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An Arrange Mode is a variation of part or all of a base game that remixes it with new rules and brings with it new challenges. Many of these arranges tend to be locked behind some sort of requirement, like beating the main game or beating an Optional Boss. Other times, they're included in an Updated Re-release of a game to bring a new experience to an old game. In any case, these modes often remix the base game in ways such as rearranging the levels, changing up or adding new mechanics, or letting you play as a new character.

Many Easier Than Easy and Harder Than Hard modes are arranges that alter the game to either be easier or harder than the main game, and many arranges can also invoke Challenge Runs.

In arcade games, this can happen as a result of the game being modified for different markets. Sometimes the changes not only alter the difficulty but also significant gameplay mechanics.

Compare Self-Imposed Challenge, where the player provides the challenge instead of the game; Another Side, Another Story, where the game changes the character up for a different perspective and story; New Game Plus, where you're allowed another playthrough with some or all of the items/abilities from the previous playthrough; Unexpected Gameplay Change, where the rules change mid-game rather than being a separate mode, and Official Game Variants, which modify Tabletop Games in much the same way.

See Boss Rush and Boss Game for versions of a game that have everything but the boss fights cutnote , Game Mod for unofficial modes not made by the original creators, and Story Difficulty Setting, where the "arrange" is easier to accommodate for those who are just playing for the story.

Related to Difficulty Levels, which just adjust the difficulty of the playthrough, and Gimmick Level and Remixed Level, where the changes occur for only a single level.


Examples:

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    Action-Adventure Games 
  • Castlevania, ever since it transitioned to its Metroidvania style, has always had an extra mode or character to play as when you finish the main game, usually by entering a special name in the file select.
    • In Castlevania: Rondo of Blood and its remake Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, you can play as Maria immediately after you save her in the main game. Playing as her is significantly easier than playing as Richter, what with her Guardian Knuckle, smaller stature, and double-jump.
    • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has a hidden Luck mode that gives Alucard maxed out luck at the expense to his other stats. It also has a Richter mode that allows you to play as Richter, Hydro Storm and all! Both the Saturn port and Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles have a Maria Mode, though both play differently from each other. The Saturn version of Maria plays much like Richter, but with a triple-jump and several spells invoking The Four Gods, including one that makes her invincible for 40 seconds. The Dracula X Chronicles version plays more like her Rondo of Blood incarnation, with The Four Gods and Guardian Knuckle acting as her subweapons.
    • The PlayStation port of Castlevania Chronicles has an arrange that updates graphics and music, and also allows you to adjust the difficulty. You also don't receive knockback in this version.
    • Castlevania: Circle of the Moon has 4 modes that change the stats of the player:
      • Magician Mode, unlocked by beating the main game, has you start off with all 20 DSS cards, high magical ability, and reductions to health, strength, and defense
      • Fighter Mode, unlocked by beating Magician Mode, removes all DSS cards from the game, but increases the player's physical strength.
      • Shooter Mode emphasizes the Sub-weapons, giving the player a high maximum of hearts as well as decreasing their heart consumption, but decreases health, strength, and defense. This mode also introduces an exclusive Sub-weapon in the Homing Dagger.
      • Thief mode plays like the Luck mode from Symphony of the Night, with an increase to luck in exchange for penalties for every other stat.
    • Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance has the Maxim Mode, where you play as the speedy Maxim, who can triple jump, dodge faster, and even somersault. He's more frail compared to Juste to compensate.
    • Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow has the Julius mode, where you get to play as Julius, who mostly plays similarly to Richter, with the exception of being able to dive kick, as well as being able to dash, which passes through enemies.
    • Its sequel, Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow, has another Julius mode, but this time, he's joined by Yoko Belnades and Alucard, in a Call-Back to Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse. The Final Boss is also altered as well.
    • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin contains a few modes:
      • Sisters Mode is a prequel to the main game after beating it that features the sisters Stella and Loretta, who attack using the touch screen.
      • Richter Mode, unlocked by beating the "Whip's Memory", has you control Richter and Maria, who use their sub-weapons from Rondo of Blood.
      • Old Axe Armor mode, unlocked by killing at least 1000 Old Axe Armors in normal mode and beating the game, is a mode where you play... an Old Axe Armor. Just one, who's very weak, and can't use items, and has only two subweapons.
    • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia has the Albus mode, which gives you control of Albus, who uses a magic gun, and can teleport using the touch screen.
    • Castlevania: Curse of Darkness: You can enter in "Trevor" as your filename to play as Trevor Belmont once you've beaten the game. He doesn't gain levels like Hector, but can still acquire new elemental whips and the Health / Attack Up items to compensate.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda for the NES has the "Second Quest", unlocked either by completing the game or entering the file name as "ZELDA". This quest has the dungeons and Heart Containers rearranged around the map, as well as increased difficulty.
    • Many of the later games would also feature a Second Questnote , Master Questnote , Hero Modenote , or Master Modenote , though the changes were generally far less in-depth. The effects can include changed locations of items, more powerful enemies, no recovery hearts, keeping upgrades or items from the first quest, and a mirrored world.
  • In all versions of Luigi's Mansion, the Hidden Mansion makes ghosts deal double damage to Luigi, and makes the Poltergust 3000 1.5x stronger. In the European and Australian GameCube versions, the Hidden Mansion is mirrored horizontally, there are more ghosts, and Chaunceynote  and Boolossus'snote  boss fights are altered. All versions of the 3DS remake incorporate some of the European and Australian GameCube changes while also adding some new ones of its own.
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, as a Spiritual Successor of the Metroidvania Castlevania games, will feature several post-launch DLC packs which will add several new modes to the game, including:
    • Classic Mode will remove all Metroidvania aspects of the game and turn it into a six-stage Nintendo Hard trip to the final boss, similar to the "classicvania" Castlevania games.
    • Roguelike Dungeon Mode will procedurally generate the castle every playthrough.
    • You will also be able to play as 2 extra characters, including Zangetsu.
  • Blaster Master Zero and its sequel have EX Characters Mode, where you play through the game as Guest Fighters, with unique abilities and mechanics for each. The original also has Destroyer Mode, a Nintendo Hard mode where the player is strapped with severe restrictions, Ultimate Mode, a pseudo-New Game Plus where you can play the game with the Infinity +1 Sword from the game's true end route, and Boss Blaster Mode.

    Collectible Card Games 
  • Shadowverse has two PvP modes that have you face off in 5 matches, using a deck constructed on the fly, rather than using your regular card collection:
    • Take Two has you construct a deck of 30 cards by choosing between two sets of 2 cards each 15 times. You then play 5 matches with players who also have these decks.
    • Open Six has you play 5 matches with a deck constructed from five card packs from the latest expansions, and a sixth "phantom" card pack that consists only of gold and legendary cards. Winning 4 matches allows you to keep a gold card from the phantom pack, and winning all 5 nets you a legendary card.
  • Hearthstone:
    • Arena is a draft mode where you build a deck by choosing one of three cards offered to you, until you have thirty. Runs last until either you reach 12 wins or 3 losses. Arena meta favours methodical, high-value plays and minion combat far more than the explosive constructed mode. Also, as of 2019, Arena uses a rotating selection of legal sets to pull cards from, mixing together formats that never existed in Standard.
    • Duels has players build a deck from a few legal sets and run to either 12 wins or 3 losses, just like Arena. The difference is, you also choose a special Hero Power, a Purposefully Overpowered 'treasure' card, and you continue to draft your deck using pre-selected bundles of cards after every game. You can also draft passive treasures, which get pretty absurd as the game goes on.
    • Battlegrounds turns Hearthstone into an entirely different genre, using the game's engine to run an auto-battler game. You build a tavern of minions that retain their stats between rounds, then take turns doing 1v1 battles in an 8-player free-for-all.
    • Some Tavern Brawls are like this. Each week features a new ruleset, which can be simple things like having decks of random cards, but can also include game-warping rules like "instead of having a deck, you Discover cards each turn", or "your deck is 6 cards - when you run out, those 6 are shuffled back in".

    Fighting Games 
  • BlazBlue: The "Abyss Mode" is a special mode where you fight opponents and descend down "depths", where the enemies will be stronger. As you go down the depths, you can acquire different items that can enhance your character so that you can fight enemies easier.
  • Guilty Gear: In previous Guilty Gear titles, M.O.M. (Medals of Millionaires) was a Score Attack mode. In Xrd -REVELATOR-, you use collected medals to level your character up and make use of equipment and items to do battle with increasingly stronger opponents.
  • Skullgirls Encore features "The Typing of the Skullgirls", a mode where the Blockbuster Gauge fills automatically. When a player does a Blockbuster, they have to do a timed typing exercise. Perfect types deal 1.5x damage, and botched attempts reduce damage to 10%. This holds the same for when the other player uses a Blockbuster except the typing exercises mitigate damage from your opponent.
  • The PlayStation port of Street Fighter Alpha 3 adds the "World Tour" mode, where you pick a character and their "Ism", and go around the world to fight around the world in locations concisting of 1-3 matches each. After each match, you are given a score, which is translated to experience points for both your character and their "Isms", which can be used to level up both. As you gain levels, you get "Power Balance Levels", which allow you to increase either your attack or defense at the cost of the other stat, and "Ism Pluses", which give you abilities ranging from immunity to dizziness, automatic blocking to high attacks, and the ability to cancel normal moves into special moves or special moves into super moves. This mode is the only way to unlock Guile, Evil Ryu, and Shin Akuma by way of secret locations.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Since Melee, there has been the "Special Smash", which allows you to switch on or off certain conditions for fights, like the size of the fighters, the speed of the fight, and inflicting permanent conditions like the Flower debuff or the Metal Box. Since Brawl, these switches are stackable, so you can have multiple modifications on, like a "Stamina Flower Smash" or a "Mega Flower Tail Curry Heavy Slow Angled Smash".
    • In Coin Battles, introduced in Melee, when fighters are hit, coins of different denominations are produced when any attack hits a fighter. The goal is to collect as many coins before the time runs out. KO'd players will lose half of their coin cache, and a shower of coins will be expelled from the blast zone. This is removed in Ultimate.
    • Stamina Battles, also introduces in Melee, KO a character when they lose all their HP, turning Smash into a more prototypical fighting game (knocking opponents off the arena is still possible, but less feasible). Notably, in Ultimate, this mode was moved out of the Special Smash, and turned into a standard game rule alongside the Time and Stock smashes.
    • For 3DS has the Smash Run, a mode where you traverse a large map with enemies for five minutes. Killing enemies and doing certain challenges rewards you with stat boosts to speed, jump, attack, special, arms, and defense. During the 5 minutes, several events will occur, which range from boosting stat boosts given by enemies, to spawning enemies of a single type. After 5 minutes, all four players will participate in a final battle, which ranges from a Multi-Man Smash, to a race up a tower.
    • For Wii U has the Smash Tour, which is a board game-like mode where players use Mii characters and travel across a board on a turn counter to collect fighters, stat boosts, and trophies, which can be used as items. When the turn counter runs out, the players have a final fight on Battlefield where the fighters they collected are used as the stocks. Battles can also occur in the board game segments when 2 players land on the same space or a battle space is landed on. After those battles, the winner is given the loser's last KO'd fighter.
    • Ultimate introduces the Squad Strike, more specifically the Tag Team ruleset, which is a single stock battle of either 3v3 or 5v5, where each stock is a different fighter, and when one fighter is KO'd, the next fighter/stock will be used.
  • Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 has the Heroes and Heralds mode, where you choose between the team of Heroes, who protect the Earth from Galactus, and the silver Heralds, who work for Galactus to destroy it. You participate in fights to gain territory for your team, collecting cards and completing "hit lists" along the way. Cards can be obtained and equipped, which give abilities ranging from invisibility to additional combo strings. Hit lists are arranges in a bingo-like board, and completing a line will unlock a harder bonus stage with rarer cards.
  • Ultra Street Fighter IV has the Omega Mode, which gives every character all sorts of new abilities, and just breaks the game wide open in general. Capcom even says that this mode was made "for fun". For example, Ryu gains a move similar to Street Fighter III's parry and Ken gains a new move that has him kicking a Hadouken, and regains his "Shippu Jinraikyaku" super from Street Fighter III. Many people think of this mode as public testing or the "proof-of-concept" for Street Fighter V, since many of the skills that were included in the OMEGA mode, like the aformentioned parry for Ryu, would later return in V.

