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  • The finished but still-current Neopets 'plot' quest in Altador is absolutely impossible without using a guide: Some of the requirements make you click A SINGLE PIXEL in an image which it was never specified to do so, and go to locations in a certain order which seemingly had absolutely nothing to do with the plot. Some of the 'puzzle' varieties in the games consisted of pressing switches in the right combination— for the second-last combination puzzle, there were over 1,000 possible combinations and you had to try every single one. All this for some measly items per day while the plot is still relevant, which don't even amount to much cash right now (but will in, say, 10 years) so it's useless to most players of the game. The cool site theme is the only thing worth doing it for.
    • Not to mention when you had to take care of the sick petpet you found, which requires pressing a certain action for according facial expressions of the pet at the exact time the clock changes on a correct clock— ten times. If you made a mistake and didn't know, you would never know you made one and could've possibly been trying for hours. The fact that you must only press an action at the exact time the clock is :00 minutes was never specified, let alone which actions correspond to which facial expressions. A true example of this trope indeed.
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  • Online Games by Motion Twin tend to fall into this territory more than often, mainly because they're not-so-perfectly translated from French, and all the official guides stop at the basics and a couple of FAQs. Good luck finding out what class build to use in Minitroopers or which way to build a town in Die2Nite without a player-made guide...
  • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games falls very mildly to this trope, but it's susceptible all the same. One of Peach's missions requires her to perform a shout in the hammer throw three consecutive times, which nothing in the game or the guide tells you how to do even once. On the plus side, learning how to do it tends to give you extra distance.
    • One of the tips in the Dream Spacewalk event tells you that when your group is flying toward Dino Piranha, you can press the Spin to Deflect Stuff button when you hit him to do additional damage. It makes sense given the other events, but doing this still keeps the player well below the game's other competitors, let alone online records. The correct solution is to mash the spin button for the duration of your approach.
  • The Winter section of the Woods in Mickey Mousecapade. The hidden door to the final section is in the tree right at the start, but won't open until you go all the way through and loop back to the start, so many players would think there is no door there at all and eventually admit defeat and consult the helpline after shooting every other tree to no avail.
    • Undercoverfilmer00v covered this in his review before taking it down, mocking the logic behind it:
    UCF00v: *gasp* There's that start sign! I guess I better shoot that same tree again that I know didn't do anything the first time. Maybe something has changed for no reason whatsoever. (shoots the tree in question to open the door) *gasp* Oh my God! It's a glitch in the matrix!
  • In The Guardian Legend for the NES, the gates to several of the Corridors (the space-shooter areas) are Guide Dang Its to open. One such message says a corridor is sealed permanently; to open it, you have to visit a certain Blue Lander three times in a row(god knows who could figure this out).
    • For another corridor, the message was to "ask the round creature for help several times." This was, as stated above, the blue lander. You had to enter and exit its room several times in a row (through the same door and without going through any other rooms) before it would unlock the corridor. But prior to the last time (when you get a message saying the door is open) there is no message given to suggest that what you're doing is right.
    • For one corridor, the hint is to shoot continuously at the door. It won't work if you happened to be using a controller with "turbo" turned on.
  • Rune Factory 2 has a few, the biggest one being what to do after getting every last stone tablet fragment in the second generation. The only hint as to what you're supposed to do comes from Barrett, who first tells you not to get any ideas to seal the dragon and then proceeds to make a small, seemingly insignificant remark about how there's no way to get under the town. What the player is supposed to do, is to expand their barn until it can no longer be expanded and then ask for one more level to be added, so the inside of the temple can be reached. Problem with that is, aside from a vague hint, nothing is done. And unless the player tames a ton of monsters, majority of the expansion levels won't be needed, since you end up with almost 30 of them.
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  • Rune Factory 4 is a guide-dang-it when it comes to getting married. Easy enough, you'd think, give the love interest gifts, go on dates and get the ring. Nope! Each love interest has a specific randomly spawned scene that needs to be viewed, before the character will accept the engagement ring. The game randomly spawns which scene can be viewed upon waking up each day, so the player will have to either view all other sorts of random scenes before hopefully getting the love interest's scene or reload repeatedly until the scene is spawned.
  • The Flash Game PSAI is an extreme example of Guide Dang It.
