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Hard Mode Filler

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So, you've finally beaten World 4 of your 8-World game! You're halfway done!

Wait... why does World 5 look exactly like World 1? And why are all the enemies replaced with harder, faster ones? And the time limit's smaller, too! And, what the heck, your HP Cap is lower?? What's going on here?!

Welcome to the Hard Mode Filler. Unlike a standard difficulty setting, this is when a game forces you to replay something earlier at a harder difficulty during the same playthrough. It also counts if the game doesn't actually give you an ending after beating an easier difficulty, instead just unlocking a harder difficulty which the end of the game lies behind. Sometimes it shows you interesting new dimensions behind older levels, while other times it is simply a case of the developers being lazy and not wanting to design more levels.

Compare New Game Plus, where this happens to the entire game after the first playthrough is over. See also Where It All Began, when you have to return to an earlier area as part of the story. Sometimes a Boss Rush works the same way, but you're only redoing the bosses. If an entire overworld is duplicated to get a more difficult (and usually darker-themed) version, it's a Dark World.


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    Action Games 
  • Abuse: The first few rooms in Level 17, appear to be identical to the tutorial level from the beginning of the game. Then it kicks your ass harder than any of the previous levels (and that's saying something) and opens up into a different, longer path than the original.
  • In Astro Boy: Omega Factor, Astro fails to save the world after defeating Pluto and the world's strongest robots. However, the Phoenix shows up and grants Astro Time Travel so he can restart his adventure and Set Right What Once Went Wrong. For some reason, everything deals double damage now, and enemies have better reaction times and more hitpoints. Replaying through this mode, unlocking all the extra plot stages and talking to all the necessary NPCs unlocks the real final stage and the Golden Ending.
  • In King of the Monsters, you fight the five other monsters and a clone of your player character... and after beating him, you do it all over again except the enemies have more health and the locations are slightly swapped.
  • The Legend of Kage has you play through the levels in four seasons, with increasing difficulty each season. After that, you start back in spring.
  • In The Matrix: Path of Neo the first level is a training level filled with easy to hard enemies, later on in the mission to rescue Morpheus you go back to the same level except with a slightly different coloring.
  • Chapter 2 of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, controversially, has several Chapter 1 missions redone with modifiers to make them extra difficult to complete. They come in three flavors: Extreme, which has harder to kill enemies and less health to the player, Total Stealth, which enables instant game overs if even a single enemy spots you, and Subsistence, which sends you out with very limited equipment. The modified missions vary in difficulty, though the Extreme variants often hit Nintendo Hard territory, because most of the missions involve boss battles or Skulls encounters; the latter which are already annoying in their original forms. The controversial part of MGSV's use of Hard Mode Filler is that it was a result of Konami rushing the game to release before Hideo Kojima properly finished the main game. The modified missions seen in Chapter 2 were meant for original levels instead of rehashed ones.
  • Munch Man (a Pac-Man clone for the TI-99) had 20 levels. The next 20 were the same maps with faster, tougher enemies. The 20 after that had even faster enemies and invisible walls.
  • P.N.03 recycles two of its levels, in addition to reusing room designs.
  • In the original Rolling Thunder, the latter half of the game consists mainly of harder versions of the first five stages, with additional traps and enemies not in the early stages. Only Area 9, the penultimate stage, is completely original and not a rehash of an earlier stage. The arcade version even has an optional stage select feature that allows players to start off at any of the first five stages.
  • In Mission: Impossible (Infogrames), the final mission, "Ice Storm", is basically the first mission, "Ice Hit", in reverse with new objectives and a few Unexpected Gameplay Changes thrown in.
  • Saint Sword's second half repeats the first six levels, except enemies are swapped out with tougher variants and you no longer have the arrow telling you where the key and stage exit are.
  • In Die Hard Trilogy, the first subgame reuses the Office, Construction, Maintenance, Executive, and Computer level templates multiple times, just with different and more challenging enemy, hostage, item, and obstacle placements, plus the occasional Boss Battle, the only unique levels being the Garage, Reception, Ballroom, and Vault. The Rooftop bonus stages are also identical for the most part. Similarly, Die Hard With A Vengeance uses each of its maps(Harlem, Tunnel, Central Park, Chinatown, Downtown, Aqueduct, and Waterfront) at least twice.
  • Die Hard Trilogy 2: Viva Las Vegas downplays this trope compared to its predecessor, but still has a notable example with the the two driving missions set on the Las Vegas Strip, the only differences being the player's vehicle and objectives.