    First-Person Shooters 
  • Doom has the Harder Than Hard "Nightmare!" difficulty, where monster projectiles are faster, Pinky demons move faster, and enemies respawn several seconds after death. Oh, and you can't use console cheats. You also receive the same doubled ammo bonus as in the "I'm Too Young To Die!" difficulty. You'll need it. The 2019 Unity ports later introduced an "Ultra-Violence+" difficulty, which has faster enemies like in Nightmare! but without the respawning monsters, and weapons from the multiplayer mods.
    • Doom (2016) has the "Ultra-Nightmare" difficulty. It's "Nightmare!", but with only one life, and if you die, your save file is deleted and a marker showing where you died is placed if you're playing online. Most of the markers you'll see will be in the very first combat area.
  • In Duke Nukem 3D, the "Damn, I'm Good" difficulty has all non-boss enemies respawn unless you gib their corpses with explosives.
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • Medieval Mode is a mode where guns are disabled, and only "Medieval" weapons can be used (all melee weapons, the Medic's Crusader's Crossbow, the Demoman's Boots and Shields, etc.)
    • Mannpower is a modified version of Capture the Flag that gives every player a grappling hook and randomly spawns powerups throughout the stage.
    • PASS Time is a soccer-like mode where two teams compete to get a neutral ball (the JACK) to one of three goals: the Run-In, Throw-In, and Bonus goals. The Bonus Goal, which gives three points instead of one, is activated when JACK Power, increased by passing the JACK to teammates, is full and is usually requires a Jump Pad to access.
    • Player Destruction sees two teams collecting beer bottles by killing enemy players, and then jumping into a UFO to add them to their teams' score. The player at each team with the most beer bottles gets an aura that gives health and ammo to themselves and nearby teammates, but their outline and beer bottle count will be visible to everyone.
    • Highlander Mode is applicable to any other game mode, and restricts the team composition to one player of each class, for a total of 9 players.
  • The multiplayer-based games of the Unreal series have the Mutators, modifiers which change the rules of the game by modifying the players' starting loadouts, the items in the match (including their availability), or modifying physics properties such as overall gravity and player speed.
  • Completing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare for the first time unlocks Arcade Mode, which has the player replaying the campaign's missions with Video-Game Lives and an in-depth scoring system.

    Hack and Slash Games 
  • Hyrule Warriors has the Adventure Mode, where you traverse several maps stylized after the original Zelda game. Each screen represents a mission that can be cleared, some of which restrict what characters or weapons can be used or have special rules. Item cards can be obtained, which can be used to uncover new rewards or secret enemies.
  • Fire Emblem Warriors' is similar in concept to Hyrule Warriors' Adventure, where you play through maps based on key moments in Awakening, Fates, and Shadow Dragon. Clearing these maps unlocks new playable characters, and getting all S-ranks on certain stages rewards you with Master Seals for unlocking Prestige Classes.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • Starting from the third game, there's the "Heaven and Hell" mode where both you and the enemies are One Hit Point Wonders. Beating that gives you "Hell or Hell", which is the Son of Sparda difficulty, but you still die in one hit.
    • Devil May Cry 4 on PC introduced the "Legendary Dark Knight" mode to the series, which ramps up the difficulty by spawning a massive amount of enemies. Sometimes requiring the player to face 20-30 enemies all at once. The mode returned in Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition.
    • The Definitive Edition of the reboot introduced a few new ones. It had "Gods Must Die" difficulty which kicked the difficulty up a notch by spawning all enemies in their Devil Trigger state, as well as completely removing all healing items from the game, and replacing all Green Orbs in the game with Red Orbs. It also introduced the "Must Style" mode, which requires the player to maintain an "S" Rank or higher to be able to damage enemies.

    Light Gun Games 
  • Home rereleases of The House of the Dead 2 include the standard game as "Arcade Mode" and feature the new "Original Mode". In the latter, the player gets to select up to two modifiers for a playthrough, be they alternate weapons, extra ammunition, score modifiers, or just goofy extras, with the tradeoff of not being able to manually set lives/continues without certain modifiers. Each modifier can only be used once per Original Mode run, and more have to be collected by either shooting special targets/saving civilians in Original Mode or (in the Wii release that also includes the third game) by performing well in the startup minigame. Other minor additions in ports are Training Mode (actually a series of brief challenges) and Boss Mode (lets you refight all versions of the game's bosses either seperately or in a time attack rush).
    • One of its most famous arranges in particular is "The Typing of the Dead" where in which the players' guns are replaced with computer keyboards, and you type to kill zombies! Ridiculous? Yes. Awesome nonetheless? In spades.
  • The Dreamcast version of Confidential Mission includes a bunch:
    • Agent Academy, which has you go three-step training exercises for various skills (Reflexes, Target prioritization, Justice Shot, 3-hits combo, timing, and ID-ing hostages from enemies). Once the initial set of exercise is completed, the player unlocks...
    • Another World, which is the main campaign with slightly altered layouts, rearranged background music, and tricker enemy placement focusing on the skills learned in Agent Academy (there are many more sequences invokving shooting partially-concealed enemies or timing shots between running hostages, for instance).
    • Display Off, which removes all HUD markers including the lock-on sight.

    Pinball 
  • Total Nuclear Annihilation has two special multiplayer options:
    • Co-op Mode, which is activated by holding down the Start button when adding Player 1. All players in the game work together to complete the game, with score and reactor progress shared across all players (though points for destroying reactors will be given only to the player that destroys it). Replays and extra balls are disabled in this mode.
    • Team Vs. Mode - similar to the above, but sharing score and progress between Player 1 and 3 versus Player 2 and 4 - is activated by holding the Start button down after activating Co-op Mode. Like Co-op Mode, replays and extra balls are disabled.
  • Ghostbusters has "God Mode", added in the 2019 software update. It starts each game with the "We're Ready to Believe You" Wizard Mode already running. Failing to complete it ends the game, while succeeding starts "Are You a God?"; finishing that also ends the game.
  • Holding both flipper buttons when beginning a game of Jurassic Park (Stern) starts the "Escape Nublar Challenge", where the player immediately begins in the titular Wizard Mode.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Stern) has several of these, all accessed by holding down the flipper buttons prior to a game.
    • "Cooperation" has every player progressing through the game together, down to sharing a single point total.
    • "Competitive" removes randomness for the game whenever possible, making it suitable for tournament play.
    • It is also possible to combine both of the above modes.
    • "Team Play" allows for various different team compositions (2 vs. 2, 2 vs. 1, or even 3 vs. 1).
  • The Mandalorian allows the player to choose from several different modes before starting a game.
    • "Team Play" changes multiplayer to group each person into one of several different teams, keeping track of their scores both individually and as a unit. It comes in 2 vs. 2, 2 vs. 1, and 3 vs. 1 varieties.
    • "Monster Play" applies "Impossible Play" settings (high difficulty and reducing the player's ability to keep a flipper raised) solely to the first player in a multiplayer game. ("Impossible Play" itself affects every player.)

