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Guide Dang It!

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Nice of her to tell us that...
"They make it so you can't defeat Zurg unless you buy this book! It's extortion, that's what it is!"
Rex, Toy Story 2

Cousin to a Solve the Soup Cans puzzle, a Guide Dang It is any part of a video game in which that correct action or set of actions is so difficult to figure out from the game's own clues that, effectively, the only way to know what to do (aside from spending countless hours of trying every remote possibility until something happens) is via a Strategy Guide or an online Walkthrough. For example:

This is particularly necessary when dealing with random maze sections, determining Relationship Values, earning the Golden Ending, or trying to achieve 100% Completion (to avoid missing Permanently Missable Content). The Collection Sidequest may be subject to this if the game ranks on the harder end of the Sliding Scale of Collectible Tracking.

Do note that quite a few of these examples may have been placed as interesting finds for players that accidentally get into obscure situations or curiously muck around with the game, especially in older sandbox titles where groping around in the proverbial dark was an intentional part of the experience. Examples that are required to complete the game are still nasty, however.


Most of these examples are basically just poor design, where the manual or in-game instructions just fail to elaborate on some things (see Tutorial Failure for that). There were also some more sinister versions where the developers wanted you to spend money by calling their hotline or buying their hintbook or Magazine. Now that GameFAQs, walkthroughs, forums, and even dedicated wikis are ubiquitous and easily accessible, this practice has died out.

Contrast with Player Nudge, when the Devs are aware how complicated the game might have become and try to subvert it. Compare Moon Logic Puzzle, where the game does provide the information you need, but most players will still require a walkthrough to put it all together; also compare Read the Freaking Manual, where the information you need isn't provided in the game itself but is explained clearly in the manual. Often overlaps with Metagame, which has new rules that are not written in the official books, making the game very annoying for new players.


Alternative Title(s): Guide Darn It, Guide Damn It


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