  • The Commodore 64 had some painfully Guide Dang It titles; among them the BC series, Quest for Tires, and Grog's Revenge. To this day it's still hard to understand "Use keys A and B in the first cave you see", other than knowing that it means a lot of dying.
  • Bemani managed to avoid this for 14 PS2 iterations of beatmania IIDX. Then DJ TROOPERS came along with their Unknown Targets secretly hidden in the extra stage system. There is no way you would figure out that in order to unlock all of the Unknown Target songs (which, unless you knew exactly what was going on, seemed to appear randomly inside the Military Splash extra stage system) you'd need to fulfill any 5 of 6 criteria:
    • Clear a song with a MAX COMBO of 573 (which itself is a reference lost to anyone outside Japan)
    • Clear a song with an exact multiple of 1/9 of the song's maximum possible "EX SCORE" (with fractions rounded up on songs with a note count that isn't a multiple of 9), but not 1/9. This means there were 8 possible scores on each song to fulfill this requirement, and you had to hit one of them on the nose, with most songs having a maximum possible EX Score of well over 1,000.
    • Clear a song with a Border Bonus (i.e. finish with exactly 80% on your gauge, without HARD or HAZARD turned on)
    • Clear 40 songs
    • Full Combo 10 songs
    • Hit a total of at least 1,000 notes with a GREAT judgment or better in the Scratch column.
    • The song that requires you to know to spell FOREVER using the first letters of songs' titles to unlock, and doing so dumps you into the song without even highlighting it. What? You're missing a letter? Back to the Unknown Target songs for you!
    • Another song can only be unlocked by playing the 2-kyu course in Dan'inintei mode
  • The arcade version of beatmania IIDX 19: Lincle has the Lincle Kingdom unlock system/minigame, which managed to make the aforementioned DJ TROOPERS CS look downright straightforward, at least until an update was rolled out to loosen the requirements. Prior to the update, players had to earn Extra Stage while fulfilling a certain condition, then repeat this for a total of 5 games to unlock one boss song on one difficulty. The condition depended on the area selected by the player at the start of each game, with each area corresponding to a different boss song to unlock and the only feedback the game gave was whether or not you fulfilled the criteria at the end of the game. The aforementioned update changed the requirement to just getting Extra Stage, no additional condition needed. The requirements for each area were:
    • All songs played must be from the same Version category folder.
    • All songs played must be by the same artist.
    • All songs played must have the same listed genre.note 
    • All songs played must have the same number of characters (including spaces and punctuation) in their titles.
    • All songs played must have the same note count when rounded down to the nearest 100.
    • The title of each song picked after the first one must start with the last character of the previous song's title. Additionally, your Extra Stage song must also end with the same character as the first character of your first song's title.
      • Additionally, no repeats. You must use a different folder/artist/genre/title length/note count each time for it to count. For the final one, no making more than one chain starting with the same letter for the first song title.
  • Then the sequel to Lincle, IIDX 20 tricoro has the Astran Lights, certain pairs of which are necessary to unlock certain boss songs.
    • To unlock the song Sync-Anthem:
      • Clear the first year of Step Up Mode, and:
      • Clear a song with an EX Score of 573
    • To unlock EΛΠIΣ note :
      • Get 1000 DJ Points for a song on Normal, 2000 for a song on Hyper, and 3000 for a song on Another, and:
      • Clear a song on 5.73x speed
    • To unlock rumrum triplets:
      • Clear 5 sets of "Today's choices" (a themed set of songs that changes each day), and:
      • Set your Pacemaker percentage (target score) as 573% (which is particularly confusing because you can't actually do this, it will give a message and you'll have to pick a different value)
    • To unlock S!ck:
      • Clear one course in Dan'inintei mode, and:
      • Use Hidden+, Sudden+, Hid-Sud+ or Lift and cover the playing field to the value 573
    • To unlock CONCEPTUAL:
      • Play on 20 different difficulties across different versions, and:
      • On your first stage, select a song with a 5 remaining in the time; on the second stage, select with a 7 remaining, and on the final, with a 3 remaining
  • There is a rather baroque puzzle built into a scenario in the tabletop RPG Call of Cthulhu Sourcebook Secrets of Japan. Basically, the PCs need to find a secret door in a maze. The only real hint of the door's location the player characters can get requires them to 1) be able to understand Japanese writing (not a big obstacle, seeing as how at least one of the PCs or NPCs within the party are expected to Japanese), 2) pick up one of the cultists' prayer books earlier (not as big a snag, it is loot after all), 3) explore enough of the maze to map out its layout without hitting any traps or monsters (thankfully, there's only one or two of each in the entire maze) and 4) compare the map and the first letter of each line in the prayer book for some random reason, thus learning the right directions for getting to the secret door from the entrance. Mercifully, despite the game's reputation, the scenario outline nevertheless offers alternate ways for the PCs to find the secret door, such as pure luck, the guidance of NPCs or successful Idea and Spot Hidden rolls.