    Platforming Games 
  • Azure Striker Gunvolt and Azure Striker Gunvolt 2: the Steam, Switch, and PlayStation 4 ports of these games feature a Speedrun Mode where the player must clear the game quickly as possible with the following modifications:
    • "Kudos Keeper", collecting Kudos in various ways will also empower your attacks, however, if you lose your Kudos (from taking damage), you'll use the power-up.
    • "Point Blank", where your attacks deal more damage if you're close to your enemies.
    • "Anthem", where the player's character will have his Anthem active throughout the game, however, they must traverse through stages that are littered with lethal spikes.
  • Iji:
    • Ultimortal difficulty takes an Extreme difficulty playthrough and adds new restrictions. The only stat Iji can upgrade is Health, health pickups are completely removed, and each Sector has a fairly tight time limit. This also makes a full Pacifist Run impossible, as skipping the Assassin Asha rematch is impossible without maxing out both weapon stats and the Crack stat, and makes him the sole required kill of the run.
    • Beating Hard difficulty unlocks the Sudden Death option, where every gameplay object is set to having 1 Health and 100 Armor, and Health can't be upgraded. This includes bosses for levels that feature them.
  • Kirby: The various Meta Knightmare modes (in Nightmare in Dreamland, Super Star Ultra and Planet Robobot) are alternate modes where you have to play the entire game as Meta Knight instead of Kirby. Triple Deluxe also has "Dededetour", which is the same concept, but with King Dedede.
    • Kirby's Dream Land has the Extra Game, accessed by pressing Up, A, and Select on the title screen. The player plays through the same stages, but some enemies are replaced by harder variants, and bosses gain new attacks. This mode returns in Super Star Ultra as the "Revenge of the King", a harder mode of "Spring Breeze", itself a remake of Kirby's Dream Land. In addition to the aforementioned changes, "Revenge of the King" adds an Unexpected Shmup Level before Mount Dedede, and a Boss Rush before the fight with Masked Dedede.
    • Kirby Super Star has The Arena, which is a Boss Rush mode which has become a staple mode for every main-series game since its inception, and, since Super Star Ultra, has a harder version called The True Arena, which gives you fewer copy ability statues and food for the rest spots, and includes a True Final Boss at the end. Super Star Ultra also includes "Helper to Hero", a similar Boss Rush mode where you must fight 13 bosses as a helper.
    • Kirby Star Allies has the "Guest Star ????" mode, a "Helper to Hero"-style mode where, as a Friend or Dream Friend, you traverse the 5 worlds. 1-Ups, food, and picture pieces are now point items, and Maxim Tomatoes are now regular food. In addition, all Friend Star segments are omitted, and you fight Morpho Knight after Hyness.
  • Pitfall II: The Lost Caverns (1984) for Atari 8-Bit Computers is one of the oldest examples, rearranging pretty much everything in the game for the second loop.
  • Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? has Asagi Mode, unlocked by collecting all of the Torn Letters hidden behind platforming challenges in the Hub Level (one for each hour of the day, with an hour passing for each level you clear). Asagi Mode is an abridged version of the main game where levels are played in a set order and all bosses are replaced by fights against Asagi, Nippon Ichi's recurring gag character. The story of Asagi Mode continues in the game's sequel, where Prinny Asagi gets Promoted to Playable for an expanded side-story called Asagi Wars.
  • Sly Cooper:
    • Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus: After obtaining a level's page, a Master Thief Sprint challenge time trial is unlocked, with Sly having to reach the end of the level in a given amount of time.
    • Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves: Challenges are unlocked after finishing an episode, each of them uses mechanics from later levels or having to be done with minimal health.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • The SEGA AGES versions of Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 feature Ring Keep mode, an easy mode where you always spawn and respawn with 10 rings (including when you exit a Special Stage in 2), preventing the problem of dying two seconds after respawning because you touched an enemy without rings. Furthermore, dying only takes away some of your rings instead of all of them, effectively turning the ring counter into a lifebar.
    • Sonic Mania Plus has Encore Mode, which allows you to play as all five playable characters; Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Mighty, and Ray, and switch between them when you find special power-ups, which also replaces Mania Mode's life system. Angel Island Zone is added so that Sonic can rescue Mighty and Ray at the beginning of the mode, and the Sonic 3 & Knuckles-esque Blue Sphere bonus stages are also replaced with pinball-like bonus stages. The Special Rings also have new locations, and the Special Stages are also different and more difficult than in Mania Mode. Completing Encore mode with all seven Chaos Emeralds grants you the Golden Ending, where Sonic and his friends hang out in the ice cream parlor at Mirage Saloon Zone, where Heavy King is now their ice cream vendor.
    • Sonic Origins, a Compilation Rerelease of Sonic 1, 2, CD, and 3 & Knuckles, adds Anniversary Mode, which adds a few modernizing tweaks to each of the games. The screen is expanded from a 4:3 aspect ratio to 16:9, and the player now has infinite lives. Anything that would give an extra life or continue in the original versions of the game instead awards coins, which can be used for unlockable extras, as well as part of an Anti-Frustration Feature for each game's Special Stage: If you fail to obtain the Chaos Emerald or Time Stone, you can spend a coin to try again on the spot.
    • Sonic Superstars has an unlockable mode called "Trip's Story", which has players run through the game a second time as a new character. The stages are also changed with more enemies, more hazards, and tougher bosses.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • The original Super Mario Bros. has a New Game Plus mode where all Goombas are replaced by Buzzy Beetles, Bullet Bills are added to Tree stages, and moving platforms are made smaller.
    • New Super Mario Bros. U has the Challenge Mode, with challenges in 4 categories: Time Attack, Coin Collection, 1-Up Rally, and Special. Time Attack challenges have you race against the clock to get to the flagpole, Coin Collection challenges are either about collecting all or most of the coins in a stage, or making it through a stage without collecting too many coins. 1-Up Rally challenges feature bouncing on enemies repeatedly to get 1-Up bonuses, and Special challenges can range from dodging the attacks of 2 Fire Bros. on a single block surrounded by spikes, to making it through Pendulum Castle on Donut Blocks without dashingnote .
    • New Super Luigi U can be considered an arrange of New Super Mario Bros. U due to having harder levels, different physicsnote , and Nabbit, who replaces Mario, can't use powerups, but can't be hurt by enemies.
    • Super Mario Maker
      • The original game has the 10-Mario and 100-Mario Challenges. the 10-Mario challenge has you go through a gauntlet of 8 randomly selected sample courses with 10 lives, and allows you to get three lives per course, but you need to complete the course to get them. The 100-Mario Challenge is much the same as the 10-Mario Challenge, except the levels are user-created, you have 100 lives, and the number of courses changes with difficulty levelnote . At the end of a run, you are rewarded with a random Mystery Mushroom costume, but there are only a finite amount of costumes that can be unlocked per difficulty levelnote . Given how many of the Expert and Super Expert levels have completion percentages in the single digits, good luck getting those last costumes.
      • In the sequel, the 100-Mario Challenge is replaced with the Endless Challenge, which is a similar concept, except the goal is to get a high score, rather than reaching the end.
  • Sound Shapes has the Death Mode, where you're placed in a specific screen from the main levels and need to collect a sequence of notes within the time limit. If you hit any red hazard or run out of time, you need to start over from the beginning.

    Puzzle Games 
  • After clearing the main game of Irisu Syndrome!, you unlock Metsu mode. As before, you go for a high score by clearing shapes, making combos, and not allowing the falling shapes to pile up. Metsu mode makes the following changes:
    • You now deal with circles instead of triangles. Circles rise from the bottom of the screen and are cleared in a different way than squares are cleared.
    • The area that holds shapes is bigger than before, but you can no longer knock shapes out of play.
    • You don't lose health over time.
    • Instead of a colored picture with snippets of dialogue, a monochrome drawing with narration becomes available after you finish a game.
  • Puyo Puyo:
    • Puyo Puyo 2 has Rule Henka mode, which can only be enabled in the operator menu (it cannot be selected by the player). It mixes single-player mode up by replacing Garbage Puyo with Point Puyo (Garbage Puyo that add bonus points when cleared) and Hard Puyo (Garbage Puyo that need pops of 2 adjacent Puyo rather than one to be cleared out, whether simultaneously or individually)
    • Sun mode, which originated in Puyo Puyo Sun, has the new Sun Puyo drop when a player offsets Garbage Puyo. Clearing Sun Puyo powers up your chains, but due to how they fall like Garbage Puyo, some consider the Sun Puyo to be more harmful than the Garbage Puyo. In addition, the screen has 2 hidden rows instead of 1, which allows for a maximum 20-chain, instead of 2's 19-chain.
    • Fever mode introduces different piece dropsets for each character, and the Fever gauge, which fills up each time a player offsets Garbage Puyo. Once in Fever mode, preset chain setups are set on the player's field. if the player successfully sets off the chain, a bigger chain setup is given. If they don't, a chain setup of equal or lower chain value is given.
    • Puyo Puyo 7 has the Transformation mode, a version of Fever mode where the Fever Gauge is replaced by a Transformation Gauge. Filling it up gives you either a child-like or adult-like form. The child form plays much like Fever mode did but with smaller puyo, while the adult form has you clear as many Puyos as you can, with bigger Puyo.
    • Puyo Puyo Box has the Quest mode, a campaign that infuses Puyo battles into an RPG. Attack affects your combo strength, defence mitigates the strength of your opponent's combos, and speed affects puyo drop speed. In addition, Experience is determined by combo size, and equipment can enable or disable mechanics like previews of your next puyo pieces and being able to offset puyo.
    • Puyo Puyo Tetris has a few modes that fuse the two titular games:
      • Fusion Mode puts both Puyo and Tetriminoes in a Tetris-sized board. Puyos are crushed by Tetriminoes but drop from the top after. Both puyo chains and line clears contribute to a chain. Like Fever Mode, each character has their own unique dropsets.
      • Swap mode has you alternate between Puyo Puyo and Tetris on a timer, switching after that timer reaches 0. Chains can be continued by both line clears and Puyo chains, and pieces continue to fall in the other board once you leave that board.
  • Tetris:
    • Bombliss, otherwise known as Tetris Blast, is a mode where setting up a full line, instead of clearing them, sets off bomb squares in the lines cleared. Setting four bomb-squares in the shape of an O tetromino gives you a big bomb. This mode was featured in Tetris Party Deluxe and Tetris Axis.
    • Tetris: The Grand Master has several different cheat codes that can be entered before starting a new round to access arrange modes. Two particular modes include Big Block Mode where all tetrominoes have double-size dimensions (thus the playfield is effectively 5 x 10 rather than the traditional 10 x 20) and 20G mode where blocks begin with an instant-drop speed if you don't pick a mode that's already at that speed. Note that entering any of these cheats will disqualify you from high scores, even though most of them make the game more difficult.
    • Tetrisphere has the "Lines" mode, where blocks cannot be "dropped" to clear them, but instead, are automatically destroyed when 3 or more identical pieces line up in a sequence.
    • Tetris Worlds has no less than five variations on the classic formula, ranging from simply enabling gravity for stray pieces to the far-fetched "Fusion Tetris" whose goal is to combine as many 1x1 blocks as possible rather than clear lines. Players are slowly introduced to these game modes as they play the campaign. The Game Boy Advance version of Worlds also has "Popular Tetris", which is accessed via cheat code and emulates the classic Game Boy version, gameplay mechanics included.
    • Tetris DS has "Touch Mode", which presents players with a tower of Tetris blocks and slide puzzle mechanics (think Panel de Pon, but with line clears). There's also "Catch Mode", where players maneuver a small core and stick dropping Tetris blocks onto it. Making a 4x4 square triggers a detonation sequence, and points are earned based on how big the core was when it detonated.
  • Some Bust-A-Move games such as Bust-A-Move 2 have "Another World" for the Puzzle mode, where all the levels are modified from their original design. This is accessed through a button combination that is revealed upon completing the normal Puzzle mode.
  • Picross:
    • The Picross-e and Picross S series have Mega Picross, which introduces double-width numbers. These big numbers mean "there's a run of this many filled blocks that is exactly two columns wide."
    • Some of the Picross-e games have Micross, where you start by completing an 8x8 "overall puzzle" and then each filled block has a 10x10 puzzle of its own to complete. The end result is an 80x80 picture.
    • Picross S2 introduces Clip Picross, in which you are given an assortment of sub-puzzles of varying size to complete and completing them all forms an overall picture. However, each sub-puzzle has to be unlocked first by completing end-of-row puzzles in standard Picross mode.
    • Picross S3 introduces Color Picross, which requires you to not only fill cells but also fill them with the correct color.
    • 3D Picross does this with some of the puzzle books:
      • Construction Challenges: You solve a series of puzzles that, when all completed to reveal the correct shapes, are put together to form one big arrangement of shapes, similar to Clip Picross.
      • Time Challenge: You start with a time limit of 3 minutes, but there are progress checkpoints where you will gain extra time.
      • One-Chance Challenge: If you make a single mistake, game over.

    Racing Games 
  • OutRun:
    • The SEGA Ages 2600 version of the original OutRun features an mode where the stage map is shaped like a diamond rather than a pyramid: For the first half of the game, each stage end has a 2-way fork, but at the halfway stage the stage branching starts to collapse until you reach the same final stage no matter which set of stages you took up to that point.
    • OutRun 2's derivatives include a 15-stage Marathon Level, where instead of playing five stages of a course and selecting the next one via a fork in the road, the player instead drives through all 15 stages of the chosen course in a pre-determined order. The aforementioned forks in the road still exist, but now both lead to the same location.
  • F-Zero X has the X-Cup, a cup consisting entirely of Randomly Generated Levels.
  • In all but two entries in the Mario Kart series, players will be able to unlock a fourth racing class aside from 50cc, 100cc and 150cc: Mirror Mode, starting with Mario Kart 64 (in which the class was referred to as Extra instead). Mirror Mode is essentially 150cc, but with the tracks flipped horizontally.
    • Mario Kart 8 adds a fifth racing class in a free update: 200cc, in which the karts get so fast that braking is necessary in order to stay on the road.
  • Top Gear Rally 2 has a Random Tracks mode that generates randomly generated tracks in 4 terrain types and 3 weather types. In addition, both extra car specs and car damage is omitted.
  • The N64 port of San Francisco Rush and Rush 2 have a tag mode where the game lasts 5 minutes and the player who is IT! tries to tag the other player's car to make them IT! Each player has a timer that counts up so long as they're IT!; whoever has less time on their clock when the game ends wins.