    Action-Adventure Games 
  • To see the true ending of Arkistas Ring, you must play through all 31 levels four times; the enemies become extremely fast and tough in the later loops, especially the ninjas. After the first loop, you receive the titular ring, which restores HP with every few steps.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, the Skyview Temple has to be visited twice. In the second visit, more (as well as new) enemies are included, some new puzzles are added, and the last fight is against three Stalfos, offering a much trickier fight.
  • In Tutankham, after the fourth stage, the first four start repeating over and over again with more locked doors.

    First Person Shooter 
  • In Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, "Heat" uses the same map as "Safehouse", but during the day, with different enemies and objectives. Also, most of the Special Ops missions in Modern Warfare 2 are rehashes of singleplayer maps with either twice as many enemies or a Juggernaut or two thrown into the mix.
  • Doom: E3M9 "Warrens", the Secret Level in Episode 3, starts out as completely identical to the episode's first level. Until you reach the "end" and hit the "level complete" teleporter, when the walls around you suddenly come down and you find yourself in a giant room with a Cyberdemon. The you backtrack across the level and try to find the exit elsewhere, only to find more new enemies due to many areas having been opened from the moment you found the Cyberdemon; the level keeps going until much later when you find the real exit not too far from the starting point.
  • GoldenEye (1997): The game has two missions set on Severnaya Zemlya. The Surface level of the second is at night and much more difficult, while the second trip to the Bunker starts as a No-Gear Level and has several new rooms added (it was apparently still under construction your first time through).
  • The last three levels of Halo: Combat Evolved are repeats of earlier levels, with minor variations added. For example, level 9 is basically level 3 with the Flood and some damage to the ship added, between what are basically level 5 reversed, at night, and with the Flood, and level 1 with more damage to the ship, more areas opened up, and, you guessed it, the Flood.
  • In Marathon: RED, the final act, aside from the last two levels, consists mainly of short reprises of previous levels.
  • Metroid Prime: Hunters does it with bosses. Aside from the final boss and the minibosses, there are only two bosses in the game and you have to fight them both four different times, each time with harder difficulty.
  • Three of Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield's maps are revisited in the game's second half. The prequel Rogue Spear recycled a couple of levels as well, but for plot reasons.
  • Warframe has The Steel Path, unlocked by clearing every node on the Star Chart and talking to Teshin at a relay. Enemies get a 100 level boost, alongside 250% Armor, Shield and Health Modifications. In turn, the player has a 100% Resource and Mod Drop Chance Booster also active.
  • The Hard Rain campaign in Left 4 Dead 2 has the survivors starting at the docks near a Burger Tank and fighting their way through streets, yards, and a sugarmill to get gasoline for Virgil's boat. After getting the gas, you have to go back the way you came, except now there's a hurricane present (reduced visibility when the storm intensifies, which also summons a horde of zombies) and the area is flooded (reduced speed in water).

    Minigame Games 
  • Star Prince and the first two Robot Ninja Haggleman games do this in Retro Game Challenge, as does Muteki Ken Kung Fu in the sequel, although there's a code to begin the game from the second playthrough.
  • WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$: Jimmy T. has three chapters, and all of them pertain him trying to concentrate on his dance even while he receives a phone message. However, whereas the first chapter is relatively simple to complete, the second and third feature harder microgames (as well as previously easy ones with tighter conditions) and the total number of them also increases in each subsequent case.