  • In the MSX version of Salamander, if you want the good ending you have to have a number of secret items PLUS a copy of Nemesis II (another game in the series) in the second cartridge slot...God help you if the MSX you're playing on doesn't HAVE a second cartridge slot. also, you have to go through a secret level that's...well, temperamental on anything but a MSX1.
  • Any game by cactus that involves puzzles or multiple endings. the Mondo series (which is approaching a third game) are large offenders, Mondo Medicals being the most egregious of the two released games.
    • Another notable offender is Stench Mechanics, which can lock you out of two endings if you get the suit before inhaling the purple stench. That combined with some counter-intuitive moments ( turning on EVERY LIGHT despite captain's orders, for instance) makes for some headaches.
  • And then there's Solaris. It was a fun little shooter for the Atari 2600, had amazing graphics for it's day, a couple of you might remember it: you flew a little triangle in levels that looked to be psuedo 3D, in a 3rd person view. Considering that virtually all other home shooters at the time were top down or side on, this was amazing. Anyway, this game actually had an ending. Yes, someone actually BEAT this game, and it IS beatable. They had to hack the ROM to do it, and then write down all of the grids they went to and the time they did, but they did beat the game. Guide is here.
  • Looking to score high in the Raiden Fighters series? Then you'll need to know where all the hidden Micluses are, as they release medals that can make or break your score. Uncovering some are as simple (to put it very nicely) as hovering in a particular spot, and uncovering others requires destroying enemies in a particular order or way. There's no in-game hints pointing towards where to find any of them.
  • The NES version of Section Z, an early Capcom Shoot 'em Up originally released for the arcade, consists of three stages with 20 "sections" each. The game requires you to memorize the layout of each stage and know which teleporter will take you to which section in order to find the two power generators in each stage and destroy them in order to reach the stage boss. This isn't a hard task to do, since you have to manually map the game if you have trouble remembering the correct path. However, the paths to the final two generators are hidden in warp gates which you can only find by shooting at the exact spot where they're located. If you don't know where the warp gates are located, you will spent an eternity flying through various sections in circle finding nothing.
  • You'd think that if Wii Fit was intended for people who are looking to get more exercise (i.e., aren't already working out), it'd do a better job of explaining which muscles are your "core muscles" (the abdominals, side abdominals, and lower back), instead of just telling people to "use" them in keeping their balance during certain exercises.
  • The infamous song "Memories" in Dance Dance Revolution Extreme US. The unlocking method was so cryptic that even hackers were unable to figure it out, and Konami didn't release the code until 2 years after the game's release.
  • The tie-in 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa game has achievements requiring you to use specific teams, but unless you were a master of World Cup trivia, there's no way to figure it out which ones from the information in game. For example the achievement "Second Trip, First Goal" requires you to qualify with a team that has made it to the World Cup in the past without scoring once, and then score. Give up? 
  • Shivers had quite a few. Fortunately, the earlier puzzles were in the manual, but others, such as the red door and Egyptian door puzzles, were almost impossible.
  • Action 52's guide wasn't just vague—it was flat-out wrong about the kinds of games on the cartridge. Meong needed a guide just to describe how to PLAY the game. Said information was lacking.
  • Every song in Dance Central has its own "finishing move," which the game neglects to teach you in the Break Down. Because of this, it is impossible to get 100% on a song your first time unless you look up said move on youtube or are really good at guessing what exactly the move will be based on the flashcards.