    Rhythm Games 
  • DanceDanceRevolution: The very first home port of the series appearing on the PlayStation in Japan contains its own Arrange Mode selectable from the main menu. This mode makes things harder by lowering your health bar every time you step on an arrow you're not supposed to. This triggers the "Ouch!" judgement, and is similar to what happens when hitting the wrong buttons in the beatmania series. Subsequent games would drop this mode, though future games like In the Groove and Dance Dance Revolution X would modify the "don't hit this" concept with Mines and Shock Arrows respectively.
  • Friday Night Funkin': "ERECT" difficulty (yes, that's its name) presents the player with remixes of the original funkin' beats found in the other difficulties prior, with the gimmick of the mode being that rather than copying your opponent, Boyfriend freestyles for a majority of the song.
  • Groove Coaster arcade games from Groove Coaster 4EX: Infinity Highway onwards have a special tournament mode only available in the operator menu. When it is enabled, the scoring system changes to remove Chain Bonus and Clear Bonus, leaving score based purely on Play Score, which is based on note-hitting accuracy and is now worth up to 1,000,000 points instead of 850,000.
  • BanG Dream! Girls Band Party!, in addition to the standard Free Live (single-player) and Multi-Live (Co-Op Multiplayer), has the following for some events:
    • VS Live, which is similar to Multi-Live except players gain additional rewards based on their score ranking at the end of the song. Furthermore, to discourage ragequitting and to avoid creating an inconvenience for other players, players who quit before the song begins will not only not get their stamina refunded (as opposed to Multi-Live, where stamina is only used when the song begins), but will not cause the room to be disbanded. During VS Live events, this is the only way to earn Event Points, as opposed to the more standard events that do not use special modes, where you will gain Event Points in any mode.
    • Challenge Live, a variant of Free Live that requires event-specific currency to play. Your song pool is limited and you gain Event Point boosts not only based on Band Power and Area Item buffs, but you also gain an additional boost if you have the correct members in your deck. During Challenge Live events, this is the only way to earn Event Points, much like with VS Live events.
  • EZ2DJ, in addition to the conventional "push button, step on pedal, or spin turntable to hit falling note" modes, also has EZ2 Catch where you spin the turntable to move your character horizontally and catch falling fruit, and Turntable where you spin the turntable while hitting the correct notes (similar to Guitar Hero).
  • The Play+ mode in Thumper, basically the hard mode. Tutorial messages as well as some mechanic-tutorial sections are removed, the Score Multiplier can now go up to 4x however higher multipliers will increase the game speed, and if you die, the level ends and you get taken to the Score Screen immediately.

    Roguelikes 
  • The Binding of Isaac:
    • Rebirth and its expansion packs Afterbirth and Afterbirth+ feature Challenges that disable treasure rooms, but give you a specific set of items, and an end boss to defeat. These challenges unlock something in the main game once completed. For example, the "Suicide King" challenge tasks you with beating Isaac as Lazarus with Ipecac, Mr. Mega,... and My Reflection. You need to careful with aiming your shots, lest you blow yourself up with your own explosions. There's also the "Purist" challenge, where you need to beat Mom's Heart as Isaac with nothing.
    • Afterbirth introduces the Greed mode, which is a gauntlet mode where you fight 10 waves of enemies per floor and receive coins, which can be used to gain pickups and items. Each floor also has a Curse Room, a silver treasure room that spawns items from the boss pool, and a gold treasure room that spawns items from the treasure room pool. Beating the extra 11th wave gives you the Devil/Angel room. After the Final Boss, an "Ultra" version of Greed, is killed, a Greed Machine spawns, which allows you to deposit coins into it like a Donation Machine. Doing so unlocks stuff for the main game, including a secret character.
  • Crypt of the NecroDancer includes an "Extra Modes" staircase in the hub area that leads to a series of entraces to arrange modes, most added in the Amplified DLC and some of which can be seeded.
    • "Dance Pad Mode" is an modified, easier version of the game's first zone intended to be played with a dance pad, where enemies are less frequent and most characters get some extra items.
    • "Story Mode" has you play the full game as all story-related characters (First Nocturna if the Amplified DLC is installed, then Cadence, then Melody, and finally Aria) on a single life.
    • "All Chars (Except Coda)" is similar to Story Mode, but with nine runs in a row, one as every character in the base game aside from Coda, who's unlocked by completing this mode. Thankfully, you can pick the characters in any order, letting you get the tougher ones like Aria and Monk out of the way early. Amplified adds "All Chars (Including DLC)", which adds the four new DLC characters while still discluding Coda.
    • "Deathless Mode" is an Endless Game where the player tries to beat full runs as many times in a row as possible without dying.
    • The Amplified extra modes include "No Return" (the player takes damage if they step back onto the tile they were just on), "Hard Mode" (each floor has two minibosses to beat and several sarcophagi that endlessly spawn monsters), "Phasing Mode" (a permanent Ring of Phasing effect that causes the player to ignore walls), "Randomizer Mode" (all enemies have randomized attributes and behaviors), and "Mystery Mode" (all enemies and items are blanked out by question marks).
  • In Death Road to Canada, there are game modes that make rare or familiar (player-created) characters show up more often, lower or raise the number of driving days to Canada, make the game Endless, start the game with rare characters of your choosing, and so on.
  • Enter the Gungeon features the Challenge mode added in the Supply Drop update, where each room has 1-3 modifiers Examples , and boss rooms also have unique modifiers that modify their patterns as well. Beating the High Dragun in Challenge Mode rewards you with Double Challenge mode, which doubles the amount of modifiers in each room. Introduced in the same update as the Challenge mode was the Turbo modifier that boosts the game's speed for extra difficulty. A Farewell To Arms added Rainbow Mode, wherein each floor starts you off with a rainbow chest (giving you the choice of one of eight high-tier items), but nearly all other methods of earning items are disabled.
  • Hades has the Pact of Punishment, a set of modifiers that make the game more challenging. Defeating bosses while the modifiers are active grants the player meta-currency.
  • Both Risk of Rain and its sequel Risk of Rain 2 feature "artifacts", unlockables that fundamentally change the game, doing things such as doubling the enemy count but halving their health, allowing players to pick their items, or randomizing the player's character every level.
  • Streets of Rogue has a list of mutators that can be toggled individually for countless combinations of alternate modes. These changes range from as mundane as giving everyone lower health totals, making only melee weapons spawn or increasing shop prices to more extreme alterations like giving every level a strict time limit, making bodies explode a few seconds after death or giving every single person in the city a rocket launcher.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Prayer of the Faithless: After beating the game once, the player can access Chaos Quest Settings. Some settings include not just statistical changes to difficulty, but also increasing aggro towards low SP characters, making save points one-use only in exchange for healing, and making loot either double or disappear.
  • Undertale has the Hard Mode, activated by naming the Fallen Human "Frisk". Several enemies in the Ruins are replaced either by exclusive enemies, or enemies that would appear in the CORE outside of Hard Modenote . The end of Toriel's boss fight is interrupted by the Annoying Dog, and the game ends right there.
  • Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millenium Girl and Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Fafnir Knight: Story Mode is this to the series' traditional "assemble your own party of blank slates" gameplay. Instead of creating characters, you have a fixed set of five canon characters who are pre-named except for the protagonist, there are a fair bit more cutscenes and dialogue, and areas and bosses have many distinct differences including content that is not available in Classic Mode. As compensation for having five fixed characters in your guild and not being allowed to add more, you are given the option to change their classes.
  • In Persona 3 Portable, an Updated Re-release of Persona 3, playing as the female protagonist results in a markedly different experience from playing as the male protagonist, who is the only option in the other versions. Key differences include:
    • Re-assigning Social Links to different characters, most notably having one for each of your teammates, unlike with the male protagonist whose team social links are limited to female teammates.
    • Allowing the player to romance multiple characters at once but without the jealousy mechanic and allowing the player to remain platonic with a particular character while still raising their Social Link all the way to level 10, much like in Persona 4.
    • A different set of weapons; whereas the male protagonist uses one-handed swords, the female protagonist uses naginatas.
    • Allowing Shinjiro's life to be spared on October 4 by having their Social Link maxed out, with this character being one of the aforementioned female-exclusive Social Links. However, since Shinjiro being conscious after 10/4 would drastically change the plot of the game onwards, he's instead placed in a coma, waking up only on the last day of the game.
    • Recoloring the user interface to use pinks rather than blues.
    • Different town exploration and random battle themes.
    • Differences in cutscenes and dialogue, although the overall plot remains the same.
  • In Bug Fables, naming your file with certain codes can change the way the game is played, with these codes being hidden behind something in-game:
    • "MYSTERY?" causes all of the overworld medals to be shuffled. Their icons are replaced with a mystery icon, and you won't know which you've picked up until you do so. They are always picked up in a set order determined by a seed.
    • "RUIGEE" makes it so that the party does not gain Exploration Points and thus does not level up the traditional way. Levelling up is done by paying berries to Eetl instead, and does not increase stats aside from adding one Medal Point. To make up for it, all Medals cost either one or no points to use, allowing for equipping plenty of Medals.
    • "FRAMEONE" and "HARDEST" removes the option to block unless it is a super block and boosts enemy stats respectively, the latter also making Hard Mode permanently active.

    Run-and-Gun Games 
  • Both Bleed games have Arcade mode, wherein you pick any difficulty level and run through the whole game on a single life. The first game lets you adjust the length of your health and timeslow meters for the run, while the second lets you choose to play Freestyle (any character can be chosen and all unlockable weapons/air-dodge styles can be picked from the pause menu) or New Game (play as Wryn with just her twin pistols, katana, and basic air-dodge). Another feature in both games is Challenge mode, where you get to pick any combination of up to three bosses from the main game and fight against all of them at once. Finally, Bleed 2 adds Endless mode, which is a series of five miniature levels where the layouts, enemies, and bosses are randomized.
  • Copy Kitty:
    • Hard Mode, which isn't a difficulty option but rather a remixed campaign unlocked once you finish either characters' mission mode. The levels in Hard Mode are amped-up versions of their normal game counterparts, there are some new weapons available, and each boss fight is either slightly or extremely different from their original versions. The ending of Hard Mode is different for each character: Boki's final world in Hard Mode is interrupted by the arrival of a new True Final Boss, while Savant's final world is replaced by a new set of levels that ends with him fighting a stronger version of his original final boss.
    • Completing enough of the arcade-style Endless Mode (which is a full-fledged part of the game, not an arrange mode in itself) unlocks the Pandemonium Mode modifier, which gives all the enemies randomized attacks, also changing what weapons they drop. It's to a point where even a common enemy can hold one of the powers normally exclusive to the Optional Boss.
  • The 3D Classic port of Gunstar Heroes introduces "Gunslinger Mode", which allows unlimited switching and combination of all weapons types as well as the ability to freely switch between Free and Fixed Shots mode instead of having to pick and stick with one at the beginning of the game.
  • Kero Blaster has two alternate modes unlockable after clearing the main game. The first, "Zangyou Mode" (technically the second since it was added in an update, but post-update it's the first to be unlocked), is a remixed campaign that includes a new story, with much higher difficulty, tougher bosses, and a completely new final level. Clearing that mode allows you to create a save file for "Omake Mode", which is a more standard alternate mode where you go through every level of normal mode with all weapon upgrades carried over and health reset to a single heart, though more health can still be bought. This mode ends with a Boss Rush with all of the main game's bosses, and the game's Infinity +1 Sword, the Kuro Blaster, can be found and upgraded in new secret areas.
  • Mega Man Zero: The "Ultimate Mode" will let you start a new game with most of the powerups (mainly the Cyber Elves) collected and unlocked from the start. To unlock this, however, you have to collect all Cyber Elves (first and 2nd games), Secret Disks (3rd game) or enemy parts (4th) in normal mode first and then beating the game. It's basically a "for fun" mode. The Compilation Rerelease adds an "Easy Scenario" mode where you play all 4 games back-to-back in their own Ultimate Modes.