  • Final Fantasy XIV
    • A Realm Reborn forces you to fight the first three primals twice, once with a "light party" of four players and once with a "full party" of eight. The existence of the "baby mode" primals is The Artifact; every other trial in the entire game is a full-party fight.
    • Many dungeon locations are reused as a higher level "hard mode" encounter later on — sometimes an entire expansion later, mind. They tend to also be the video game version of a Sequel Episode, so it's not all filler.
  • The developers of Guild Wars, once realizing that everyone and their grandmother had finished the 3 campaigns and ran out of things to do, introduced a "new" dimension to the game to encourage players to actually play the same missions and areas with faster and harder monsters, and they literally called it hard mode. And then to make hard mode, well, easier, they introduced more PvE skills in the expansion, Eye of the North, that only players can use to defeat the bigger and badder monsters.
  • Rift uses the same method as World of Warcraft with expert dungeons, which are exactly the same thing in idea and execution.
  • The Secret World is another offender. While the game areas don't repeat, and new enemies show up constantly, the dungeons follow this trope to a T. There are five ordinary dungeons in the game - Polaris, Hell Risen, The Darkness War, The Ankh, and Hell Fallen - at QL levels 3, 5, 6, 8, and 9 respectively. Then there are three elite QL 10 dungeons - The Facility, Hell Eternal, and the Slaughterhouse. However, there are five other elite dungeons which are nothing more than the first five dungeons with monsters brought up in power level on a strictly numeric basis - which actually makes them (relatively) easier given you are allegedly at QL 10 equipment when facing these dungeons. Worse still, after beating The Gatekeeper (who keeps weaker players out of Nightmare dungeons), the Nightmare dungeons are the elite dungeons all over again, though with the difficulty ramped up considerably further and the bosses gaining new tricks which actually makes them (mostly) dangerous, as well as cranking up the damage they deal considerably and putting a time limit on many bosses (after which point the bosses will rapidly kill you).
  • In World of Warcraft, "Heroic" dungeons are earlier dungeons tuned to a difficulty for a moderately well equipped player at the current level cap. For the most part, the enemies hits harder, drop better loot, etc. However, some of them add new boss abilities, or an additional boss. Cataclysm has brought this one step further by introducing heroic versions of popular content from previous expansions, as well as the standard "Hard Mode" that it has been used for previously. The fanbase seems to be split between fans and critics of the system: some older players are happy to replay the "golden age" content, and newer players may be excited to see this hyped content for the first time (it can be hard to find a group for a mid-level dungeon from which the rewards would be obsolete after just a little Level Grinding), but other longtime players think Blizzard is trying to exploit nostalgia to pump out relatively easy-to-design, cheap content.