  • Yume Nikki is the epitome of this trope. No explanations, no plot, no storyline, no interactions with NPCs other than stabbing them, nothing. Many a person will wander the game's huge, mostly empty maps, looking for that one thing they need. Entire areas are only accessed by sitting in a particular position for a while. Then, when you get all your effects, there is no hint as to what you need to do to complete your game. It's actually counter intuitive. You drop ALL your effects in the main room, wake up, there will be a set of stairs on the balcony, and jump off the set of stairs.
  • Panic has some of this. Every area has at least one button that warps you to another scene, and the ones that have more than that often have one to send you backwards. So unless you have a photographic memory pertaining to which button does what, be prepared to spend a long time repeating scenarios. Also, some buttons instantly end the game.
  • Spoofed in this Adventurers! strip, which explains what the clue "GNWG" is supposed to mean. And also see this one, where the Ultimate Blacksmith complains that the party hasn't paid visit to his out-of-the-way place despite being mentioned in the Player's Guide.
  • Good luck getting through Knightmare without divining what you were supposed to do, the game was easily made unwinnable with the no backtracking rule.
  • City of Heroes originally gave very little information about the combat mechanics: power strengths were rated with adjectives such as "moderate" or "extreme", and none of the underlying math of the combat system was known. The lead developer did this because he felt that players would have a better experience if they developed an "intuitive" feel for the mechanics, rather than number-crunching. However, the underlying mechanics were severely counter-intuitive, with nonlinearities and threshold effects all over the place: for example, adding the "increased defense to all attacks" from Weave to the "almost completely invulnerable" from Granite Armor doubles a Stone Armor tank's survivability, but if you then add the "increase defense of yourself and all nearby teammates" from Maneuvers, you gain nothing; at the same time, adding Weave to a Fiery Aura tank produces almost no benefit. A great deal of effort by the playerbase went into reverse-engineering the combat mechanics and quantifying power strengths: for example, the reason why intuition says that Maneuvers is useless is that enemies always have a 5% chance of hitting you, and since Granite + Weave drops the odds to 5%, Maneuvers adds nothing; the reason why Weave is highly variable in strength is that it reduces your chance of being hit by 8%: for a Granite tank, this drops the odds of being hit from 13% to 5%, a 2.5x increase in the number of attacks that miss, while a Fiery Aura tank only sees an almost-imperceptible drop from 50% to 42%. Several years and one new lead developer later, City of Heroes provides more numerical data than almost any other MMO, but until then, a good build guide was considered essential to creating a strong character.
    • In the process, the players found some developer oversights that made particular powersets much stronger or weaker than others. For example, damage done by attacks is balanced by recharge time (any attack, considered in isolation, provides the same DPS as any other attack). However, once you've got enough attacks that you've always got one ready to use, the cast time of the attack determines how much overall DPS you're doing, but cast times were picked for "what makes a good-looking animation", rather than for game-balance reasons. Without a build guide that lists damage-per-animation-time numbers, you'd never figure out why your flashy Martial Arts attacks are taking much longer to defeat enemies than the quick strikes of the other guy's Claws attacks.
    • In the City of Villains, some of the mission arcs are unlocked by doing various things. Some of them are obvious (at least in hindsight), such as the Television contact being unlocked by the Master of the Airwaves exploration badge; some are inevitable (for example, it's almost impossible to reach Ambassador Kuhr'Rekt's level range without earning 25 badges). But some will never be found without a guide: who would ever think to lure ten ghost pirates to a certain unobtrusive piece of machinery before defeating them?
  • Max Payne 3 has Golden Gun Parts and Clues that are sometimes really annoyingly hidden.
  • In Masters of the Universe: The Movie on C64, when you confront Skeletor he gives you the choice to surrender or continue fighting. You have to have seen the movie to know that surrendering is the correct option. Choosing to fight results in a Nonstandard Game Over. And if you failed to collect every chord for the Cosmic Key, you're screwed no matter which option you pick. If you surrender without all the chords, He-Man's friends are trapped on Earth and they can't go to Castle Greyskull to help him, resulting in another Nonstandard Game Over.
  • Brain Dead 13 is another example of this. If you go into one of the rooms belonging to some foes, you can't seem to know the correct moves or timing of the moves without dying a few times over and over (good thing you have unlimited lives). And sometimes if you accidentally run away from any one of the bosses, you won't see the ending without restarting the game, rendering it Unwinnable by Design. Guide Dang It, indeed!