    Sandbox Games 
  • Terraria:
    • Options openly given to the player include the "Expert" mode, where the difficulty is greatly increased, enemies and bosses have new attack patterns, the player takes extra damage, and bosses drop special Treasure Bags upon defeat, which contains greater quantities of their normal drops, as well as Expert mode exclusive items. 1.4 introduces a "Master" mode that goes beyond Expert in difficulty, and a "Journey" mode that acts as a mix between a limited creative mode and one where the difficulty can be adjusted mid-game.
    • Hidden in the game are certain codes that, when entered in the world seed menu, generate a world with certain gimmicks:
      • "5162020"note  creates what is called the "Drunk World," which has both the Corruption and Crimson naturally in it, the Jungle and Snow near each other or overlapping, the Dungeon being moved under a giant tree, and various other small oddities.
      • "not the bees" creates a bee-themed world that is mostly Jungle and has Hornets spawning everywhere.
      • "for the worthy" creates a more difficult world separate from the difficulty menu that includes pools of lava on the surface, lit bombs dropping from trees and pots, and much stronger enemies.
      • "celebrationmk10" or "5162021"note  create a "celebration" world where rare items are more common or can be bought, with several party-themed changes.
      • "the constant" creates a world with Don't Starve mechanics. Staying in darkness too long will severely damage the player and there is a hunger meter.
      • "no traps" does the opposite of what it says it does. Traps become more common and can spawn in places they normally do not.
      • "don't dig up" worlds change the game's progression. It starts in a safe forest in the Underworld and the goal is to go up, rather than down. There is a "fake surface" layer with the standard caves above that, and at the surface, the entire world is converted by the Corruption or Crimson.
      • "get fixed boi" generates a world that combines parts of all seven previous seeds and has some of the unique content from all of them. It is meant to be an ultimate difficulty mode.
  • Terraria Calamity, A Game Mod to Terraria, has a few modes, all above Expert Mode. Revengeance Mode boosts enemy spawn rates and buffs all bosses while giving them new patterns. It also gives you more money drops from enemies as well as the Rage and Adrenaline meters, which allow you to activate Super Modes that boost your damage. Death Mode buffs enemy spawn rates and damage even further, allows bosses to spawn on their own, buffs them even further with more patterns, prevents using the Nurse while they're alive, and adds an environmental effect system where certain armor or tools are needed to combat the cold, heat, or darkness. However, in Death Mode, the effectiveness of the Rage and Adrenaline meters are increased. Defiled mode reduces wing time to almost nothing, and gives bosses a 25% chance to land critical hits for triple damage, but doubles money drops and increases drop rates for rare items. Armageddon mode makes you a One-Hit-Point Wonder against bosses but makes bosses drop up to 6 Treasure bags upon death.

