage sources, but again, it's entirely optional... until the mandatory mission on Vjun, where you land on a planet with acid rain draining your health in the open constantly. The best part is, though, that you can't just restart the level and pick shield at the beginning — as mentioned, Vjun is mandatory, whereas only non-mandatory missions give you points. So your choices are replaying the entire previous mission, or suffer through the (rather extensive) Vjun level. Oh, the game also auto-saves after picking a force power, so you'll have to load a savegame from even earlier. Didn't save there? Time to replay two missions.
  • System Shock has an annoying one with one of the revitalization chambers. The activation switches are typically located right next to the chamber, but for some reason Research's is in an obscure corner on the other side of the level's very, very large (non-linear) map behind a door that can only be unlocked by destroying a significant number of security cameras. Most players simply assume that the switch just disappeared due to a glitch and never find it.
  • XIII fails pretty badly at letting players know that their Player Character can be upgraded with a range of decently useful abilities like Guns Akimbo, holding his breath significantly longer, picking locks faster, and so on. This is done by picking up inconspicuous intel folders, most of which are tucked away in remote corners while others are placed so openly you're likely to overlook them simply because they're so visible. And even if you do pick one up, the lack of notification of XIII just having acquired (or rather, remembered) a new ability makes it easy to never link the two, instead wondering why you can suddenly do things you couldn't a minute ago.


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