  • If you follow the directions you're given in the final mission of Solar Winds, the game becomes unwinnable (which is to be expected if you've been paying attention to the story). If you violate your instructions in the obvious way, your spaceship spontaneously blows up. Turns out you've been silently handed a MacGuffin that you need to get rid of, and to make matters worse, there's no "get rid of MacGuffin" command — you need to use the "transport" command (normally used to move cargo to another ship or a planet) to eject it into space.
  • Backyard Slateboarding has coins scattered across every level, and collecting all of them unlocks a shirt. The medieval level Merry Olde Englandland places a few of these on towers that look completely inaccessible, which is particularly bad because things like this are usually accessed with hard-to-see power lines. How do you access these? You jump into completely normal looking rocks that teleport you to the towers. There is absolutely no hint in the entire game that you are supposed to do this, and it doesn't even work on all of the rocks! If you don't know about this, your only other option is to exploit a Good Bad Bug that allows you to infinitely jump in mid-air.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction, obtaining the power of Ra's Phoenix Mode requires you to input a password at Grandpa's shop. The password is not hinted at at all in the game, and must be found online.
    • The Robot Monkey sidequest triggers by visiting the game shop, then Domino Pier, and finally visiting KaibaCorp. If you fail to activate it by the time you defeat the Paradox Brothers in China, you miss out on the sidequest for the rest of the game.
  • Getting all the XOF patches in Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes is simply odious. Most of them are difficult to find even with a walkthrough telling you exactly where they are, but the one that takes the cake is the first one. It turns out one stuck to Snake's back as he climbed the cliff in the opening cinematic and you have to roll about to shake it off. Even knowing this it's difficult to shake the darned thing loose.
  • Ragnarok Online is a good example of an MMO.
    • Firstly, not researching your stat and skill build before you even start playing is one way to screw up your first character by level 60, and therefore the entirety of the end-game and player vs player. Coupled with the permanency, players unused to this end up scrapping their first character.
    • Second, quests. The game literally dumps you in and expects you to go and find them yourself. Players need to look up guides for the quest they want to find the trigger for the quest and find their way around. You would literally not know that two NPCs in two entirely different cities would turn out to be related to a quest unless you bothered to talk to everyone in the game - and there are a lot of both people and cities to cover.
  • In Shadowverse, clicking on card description text boxes provides further information that explains keywords or elaborates on what special cards they create. Not with Prince of Darkness, where the contents of the Apocalypse Deck mentioned in the card is not elaborated on. Want to find out? Look online or experience the deck yourself.note 
  • Groove Coaster has Ad-Lib notes, which are invisible notes that don't break chain if you don't hit them, but are required to achieve a Full Chain. Most Ad-Lib notes are fairly intuitive and fall on music cues, but one song in particular, "Spring to mind", has Ad-Libs that either fall on very, very subtle elements of the track or don't go with any part of the track at all. Unless you watch videos, or watch someone else play, you pretty much have to use the Visible item so you can find out where all of the Ad-Libs are.
  • The third faction /el is this in Hacknet. To get to them, the player needs to delete x-server.sys on Naix' root gateway and then following his missions. However, this is not possible anymore if "Aggression must be punished" has been completed.
  • Nuclear Throne has the unlock requirements for Horror, Skeleton and Frog, in order of when they were released and how hard they are to unlock. Horror requires you to skip two consecutive radiation canisters; you'll find it at the third one and you need to defeat it to play as it. Skeleton requires that you play as Melting and get caught in a Necromancer's resurrection circle. Frog requires players to damage Mom, a loop-exclusive boss, with a Golden weapon, which causes her to drop a special weapon. You need to take this weapon to a Proto Chest, and then find it again with a different character, which allows you to start the game with that weapon. By selecting this weapon, you'll start the game as Frog.
  • Some achievements on Steam can be hidden if the game's developers want it that way. While the achievement list does tell you that there are hidden achievements, you won't know what they are or how to unlock them unless you unlock one of them by sheer accident. Naturally, a quick search online is needed if you aim to get every achievement hidden in the list.
  • Dimahoo is infamous for its treasures system. In order to get the best scores, you need to amass a collection of treasures over the course of the game. There are dozens of unique treasures, including some that require shooting a boss with a specific level of Charged Attack, shooting a boss with at least a certain number of bombs left, shooting a boss with enough bombs and a specific level of charged shot, destroying certain enemies, destroying certain enemy parts, and so on and so forth. None of which are hinted at in-game! A comprehensive guide of tresure drops can be found here.