    Shoot 'em Ups 
  • The Saturn port of Cotton 2 has Saturn mode, which alters the stage backgrounds and the attack patterns of the bosses.
  • DonPachi:
    • DoDonPachi has the "Campaign" or "Blue Label" version, which is considered to be a precursor to DaiOuJou, due to increased difficulty, and a prototype of the Hyper system that would appear in DaiOuJou. Only one copy of the PCB for this mode exists, and CAVE has stated that they've lost the source code, meaning if the board dies, so does the game.
    • DoDonPachi DaiOuJou has the "Black Label" arrange, which decreases the difficulty of the first loop, but increases the second loop's difficulty in exchange. It also fixes a few bugs that main programmer Tsuneki Ikeda had problems with.
    • The PlayStation 2 port of DaiOuJou has "Death Label", a Boss Rush mode which pits you against all of the bosses at second loop difficulty in a row with maximum firepower and a full Hyper meter per boss. And then it pits you against two Hibachis (at reduced power). If you somehow make it, you get a second loop... With one life, no continues, and bomb-immune bosses. Oh, and you still fight the Hibachis at the end, but at full power. It's so hard, it took seven and a half years to beat.
    • The Xbox 360 port of DaiOuJou also introduceds X-Mode, An 1-loop mode where the Hyper system can cancel bulletsnote , and each bullet canceled applies one point to the hit chain. Piper - the new Element Doll exclusive to this release - always has her shot and laser on Hyper Mode, and is able to get Hyper levels faster, but at the cost of Hyper duration.
    • DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu Black Label, despite bearing the title of an Updated Re-release, is more of a mix of this and a Gaiden Game. Programmed by S. Yagawa of Battle Garegga fame, this mode adds in a Red Mode that bears resemblance to the rank system often seen in his games, and allows you to shoot both the shot weapon and laser at the same time. It also introduces a harder True Final Boss form of Hibachi in Zatsuza Unlock Requirements .
    • DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu Black Label also has the KetsuiPachi mode, which adds in the Tiger Schwert and Ketsui's chips (which go up to '10'), a remixed version of its soundtrack by Virt, and even DOOM as the True Final Boss.
    • DaiFukkatsu's iPhone port has the Phone mode, which has the "Slaughter" and "Menace" Super Modes. The "Menace" mode is activated by grazing bullets, and builds up multiplier for a maximum of x1000, which is cashed in by a hyper, and activates the "Slaughter" mode. The "Slaughter" mode increases ship firepower and makes enemies drop stars, but also rapidly decreases the multiplier. This mode also allows you to play as Hibachi by beating the game on one credit and defeating hernote .
    • DaiFukkatsu's port for the Xbox 360, titled "Resurrection", also includes a few arrange modes of its own:
      • Arrange A (ver L) gives you the Type-A ship from DaiOuJou with increased option sets note , and switches up the Hyper System into the medal-based system featured in DaiOuJou. This mode is actually a sequel to DaiOuJou Death Label, complete with stage end pictures from DaiOuJou, and a Golden Ending where Leinyan stops Exy from altering the past, preventing the Stable Time Loop from DaiFukkatsu from happening.
      • Arrange B is played one stage at a time, where, after the stage is cleared, the next playthrough will be more or less difficult, but enemies give out more points. The combo counter has been removed, and bee icons now change the "Grid" of the screen. While a "Grid" is active, Enemy patterns change, and their corresponding rank increases as wellnote .
      • DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu Version 1.51 has the Hyper counter function as a Rank system, with the counter increasing by one every time a Hyper is activated. At Hyper Rank 7, normal enemies use their harder Ura loop bullet patterns for the remainder of the stage, and at Hyper Rank 9, bosses do the same. In addition, the bomb and Hyper systems are now the same button (Hypers take priority), collecting a bomb item now completely replenishes bomb stock and puts you in Maximum mode, and aerial star value is multiplied by the HIT count.
    • DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou's 360 mode has you control Saya, who has an energy meter instead of typical Video-Game Lives. Her special Shot-Laser consumes energy, getting hit activates her autobomb, which also costs energy, and she has no extra lives, so it's game over if you don't have energy to spare. You can regenerate it by collecting aerial stars.
  • Ikaruga has the Prototype Mode, where firing and the Beam Spam consumes ammo, but absorbing bullets gives it back. Firing with no ammo leaves you with a weak short-range weapon.
  • Radiant Silvergun has the Story mode added in the Sega Saturn port. In it, instead of choosing from Stage 2 or Stage 4 after completing Stage 3, you do both Stage 2 and Stage 4 in a row. This mode also allows you to access a New Game Plus mode where the Silvergun's weapon levels are carried over to another playthrough. On the downside, you have limited continues (Or, in the XBox 360 port, none at all).
    • The Xbox 360 port has an unlockable Ikaruga mode which switches up the scoring systemnote  to more resemble it.
  • Ketsui
    • In the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 ports, there is a new X-Mode, which makes small "popcorn" enemies not give chips until they are "activated" by the death of specially marked red enemies, which also converts their bullets into chips. Destroying boss parts also converts their bullets into chips.
    • In the M2 Shottriggers Updated Re-release, there is the "Deathtiny" mode, which makes chips give no multiplier, but in exchange, power the new "Deathtroy" Super Mode, which cancels all bullets, increases firepower, and makes the chips contribute to score. Activating the "Deathtroy" mode consecutivelynote  increases the level of the Hyper, the size and score of the chips, and the firepower of the player. Activating a Level 3 Hyper before the Stage 1 mid-boss gives you the Die-Death mode, which intensifies the bullet patterns into Ura-Loop patterns, and increases the size and score of the chips when in "Deathtroy" mode. You also gain an extend every stage, but you also don't receive a score bonus for those extra lives, so you're encouraged to use those lives to suicide to refill the Hyper gague and keep the Hyper chain going.
    • The M2 port also brings back the IKD 2007 arrange, sometimes known as the "Blue Label", that was only available to attendants of a Cave festival. In this mode, the distance required to get '5' size chips is decreased, and the player's firepower has been increased, encouraging more aggressive gameplay. In addition, enemy bullet patterns are more aggressive as well, and each life only has one bomb, instead of three. You get an extend at the end of a stage if the amount of '5' chips collected is higher than the amount of '1' chips.
    • The second loops in the base game also count as this as well as an Unexpected Gameplay Change. Both the Omote and Ura loops give the enemies suicide bullets and shrink the size of chips to 1, but sealing enemy bullets in the Ura Loop allows you to gain extra chips. The Ura loopnote  is also how to access Evacaneer DOOM.
    • Ketsui Death Label for the Nintendo DS is an entire Boss Game that pits you against the bosses and mid-bosses of Ketsui in a few Boss Rush modes arranged in difficulty. The Death Label course, in particular, has you face off against the bosses out of ordernote , with second-loop difficulty, and with the enemy shot colors reversed. It also has an "Extra Course", that puts you through a remixed version of Stage 5 that precedes an extremely difficult version of Evacaneer DOOM. Finally, "DOOM Mode" simply has you fight DOOM. Five times over. And every time you defeat it, the bullet count increases.
  • Summer Carnival '92 Recca has a Zanki Attack mode (zanki, or 残機, means Video-Game Lives, ergo "Lives Attack"). You start with 50 lives and you're ranked based on how many lives you have left at the end of the run, or marked as failed if you run out before then. There is one major catch that justifies the 50 starting lives: all enemies explode into at least four "revenge bullets" each when destroyed!
  • Mushihime-sama and its sequel Futari have three modes called Original, Maniac, and Ultra. Original has faster and sparser Psikyo-style bullets, Maniac has slower, denser bullets and DoDonPachi-style combos, and Ultra is a Harder Than Hard version of Maniac.
    • The PlayStation 2 port also has an arrange that gives you more firepower, the ability to change shot types at will, and an auto-bomb feature, but without the ability to use continues.
    • Another arrange exists called the Version 1.5 or Matsuri mode (which also has its own Original, Maniac, and Ultra modes), which saturates the stages, gives you a new arranged soundtrack and allows you to choose max-power versions of the three shot types, at the cost of increased difficulty.
    • Futari also has an arrange that has you control one character, with another following behind, being able to swap with each other. The reserve character, if they have gold, is able to slow and reflect enemy bullets, which leave behind a shower of gold in their path. A Fever mode is available when both of the characters' gold meters reach 9999, where their shots become more powerful, and all gold has a blue aura and greatly increases your score, but the gold attained drops to zero. This arrange mode, according to Word of God, was inspired by the final scene from Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone.
    • Futari Black Label replaces Ultra mode with God mode, which, ironically, is easier than Futari's Ultra mode, with fewer suicide bullets, and even a safespot in the final pattern of the True Final Boss.
  • Espgaluda's PS2 port has an arrange that is a crossover between it and ESP Ra.De., complete with Suspiciously Similar Substitutes of J-B 5th and Irori and a force field meter replacing the usual Smart Bomb.
    • Espgaluda II has the "Black Label" arrange, which includes a chaining system in the style of DoDonPachi which multiplies the value of gold, makes it so that when an enemy is killed, their bullets are always canceled into gold, includes a shield meter that repels bullets, and includes Seseri as a new playable character. There is also an arrange mode, programmed by S. Yagawa of Recca and Battle Garegga fame, that implements a polarity system akin to Ikaruga or Dimahoo, where bullets are either blue, which are canceled with normal shots, or red, which are canceled using the laser. Switching between your two shots costs gems. Finally, there is the Omake mode, where collecting gems and gold contributes to a combined counter, and when enemy shots approach your character, they turn red. Activating Kakusei mode cancels these bullets, but killing an enemy turns them into gems instead.
  • Strikers 1945 Plus is a reworking of Strikers 1945 II for the Neo Geo (and later ported (horribly) to the PSP) that revamps the playable roster of planes to include the Spitfire and Zero from the first game as well as the new Fiat G.56 and and XP-55 Ascender, completely replaces 2 bosses, and slows down the now-purple bullets into patterns that wouldn't look too out of place in a Cave game.
  • Darius:
    • Darius II has the extremely rare "Version 2", which switches around the background graphics and changes some boss attacks.
    • Darius Gaiden has an "Extra" version that increases the speed of the autofire, rearranges the stages, adds 2 extra laser power levels, and a mode that allows you to play on all 28 levels if you start a game on the Player 2 side.
    • G-Darius has a "Ver.2" PCB that has increased difficulty as well as minibosses on all stages, and a beginner mode that ends after three zones as opposed to five. In addition, Capture Balls no longer grant invincibility, and there's a timer on boss fights (3 minutes on normal bosses, 7 on the final boss) that grants 10000 points for every second remaining after boss destruction.
    • Dariusburst Chronicle Saviors has the CS mode, which consists of 186 stages in hexagonal tiles on a map, classified by major and minor stages. DLC mode is an offshoot of CS mode that uses the 15 DLC ships in custom stages.
  • Deathsmiles has the "Mega Black Label", which includes the ability to activate the Super Mode at at least 500 itemsnote , the Ice Palace as a new stage, a Harder Than Hard Level 999 difficulty, a new True Final Boss, and Sakura, a new playable character who breaks the game even more than Rosa. The Xbox 360 port also includes "Version 1.1", a mode that allows you to move your familiar independently of your character, but makes it so that bosses and enemies release counter bullets when attacked. In addition, you can activate the Super Mode at 100 items, and canceled counter/suicide bullets become collectible items.
    • Deathsmiles II has an arrange reminiscent of the first game's "Version 1.1" arrange. In it, the Lock shot is replaced by a button that throws your familiar, which can not only lock on to enemies but also cancels bullets as well. In addition, the Super Mode is activated automatically, collecting blue rings builds up a "Tension" meter, which increases enemy bullet density, enemies killed via the lock-shot shoot homing bullet-shooting skulls which are destroyed by the player's main shot, and destroying bullets and skulls builds up a "Magic Gauge" which gives you an extra Smart Bomb when filled.
  • Dezatopia has two side modes in addition to the main one. Note that depending on the mode, certain routes will be locked out:
    • Extra Mode gives your ship full upgrades from the start and guarantees entry into the Tower as long as you complete your chosen route's set of stages, but you only get one life. The complex multi-faceted scoring system of Normal Mode is removed in favor of simply scoring you based on completion time (the faster, the better)note  and Rank. Filling up the Animal meter doesn't open the shop, but instead heals you for 1 HP, or 1 bomb if you already have max HP, and a brief invincibility shield
    • Hell Mode is effectively the reverse of Extra Mode. Only your ship's weapons are fully upgraded, the shop is again disabled, enemies don't drop any items or animals, there are no plants available, and you have only 1 HP with no way to get more HP or even get bombs. Your goal is to simply complete the route-specific stages with 30 lives (there is no Tower in this mode), which is easier said than done since losing a life resets you back to a checkpoint. Score is based on Rank and remaining lives.
  • The Dreamcast port of Mars Matrix contains an Elite mode that allows you to adjust several ship options such as combo time, ship speed, and GHB charge time. Choosing Elite A also rearranges the enemy types and formations. There is also a score attack mode that adds in small stardust cubes when an enemy is killed using the piercing cannon.
  • The PlayStation 2 port of Ibara includes an arrange mode that has Rank, now displayed on a meter, increase and decrease faster, and allows you to switch between them different option types and formations at will. It also gives bosses lifebars, decreases the size of the player's hitbox, and implements a new rank-based multiplier that increases the score of rose items, which can be obtained by bombing or completing a boss phase. Ibara Kuro: Black Label is based on, but different from the PS2 arrange mode, with the omission of option formations, and the addition of a select screen where you're able to select both planes and their 4 types, and a ring that appears when holding the shot button that increases points for grazing bullets. In addition, when not firing, all collectible items are sucked into your plane.
    • Its sequel, Pink Sweets, has an arrange mode that reintroduces score-based extendsnote , separates the Rose Cracker into its own separate button and reintroduces the Hado Gun, which uses a Rose Hip when used. In addition, a score multiplier is introduced that increases every time an enemy is killed or an enemy bullet canceled with the Rose Cracker.
  • Muchi Muchi Pork has two modes that are enabled via codes: "Harahara", which is practically the second loop of the game, and "Manpuku", which is the equivalent of Pink Sweets's Harder mode, flooding with suicide bullets.
    • The Xbox 360 port of Muchi Muchi Pork (packaged as a dual-disc game with Pink Sweets) has an arrange mode that desegments the Lard meter, gives you a visible hitbox, and makes enemies destroyed with the Lard weapon drop 2000 point medalsnote . There is also a counter that increases as enemies are destroyed which, when it reaches 10000, allows you to go into a Fever Mode, which converts all of the bullets on the screen into medals and makes all medals dropped by enemies worth 10000 points. Matsuri mode, unlocked via a DLC code, adds in bosses from Pink Sweets after the initial bosses are killed, practically adding a boss phase.
  • Shienryu has the Stingy and No Mercy modes featured in the "Gekioh Shooting King" PlayStation port. Stingy mode is a truncated version of the game with only two levels and one life. No Mercy mode is just like the base game... only significantly harder.
  • The Sega Dreamcast port of Triggerheart Exelica combines the ideas of Shienryu's Stingy and No Mercy modes in its arrange, where you play an extremely hard version of the main game with 2 lives, 2 bombs, 2 score-based extends, and no continues. You also have to fight Faintear Imitate before the final boss. And what do you get for your trouble? Faintear Imitate taunting you in a stinger. Yay.
  • Armed Police Batrider has the Advance mode, which adds in the last 2 stagesnote  and is the only mode to offer endings, the Training mode, which only includes 3 stages but makes the game significantly easier, the Special course, which is a boss rush mode accessed via code, and an arrange mode that allows you to customize the order of the stages. It also has a secret mode that only includes the first and last stage How to access it . These modes (minus the secret mode) would also be included in Battle Bakraid as well.
  • The M2 Shottriggers Updated Re-release of Battle Garegga has the Premium arrange, which swaps stages 2 and 3, includes an auto-bomb feature, and a new max rank mode. This new max rank mode is entered by having at least 2000 point medals, and not dying, auto-bombing, or missing a medal, and, once entered, raises the rank to 100%, increases item drop rate, magnetizes all medals to your ship, raises score constantly throughout the stage, occasionally floods the stage with enemies, and, if the ship is at max shot or option power, drops a medal where shot and option power-ups would be. Whether this is much easier or almost as difficult as Arcade mode depends on your playstyle; if you choose not to activate max rank, you can expect an easier game due to the auto-bomb, increased accumulation of bomb items, larger number of 1-Up tokens, and per-stage fixed rank, but turn on max rank mode and you're in for a good time.
  • Akai Katana has the limited White and Red modes only available on a "Limited Edition" PCB, which has a stage select option and can only be played on Free Play mode. In the White mode, the option has a shorter tether, and bomb invincibility is reduced. In addition, while in Phantom mode, Gold, which gains its value from the HIT counter, is sucked in, as opposed to orbiting the phantom. Red mode is a harder mode of White mode, with rearranged enemy placements and bullet patterns. In addition, the HIT counter only resets when the player is hit, instead of when the player exits Phantom mode.
    • Akai Katana Shin contains three modes: Origin, which is the original arcade version, Climax, which is a modified version of Origin with widescreen compatibility, and Slash, which is the designated arrange mode. Climax mode removes the on-screen score item Cap, as well as increases the number of suicide bullets fired. Slash Mode disables the Phantom's invincibility when in Defense mode, but allows the collection of Steel Orbs and Katanas. Both can cancel bullets, and anything Katanas pierce create huge score items.
  • M2's Updated Re-release of Dangun Feveron has the Fever arrange, which implements a "safety line" feature. Staying under this safety line will tick up cyborg value by 1 every half second, all cyborgs are auto-collected, and auto-bomb is enabled as well. To disable the safety line (but NOT its effects), stay under the safety line for the first half of stage 1, and gather 140 cyborgs before the mid-point of stage 1. Once this is done, bullet speed and quantity increase, but the effects of the "Safety line" are applied to the entire screen, bombs turn all bullets and destroyed enemies into cyborgs, a radius of attraction collects all cyborgs near your ship, and cyborgs now add a +2 multiplier to standard cyborg value.
  • Psyvariar has the Revision update, which rearranges the stages, shows boss life bars, intensifies enemy bullet patterns, and makes it so that you can graze bullets as many times as possible, allowing for higher levels and scores.
  • RayStorm has the 13-Ship mode, where you go through the game with 13 lives (but no continues), and alternate ships every three lives.
    • RayCrisis has the "Special Mode", which is a mode where you must complete the whole game, including a new "Judgement" level, with only 1 continue and at constant full power. Enemies that would drop power-ups now drop red orbs that decrease your Encroachment Meter, which increases faster, and bonus lives, a feature not seen since RayForce.
  • The M2 Updated Re-release of Mahou Daisakusen includes a Dual arrange, a mode where you select 2 characters and play with both characters on the screen. You control one character as normal, and the other character moves in a predetermined way depending on the characternote . Pressing a "Dual" button allows the other character to do a specific actionnote .
  • Raiden IV Overkill has the "Overkill" mode, where attacking a medium-size or bigger enemy after it's been destroyed allows you to fill its "Overkill" meter, which, depending on the level of the Overkill meter filled, gives you score medals. In addition, Silver and Gold Score rings appear when you kill enemies quickly as they appear.
  • BLUE REVOLVER has the Experimental Weapon mode, which locks difficulty to the highest rank, and gives you one of three experimental weapons tied to ammo that replenishes slowly and also regenerated by collecting score items, which fall faster and are attracted at a closer distance to your ship. In addition, extends are unlimited and awarded every 10 million points.
  • Guwange's Xbox 360 port has the 360 arrange, which makes the player constantly autofire and allows independent control of the shikigami. In addition, while the shikigami is summoned, all bullets on screen are slowed and are converted to coins when any enemy is killed.
  • Warning Forever normally puts you on a timer that is extended by destroying each boss and decreased faster by dying, but also has:
    • Three Ships: There is no time limit, but you get a fixed number of lives, starting at 3. You gain an extra life for every 100 boss parts you destroy (hence, your life counter is represented as a fixed-point number with two decimal places).
    • 5-Minute Attack: You have a fixed 5 minutes, and there is no time penalty for dying.
    • Sudden Death: You get one life, no extra lives, and no time limit.
  • Strania -The Stella Machina- has the "Side: Vower" DLC, which has you play as the Vowers, the enemy forces of the main game. In it, you play through a harder version of the main game's six stages backwards with a new soundtrack.
  • Eschatos has three distinct play modes available:
    • Original: The "standard" mode of the game, with fixed shot power and time bonuses for defeating waves quickly.
    • Advanced: A more traditional play style where you start with weak firepower and have to collect powerup icons to improve your shots, with the maximum shot level being higher than what it is in Original mode. In addition, you can shield against bullets to turn them into purple point items. The "F" items that clear out bullets additionally lower your shot power and multiplier.
    • Time Attack: The game has a time limit and you have to earn extra time by clearing out waves and collecting 1-Up items, which add 15 seconds each. Instead of a discrete number of lives, you lose 5 seconds every time you get killed. At the end of the game, assuming you make it, the remaining time limit is deducted from your clear time.
  • Batsugun has the "Special Version" PCB, which changes the colour pallete for stages and most enemies, makes the bomb much stronger and wider, adds a shield item when the player level up, several new scoring sticks (including new types of pigs and more opportunities to trigger them), and four further loops with decreasing level count (eg; Loop 2 starts on stage 2 and so on). This version was included in the Sega Saturn port.
  • The Saturn version of Hyper Duel adds Saturn Mode, featuring redrawn graphics, the ability to lock mech-mode fire in a single direction and changes to the enemy place and boss battles.
  • The Saturn port of Twin Cobra II has Arrange Mode, which features a new soundtrack, new enemy color palettes, an added final level with new enemies and boss, and cutscenes between levels.
  • Gunroar initially came with only one mode, in which the boat turns as you move and you can lock its heading by holding the fire button. However, an update added several variations to the core gameplay:
    • Twin Stick: The game gives you two sets of directional inputs, one for moving and one for firing. If you're using a controller with analog sticks, you can adjust the spread of your shots with how far you move the right stick (the further you push the stick, the narrow and more concentrated your shots).
    • Mouse: You use the keys to move and your mouse to aim and fire.
    • Double Play: You control two boats at the same time. They both fire upwards, and there's a pod in between the two that also shoots; the pod fires perpendicular to the boats.
  • rRootage has four differnet modes, with the latter three based on (but not exact replicas of) other games' mechanics:
    • Normal: You have a Smart Bomb that erases bullets within a limited radius.
    • PSY: You can use the secondary fire button to spin your cannon to "buzz" bullets and build up a Charged Attack meter. When the meter is full, you'll fire a super-laser and become invincible for a few seconds.
    • IKA: Bullets come in white or black (actually red, but officially it's called black), and your ship can alternate between the two colors with secondary fire. Running into bullets of your color will fire them at the boss.
    • GW: By holding down the secondary fire button until the meter fills up, you'll turn invincible and you can run into bullets to fire them back at the boss.
  • Crimzon Clover World EXplosion includes an Arrange Mode which replaces the Break meter with a Gradius-like power bar that adds upgrades to your ships and other power-ups.
  • Sol Cresta has the "Dramatic Mode" DLC, which remixes the Arcade Mode to emphasize the story elements of the game, including the addition of character dialogue.
  • The Dreamcast port Border Down adds Remix mode, featuring overhauled enemy placement with dramatically increased score quotas, tweaks to the Beam-O-War system (including midbosses now having the ability to trigger beam duels and stage bosses having the ability to alter their beam angle mid-duel) and a new soundtrack.
  • Beating Drainus once unlocks Arcade mode (in addition to Ridiculous difficulty). All story elements are removed, the player must start from Stage 1 every time and the player can only do a customization pause once per stage (although the player can still do a hard pause and quit the game by holding down the pause button).
  • Gunvein has Roguelike Arrange, which randomizes the order of the first three stages as well as aerial enemy spawns, and allows the player to further tweak the difficulty (as opposed to just a choice of Mild, Intense, or Expert difficulties) by adjusting a slider that dictates enemy spawn frequencies and attack aggressiveness. There are two versions of Roguelike Arrange: Standard, which gives the player a ship unique to this mode that can be upgraded by destroying enemies to fill the EXP bar; and Minimal, in which the player simply picks one of the three regular ships with no upgrade system.
  • Hellfire (1989) was originally released with Co-Op Multiplayer and "respawn where you died" behavior, also known as the "2P" version, but there is also a "1P" variant with take-turns multiplayer where the player respawns at a checkpoint after dying and can have two volleys of vertical or diagonal shots on the screen at a time instead of one. The PC Engine CD-ROM2 port Hellfire S is based on the "2P" variant while the Sega Genesis port is based on the "1P" variant.
  • Assault Shell has Void Arrange. In addition to the existing two layers of Super Mode, Hyper Stand and Blank Stand, there is a third layer, Void Stand, that doubles the multiplier cap again up to ×512. There is also a rank system, with the rank increasing by a significant amount when using Void Stand, and when rank gets high enough, enemies start firing revenge bullets upon death. Furthermore, this game introduces a Power-Up system with separate power-up items for regular shot and focus shot, and there is a new "Sigma"-type ship available, whose options fire in a linear pattern and swing back and forth with the player's movement, however beating the game with that ship results in a Downer Ending where JOKER takes over the world with an army of Psycho Frame units. It makes sense, since the Sigma fighter is a playable version of the True Final Boss.
  • Daioh's overseas release features a different control scheme from the Japanese version, effectively making it this trope. In the Japanese version, you have two buttons, shot and bomb, and you collect eye-shaped icons to change your shot type, which also changes your bomb type. In the overseas version, you have 3 shot buttons and 3 bomb buttons, each of which corresponds to a different shot or bomb type, so you have access to all 6 weapons at all times.
  • ZeroRanger has WHITE VANILLA/Light Mode, a score attack remix of the four pre-loop stages, with the player receiving ranks on destruction, clear time, and hits taken after completing a segment, all of which increase their score multiplier for that stage. The game also includes an Optional Boss in the form of Erasure exclusive to this mode.