    Platform Games 
  • In Bonk's Revenge, Flower Field and Waterfall from Round 1 receive Lethal Lava Land upgrades as Fireball Field and Orange Waterfall, respectively, in Round 5, and Round 6-1 is basically a nighttime version of Round 4-1.
  • Boulder Dash for the NES does not show you the credits until you beat four progressively harder versions of all six worlds in the game, increasing diamond quotas, decreasing time limits, and changing some parts of the level. Getting to World 7, you find that it's just a harder version of World 1.
  • The original NES version of DuckTales has you revisit Transylvania twice; first to retrieve the key to the African Mines, and then to take down Dracula Duck, in the exact same room where you fought Magica de Spell. Averted in the remake, however; the Mines key is placed in the Mines themselves, while the new final level of the game is set in a brand-new location: Mt. Vesuvius.
  • In Frak! for the BBC Micro, after completing the third level, the levels repeat themselves with everything besides the status numbers vertically flipped.
  • The entire Ghosts 'n Goblins series is infamous for this. Most of the games in the series forces the player to play through the entire game twice in order to fight the final boss and see the ending. The second time the player play through the game, they're forced to seek a special weapon required to defeat the final boss.
  • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards has something that is either a very mild example or a subversion. The first stage of the final planet is more or less a Palette Swap of the very first stage (including the color-coded "hit this barrier with this ability to remove it" being a different color), but any difference in difficulty is negligible at best, turning this into a Breather Level.
  • Mega Man 3 - The four Doc Robot stages (which takes place after the eight initial stages, but before Dr. Wily's fortress) are just redesigned versions of Spark Man's, Needle Man's, Shadow Man's and Gemini Man's stages.
  • Mystery Quest, the international version of the Famicom Disk System game Hao-kun no Fushigi na Tabi, along with its overall content being cut down by a third to fit the limited cartridge space of its time, also has the number of unique castle layouts reduced from six to two, each being used twice. On top of that, the player has to play through the entire game four times to reach the Golden Ending.
  • Ratchet & Clank:
    • The first game has the player replaying Veldin, the first level of the game, which begins just the same as when Ratchet was first exploring. This time, though, the level continues on much further past where the original stopped, and there are tougher enemies to fight and a few Gold Bolts to find.
    • Tools of Destruction has Fastoon, which is the fourth planet of the game. The enemies are replaced with Drophyd soldiers and Cragmites and, like Veldin above, goes beyond where the player first explores when they visit the area the first time.note 
  • B Ghost House in Something is a remix of the first half of A Ghost House, but with black fog, Pidgit Bills, and no warning coins.
  • Sonic Colors does this with the bosses; the bosses for Planet Wisp, Aquarium Park and Asteroid Coaster are harder versions of the bosses for Tropical Resort, Sweet Mountain and Starlight Carnival, respectively.
  • In Sonic Heroes, Egg Albatross is a harder version of Egg Hawk (heck, the Egg Hawk is sat atop the Egg Albatross, destroy the latter enough, and the last part is a fight against Egg Hawk), You fight another team battle in the fifth zone, much like the team battle in zone two, and then the sixth boss, Robot Storm, is again a massive Mook fight, much like Robot Carnival was.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: SuperSponge features Jelly Fields (Industrial Version) the first level in the final world which is a revisit to the first level, a Green Hill Zone, only now the level is harder and covered in oil pools.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros. - While you don't have to replay the entire game at a harder difficulty, six of the later levels (specifically 5-3, 5-4, 6-4, 7-2, 7-3, and 7-4) are exactly the same as earlier levels (specifically, 1-3, 2-4, 1-4, 2-2, 2-3, and 4-4, respectively) except with harder enemies, smaller platforms, Bullet Bills flying through the air, and more or longernote  Firebars in the castles. This is because there wasn't enough ROM to handle more unique areas. The Vs. arcade version averted this by replacing the duplicate levels with new ones that would later be featured in The Lost Levels.
    • In the original Disk System version of Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, you have to play through the game at least eight times to unlock the second harder campaign, which consists of only four worlds (Worlds A-D). Some of the levels in Worlds A-D are just harder versions of existing levels from Worlds 1-8. The repetition isn't kept for the All-Stars remake, which instead warps the player immediately to World A after the player clears World 8 or 9 for the first time.
    • Super Mario Bros. 3 does this with the Koopaling bosses. The later worlds have the same type of boss battles, except that the ground shakes and stuns Mario whenever the boss jumps. Also counts for the Boom Boom battles, which are all the same, save for extra obstacles thrown into the room, and sometimes he gets either wings or steroids to jump around the room wildly. At least the Koopalings all have different sprites.
    • Super Mario World does this with the bosses, too: each of the first three (Iggy, Morton and Lemmy) have a harder version (respectively Larry, Roy and Wendy), thus leaving Ludwig as the most unique boss along with Bowser and the minibosses Reznor and Big Boo. And there are also a total of three Smashing Mallet Traps of Doom rooms that are identical in layout, except the second one is cluttered with spinning saw blades and the third one has lava pits.
    • Most of the Prankster Comets in Super Mario Galaxy just make a previous mission harder for a new Star. Speedy Comets give you a time limit and take away checkpoints, Fast Foe Comets make hazards move faster (thankfully you're usually only forced to redo a segment of a mission), and Daredevil Comets make you redo a boss, or even a whole mission, with one hit point (turning Bouldergeist from a relatively easy foe to That One Boss). However, the Cosmic Comets (a race against a shadowy doppelganger) and Purple Comets (a coin hunt) are unique. This is repeated in Super Mario Galaxy 2, in which the regular comets are of the same color and bring in more possible twists (such as forcing the player to defeat all enemies and a harder variation of the Speedy challenges where the time limit is so low that the player has to collect clocks constantly to avoid running out of time); Galaxy 2 also has 120 Green Stars after you've defeated the game which are hidden throughout the levels and require the player to make progressively harder jumps to reach them. And the last star is a real pain.
    • Super Mario 3D Land reuses levels and parts of levels for the bonus worlds, only with some extra variable like a 30-second time limit that gets replenished by beating enemies and collecting clocks. In particular, the Dual Boss battle against Boom Boom and Pom Pom at the end of World 7 is reused in the Brutal Bonus Level of Special 8. The only differences are that A) Boom Boom now leaves a fire trail like when you fought him at the end of Special 6, and B) Pom Pom's theme is playing instead of Boom Boom's. Super Mario 3D World remixes levels in two of the bonus worlds only, since the other two do have unique levels.
  • Flash game This Is the Only Level has a variant of this trope. There are 30 stages with the same level except there is a catch every stage, like inverted controls, barriers, and creative ways to unlock the gate to the 'next' level. And then there's the unlockable FML mode in the second game which involves random spikes and random changes of the level layout that will almost always result in your immediate demise. "FML" officially stands for Frustratingly Manipulative Level, but rest assured that you will be spewing the more common kind of FMLs as you try to beat it.
  • Wonder Boy makes a science of recycling level designs, often with palette-swapped graphics. On top of that, every single boss stage has an identical layout, just with different enemies and power-up placements, and all of the bosses themselves are head swaps of the same template, just with increased HP, faster movement speed, and trickier attack patterns.
  • In Wonder Boy III: Monster Lair, Rounds 11-13 are rehashes of Rounds 1, 5, and 9 in that order, with revamped graphics, tougher enemies, more scarce food, and new platforming challenges such as springboards or slippery ice.