  • Minor one in Rhythm Heaven Megamix. Quiz Show challenges you to hit the buttons the same number of times as the quiz show host. What it doesn't tell you is that the skill star for this game can only be earned by closely matching the host's rhythm. This is also the way to boost your score beyond 80.
    • There are also hidden goodies in each of the Endless Games that are made available in the museum by reaching particular scores. Not only does the game never once tell you of their existence, not even from a random tip from the Barista, the scores themselves are incredibly hard to reach and will escape the notice of anyone not that interested in the Endless Games. note 
  • DELTAZEAL has two Stage 3's and two Stage 5's. The game doesn't inform you that the variant chosen is determined by which vertical half of the screen your ship is on when the end-of-stage transition in Stages 2 and 4 takes place (left half takes you to Stage 3A/5A, right half to Stage 3B/5B).
  • All of RPG Maker is this trope. The only people who would know what they’re doing without watching a tutorial on YouTube are those who are knowledgeable enough about programming that they could code a game themselves without it. Though there is an in-game manual, it fails to explain anything in a way a layman would understand.
  • Night Trap definitely has this: The split-second room changes the game requires from you are nearly impossible without playing the game multiple times or having a comprehensive walk-through. Even veterans who have played the 1992 game or its other 1990s console versions before while playing the 2017 edition (and going for a perfect run) will suddenly get treated to a Game Over scene of Danny getting captured and drained of blood in the downstairs hallway (which wasn't there in the previous console versions before) and realize that they missed an extra Auger to trap! Guide Dang It, indeed.
  • For a very cute game about fashion shows, Love Nikki - Dress Up Queen can have surprisingly hard to pass stages:
    • Kaja's challenges tend to be a HUGE wake-up call for newbies. Kaja is a bifauxnen rock singer and her stages require Nikki to wear "Unisex" clothes and accesories... which, considering how the major part of the potential clothing and items tend to be pretty girly looking, can be a bit of a drawback.
    • Level 8-2 in Princess difficulty. Unlike the corresponding level in Maiden, it requires a specific suit. Unlike most levels, where scores are maximized by piling on accessories, it penalizes adding almost anything besides that suit. There are a select few accessories that the level allows, but figuring out which ones is arguably an even bigger Guide Dang It!.
    • The Special Stages require very specific types of clothing, and not having them handy will lead the player to either losing BADLY or barely ace it. A good example is Level 4-12: the player must assemble what's basically a Playboy Bunny outfit, and the most important parts are the Bunny Girl suit, the Bunny Girl Heels and the Bunny Ears. The Suit is an absolute requirement to pass the stage (yay for having to craft it to even think of going forward!), and trying to replace the Ears and the Heels with anything similar will severely lower the final score (yay for also having to craft them to get at least a B or an A!).
  • In advertisements for the video game version of Maximum Carnage, there was a screenshot of Venom fighting inside the Statue of Liberty's crown. But, you never see it as choosing Venom partway through the game means he's stuck in a Cutscene Hell and only returns to gameplay before the final boss. Obviously a Dummied Out stage, right? Wrong. As it turns out, during that Cutscene Hell, you can actually get Venom freed earlier by rapidly hitting a button before the cutscene he actually gets freed in, thus getting the Statue of Liberty stage and a host of hero summons.
  • House Party: Many of the quests in-game require you to jump through several hoops if you want to succeed with any of the girls at the party. For example, Rachel's route requires you to retrieve a thermos full of liquor from the liquor cabinet and return it to her. Which would be easy if not for the fact that the cabinet is being closely guarded by Frank, who refuses to let anyone drink on his watch. In order to gain his trust, you must search the entire house high and low for hidden bottles of beer and steal a bottle of wine from Patrick (without letting Frank see you, because he will kill you if he catches you taking it) and after all of that, you still have to trick Rachel into having sex by getting Katherine to spoof text messages that dare Rachel to do increasingly sexual things with you, but before you do that you have to get not only Rachel's number and the number of her friend Vickie, but you have to get Patrick to sober up by making him drink coffee, and then take his cell phone. And as Arin Hanson of Game Grumps learned the hard way, you can't complete the final step unless you find the very small and very carefully hidden master bedroom key. All of that, just to have sex with one girl for one minute.