    Simulation Games 
  • Ace Combat 2 unlocks Extra Mode after completing the game once, which has a mostly-different plane roster from the base game.
  • Extra Mode in Mobile Suit Gundam: Federation vs Zeon is an unlockable variant of Campaign Mode that immediatly gives you fully upgraded mobile suits for the side you select and all mobile suits of the opposing side, at the cost of increasing repair time and upping the difficulty.
  • No Umbrellas Allowed has Challenge Mode, where you start with 4,000V and earn as much money as you can from appraising 30 different items. Every 5 items, you can visit the florist's, repair shop, or auction house for upgrades before resuming your appraisal. Challenge Mode also has a weekly leaderboard.
  • Completing Papers, Please "with your job intact" (ending 20, in which the player comes out of the December 24 audit clean) unlocks Endless Mode, which features non-story variations of the game, with four difficulty levels that each have different types and quantity of paperwork per entrant:
    • Timed: Process as many entrants as possible in 10 minutes. You get an extra 5 seconds for detaining an entrantnote  and lose 30 for a citation.
    • Perfection: The game ends on the first citation. As time passes, the number of points for each correctly-processed entrant decreases.
    • Endurance: You get 1 point for every correctly-processed entrant and lose points for each citation, with each one carrying a bigger penalty than the last. The game ends when you go below zero points.

    Strategy Games 
  • StarCraft II:
    • StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void introduces the new Archon Mode, which gives 2 players in control of one base at the same time.
    • It also introduced the "Co-Op Missions" mode, where you and a friend can play as a commander with unique abilities, and have to accomplish certain tasks, like defending a fixed point, or attacking enemy structures, all while Amon's forces constantly assault you.
  • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade has Hector Mode, unlocked by beating Eliwood Mode. Unlike the prologue-esque Forced Tutorial that is Lyn Mode, Hector Mode is largely the same as Eliwood Mode, but has changed enemy formations and increased difficulty. It also makes Hector the main Lord, and changes certain cutscenes to focus on him. Finally, it adds several extra chapters that weren't in Eliwood Mode, and a few extra playable characters that weren't encountered there either.

    Survival Horror 
  • Dead Rising:
    • The first game has "Infinity Mode", which is unlocked after attaining the game's Golden Ending. In this mode, the player is tasked with surviving for as long as possible in the game with a hard limit on the number of healing items available in the mode, with the player contending not only with zombies, but bosses and hostile survivors. Furthermore, the PP meter now functions like a hunger meter: it slowly depletes over time, and when it empties, one block of health is deducted.
    • Dead Rising 2: Off the Record has "Sandbox Mode", where players are given free reign of the game's world, taking on bosses and hostile survivors in addition to zombies, along with various themed challenges. As opposed to "Infinity Mode" from Dead Rising, the player is not restricted in how many healing items they can gather or how long they can survive.
  • Arrange Mode is a staple of early Resident Evil re-releases, altering the locations of items and enemies (and occasionally going further - for example, a medallion necessary for progression in the first title, normally found in one piece, is split in halves that must be assembled in the Arrange Mode.)
    • Resident Evil: Deadly Silence includes the Rebirth mode, which rearranges enemy placements, moves key items around, and includes puzzles that utilize the DS touchscreen and microphone.
    • In Resident Evil 2, "The Tofu Survivor" is a variant of the already Nintendo Hard "The 4th Survivor" mode, where you play as a piece of tofu who, unlike HUNK, who at least has guns and ammo, has nothing but herbs and combat knives. To compensate, the tofu can take more damage than HUNK can.
    • The Nintendo 64 port of Resident Evil 2 has an exclusive randomizer mode that randomizes ammo and health item types every playthrough.
    • The essence of this mode also appears in the Madhouse difficulty from Resident Evil 7, which, much like its predecessors, reshuffles the locations of items and enemies throughout the Baker residence. However, Madhouse also reduces the amount of items the player is given and introduces cassette tapes as items, serving a similar function to ink ribbons from the first three titles.
  • The Five Nights at Freddy's series has the staple Custom Night, which allows you to play through a night with customizable animatronic difficulties from 0-20. It even has its own dedicated game in Ultimate Custom Night, which has over 50 animatronics in total! Good luck with X/20 mode...

    Third-Person Shooters 
  • Bullet Witch has the Concept Missions, which were initially free DLC levels in its original Japanese release, but became paid DLCs for the Western Xbox 360 version, and later built into the PC re-release as a free unlockable extra, features remixed levels that have unique mission objectives, altered enemy placements, or give players access to the Ultimate Spells (Lightning, Tornado, and Meteor) from the start.
  • Splatoon 2: Salmon Run sometimes has a variation of this. Usually, each Salmon Run rotation has four weapons that are made available to use, with who gets what being randomized for each of the run's three waves. However, sometimes there are rotations where one or more of the four weapon slots is replaced with a question mark, in which you get a completely random weapon, and the weapon you get could be a rare Grizzco weapon that's heavily optimized for damage. Far more rarely, you will get a rotation where all the weapon slots are golden question marks, which guarantees that all four players will receive a Grizzco weapon for each wave; there have been only four such rotations since the game's July 2017 release.
  • In The Division 2, after hitting level 30, the world map gets subjected to the Black Tusk invasion, which changes up each mission's enemy and loot placements. Players are also introduced to the optional Heroic difficulty and the concept of leveling up Control Points for a chance at nabbing better quality loot.

    Tower Defense Games 
  • Plants vs. Zombies:
    • Zombotany plays like a normal round of PvZ... Except the heads of all the zombies have been replaced with the likes of peashooters (that shoot peas) and Wall-Nuts. It has a sequel that adds in zombies with the heads of Gatling Peas, Tall-Nuts, Jalapenos, and Squash.
    • in Slot Machine, you need to spin a slot machine for 25 sun each in order to get more sun or plants. The goal is to get 2000 sun.
    • It's Raining Seeds is a fog level where... it's raining seeds. These are your only way of getting plants.
    • Begouled is much like Bejeweled, except with plants. Matching 3 or more plants of the same type either gives 1 plant of a higher "tier" or clears the plants. There's a sequel called Beghouled Twist, which is much the same, but with the gameplay of Bejeweled Twist.
    • Invisi-Ghoul is a conveyor fog level (with no fog) that has invisible zombies. They can still be revealed with the Ice-Shroom.
    • Seeing Stars has the player construct a large Starfruit using Starfruit and Pumpkins.
    • Big Trouble Little Zombie is a conveyor pool level where zombies move and eat faster, and come in larger numbers, but are easier to kill.
    • Portal Combat is a conveyor level that features 2 pairs of portals that teleport plant projectiles and zombies to the other portal exit, and themselves switch position.
    • Column Like You See 'Em is a roof conveyor level where placing a plant also plants duplicates along the entire column, and zombies are much more numerous.
    • Bobsled Bonanza is a pool level with all 4 ground lanes immediately covered in ice, and waves of Zombonis and Bobsled Teams appear.
    • Zombie Nimble Zombie Quick doubles both plant fire rate and zombies movement speed in a pool level.
    • Last Stand has you prepare a defense with 5000 sun for 5 flags. Each wave completed gives you 250 more sun.
    • In Heat Wave, exclusive to the DS port, your only defenses are 4 Peashooters, 4 Lilypads, and 2 Wallnuts on the lawn, and you must move the plants around the lawn. Occasionally, the peashooters will get tired and stop shooting as fast. Speaking or blowing on the DS microphone will temporarily power up your peashooters, turning them orange and giving them an increased fire rate.
    • Vasebreaker has you break vases using a hammer. Vases will normally contain either a zombie or a plant packet, except for green vases that always contain plants.
  • Bloons Tower Defense:
    • From BTD4 Expansion on, there is the Deflation mode, which gives you 50,000 money at the beginning, but disables all forms of income, and starts you off at round 30 (21 in BTD4 Expansion).
    • BTD4 introduces the Harder Than Hard Apopalypse mode, which disables money income for progressing in between rounds, and removes breaks between rounds.
    • BTD6 includes a set of modifier modes for each difficulty setting on a map, with the difficulty and variety of modifiers increasing on higher difficulties. The Deflation and Apopalypse modes are included among these, as are ones that restrict your available towers, Reverse Mode, Half Cash, Double HP MOABs, Alternate Bloons Rounds (a much tougher sequence of rounds), Impoppable (formerly its own difficulty setting), and the hardest of them all, C.H.I.M.P.S. difficulty, which requires you to beat 100 rounds with one life and no continues while selling, instantly deployable "powers", the Tech Tree, and most ways to generate extra money are disabled. Beating all of these variant modes is required for gold-bordering or black-bordering a map, and some have to be beaten before others can be unlocked.
  • Defense Grid: The Awakening has alternate modes available for each stage, such as:
  • Arknights specifically calls it the "Challenge Mode". These challenges are much more difficult versions of the maps that increase enemy stats by roughly 10% while adding gimmicks that either handicap some of the player's mechanics, ban a certain Operator Class, or buff certain stats of the enemies. Completing challenges award you with additional Originite Primes. The Contingency Contract event can also be shortly described as "create your own Arrange Mode". The event has a pool of maps and modifiers that can be freely mixed and matched to adjust the difficulty to your squad, and rewards players for clearing stages after making them as hard as possible.

    Other Games 
  • Buckshot Roulette: Consuming the pills in the restroom activates the "Double or Nothing" mode which lets you play the game endlessly, where every three rounds you survived, you are prompted with the choice to double the money you earned if you continue or stop playing. The mode gets straight into the action by skipping the intro and tutorial alongside adding far more luck by completely randomizing the shells, items, and health counts every round.
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has arranged versions of some previous Main Ops in Chapter 2, which apply new rules to them, making them more challenging. These arranged rulesets include:
    • "Extreme" increases the difficulty of the mission by making enemies tougher, as well as automatically disabling Reflex Mode.
    • "Subsistance" forces Snake to wear only the Olive Drab camo and precludes mission prep: save for his bionic arm and Fulton balloons, all weapons and tools must be procured on-site. You also cannot take any Buddies with you, and like "Extreme", Reflex Mode is disabled.
    • "Total Stealth" requires the player to complete the mission without alerting the enemies. Reflex Mode can be used, and you do have some leeway to incapacitate any enemies that actually see you; but if any enemy enters a state of alert after seeing you, it's an immediate Game Over.
  • WarioWare
    • The games usually have several challenge towers waiting for you after the main story of microgames, ranging from having random microgames at level 3 and only one life, to having level 1 microgames played at an extremely fast speed, and playing all of the boss microgames in a row.
    • WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Game$! is a remake of Mega Microgames that features 12 total multiplayer modes. 3 of these are multiplayer versions of minigames, 1 is a multiplayer survival mode, and the following 7 make use of the microgames in multiplayer modes that support up to 4 players:
      • "Survival Fever" is a survival mode where the players take turns playing microgames, indicated by a spotlight shining on the players. The one who survives the most microgames wins.
      • "Outta My Way" features the players alternating between playing 15 microgames each, and acting as Interface Screws for the single player.
      • "Card e-Cards" has the players taking turns drawing microgame E-Reader cards. When a player draws a GBA card, all of the drawn microgames are played in a row. If you win, you get all of the microgame cards on the pile. If you lose at any of the microgames, both your cards, and the drawn cards are put on the pile. While a player is playing the microgames, other players can steal cards by timing A-presses. When every card is drawn, a multiplayer minigame is played to determine who gets the remaining cards in the deck and pile. The player with the most cards wins.
      • "Balloon Bang" has a player playing the microgames, and the others inflating a balloon to make the single player lose. The players alternate when one wins a microgame.
      • "Wobbly Bobbly" has the players balancing on turtle shells. After playing multiplayer minigames, the player who wins gets to play a microgame. Depending on if they win or lose the microgame, either everyone else gets a shell, or they do. The last one standing wins.
      • "Milky Way Delirium" is a variation on Othello (the board game), where to claim an asteroid space, you need to play as many microgames as the number on the space. After every space is filled, the winning player has to play a microgame, but it's blocked by the spaces of the other players. If they lose, everyone else wins.
      • "Listen to the Doctor" has the players taking turns listening to a doctor, who tasks them with doing a microgame while doing something else outside of it. After the microgame, the other players clap if they did their task correctly. The person who has the most claps wins.
      • "All for One" is a cooperative mode where one player plays the microgames, but the lights are out and the others need to use flashlights to light up the screen.
    • WarioWare Gold also has a few unique modes:
      • In the "Wario Watch" mode, returning from Twisted, there are no lives to lose. Instead, you're on a time limit to complete as many microgames as possible. Completing a microgame increases the time limit. There's also a "Close Shave" mode that has less time for the time limit.
      • "Wario Interrupts" gives you a random Interface Screw from Wario Deluxe every three microgames, but you can sic Lulu on him to interrupt him every ten microgames.
      • "Sneaky Gamer" returns from Game and Wario, which sees 9-Volt playing his microgames past his bedtime. He has to hide in his bed to avoid being seen by his mom 5-Volt, but not so much that he actually falls asleep.
      • In "Cruise Control", the player has to accompany Dribble and Spitz in completing 15 microgames in as little time as possible. Tilting the 3DS changes the speed of the microgames.
      • "Split Screen" sees Kat and Ana alternating microgames on the top and bottom of the 3DS with no transitions between them.
  • Pong consoles in the 1970s often had different variations of Pong, often named after ball sports like Table Tennis, Hockey, or Skeet, which makes this trope Older Than the NES. As an example, the Color TV Game 6 contained three variations of Pong, with either a singles or doubles mode for each one. Tennis is your basic Pong, Hockey adds barriers to the top, bottom, and sides, with holes on the sides to represent the goal, and Volleyball adds a line of dots on the middle as the "net", that would bounce around the ball just like the paddles.
  • Kuukiyomi: There are two types of arrange modes:
    • Inconsiderate Mode: A mode with 50 situations selected from Considerate Mode but you have to be as inconsiderate and incorrect as you can.
    • Quick Considerate Mode: a mode with 10 situations and like Considerate Mode, you have to handle things considerately (there are 3 parts of this mode).

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