  • Some Room Escape Games veer into this trope when the game is not clear when trying to guide the player. This post demonstrates the flaws of the genre-codifying Crimson Room:
    • There is no indication that you need to click at a very specific spot just to get the camera to pan in a way that shows you an object of interest.
    • Items are small and can be easily missed in this low-resolution game.
    • Getting one of the rings involves repeatedly opening and closing the curtains. Again, there is no indication that clues the player towards this step.

Non-Video Game Examples:

  • Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition actually has this in an adventure. Normally, Hags are creatures that PCs should immediately kill, however in this particular adventure the Hag is the only one who can inform the PCs of where to find their goal. The problems with this: DnD 4E tends to breed trigger happy gamers, the hag goes down with ANY attack against her, and the adventure IMMEDIATELY ends when she dies. The DM is specifically forbidden from letting the PCs try searching for the goal themselves.
  • Toy Story 2 started out with Rex playing a Buzz Lightyear game, which ended with the upper half of Buzz being blown off by Emperor Zurg. When the toys infiltrate a toy store later on, Rex runs across a Strategy Guide for the game, discovers there's another way into the facility than through the front door, and starts complaining that it's a Guide Dang It!. "They make it so you can't defeat Zurg unless you buy this book. It's extortion, that's what it is!"
  • Homestuck has an in-universe example with Sburb. Much of the initial story is simply the protagonists- a group of new players- trying to make sense of its interface and figure out what the hell is going on. And the only reasons said protagonists survive for any length of time is that 1,) they have help from a previous group of experienced players, and 2,) they were very, very lucky.
    • For example: ascending to God Tier. Nothing in the game tells you it can even be done, and the method is extremely unintuitive: you have to die. But not just anywhere, no! On your Quest Bed. Bear in mind that Sburb generates enormous worlds, and that one's Quest Bed is the comparative size of a dust mite in a swimming pool. And that one's Quest Bed is not given any particular importance in the game. It's an ornate, personally designed spawn point for your avatar, and that's about it.
      • It later turns out that there actually is a second method of getting to god tier that is even more obscure, but if you know about it, is much easier. You have to die on your Sacrificial Slab. This is easier than the other method because the Sacrifical Slabs are much easier to find since they always in the same places in the game inside the moons of Prospit and Derse, and unlike the first method, it is not required that both your dreamself and your original body still be alive. This is much more of a Guide Dang It! because there are no hints at all of this, unlike the first method which does have a few hints the players can get from the consorts, and the inside of the moons is a place that players probably would not think of going to without this knowledge.
  • Finnegans Wake by James Joyce is a book that manages to be a Guide Dang it. It's filled to the brim with so many references and esoteric English, that conventially reading it is almost impossible. It essentially requires an additional book or website detailing what every line actually means.
  • PlayStation Access: "6 Impossible Video Game Puzzles You'll Never Solve Without A Guide", as indicated by the title, is about how frustrating this can be.
  • Around The '80s, pinball machines started getting increasingly complex and complicated rules, too many to reasonably fit on the apron for the player to read. The result is that nearly every pinball game released since then is full of rules not explained to the player until it applies (and even then, it might not be obvious). Naturally, some players have dedicated themselves to learning these rules and posting them online for everyone else to see and understand.
  • Gundemonium Recollection is a Bullet Hell game in which one of the achievements is locked behind the form of the final boss. The problem is that the final form never seems to appear, no matter how hard you try. As it turns out, the final form of the final boss is dependant on an end-game point counter that keeps track of an invisible point total that typically won't exceed 200 and often will hover around 100. It drops and raises for specific actions such as killing bosses or dying, and getting a game-over resets it to 0, even if a player continues. The final form of the final boss requires 100 points exactly, and if you fail, which is likely the only way this scenario will play out, you just fight the final boss as normal. This means you have to keep a mental track of the points, which is downright near impossible, and never get a game over during your attempt, otherwise you just have to reset and start over. Even if you know how to get this final form, nothing except for a step-by-step explanation of how to do it is going to do anything except throw you into pure madness and make you decide to quit and do something else.


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