    Puzzle Games 
  • Chip's Challenge has 149 levels, one of which (level 131, Totally Unfair) is this (to level 122, Totally Fair). The layout is nearly identical in both levels, but in the Unfair version it's no longer possible to enter the teeth's (frog's) area to carefully lure it to the button that disables a trap guarding the required chips to unlock the exit. Therefore, the only option is to lure the enemy blindly from the distance (which requires full knowledge of the layout by playing level 122 first).
  • Some levels of Lemmings were repeats of earlier levels with differences in time limit, skill set, and other things. The most famous is the repeat of "We All Fall Down" on each difficulty, adding more Lemmings each time. In some cases this presents the opportunity that an efficient strategy you used on an early level could be reused later, eliminating whatever challenge may have been intended. This is justified because the harder levels were made first, and the developers made easier versions of them for an earlier placement. Also, within the Mayhem level set, "Just a minute" is revisited as "Just a minute, part 2".
  • The Challenge Chambers in Portal invoke this trope, taking several of the prior testchambers and making changes to increase difficulty, such as reducing the number of Weighted Cubes you have available, or making certain walls un-portal-able. One even replaces the floor with deadly toxins.
  • A variation occurs in Zuma, which will give you a new color ball and increase the speed by repeating the same three worlds over and over again. For the first three repetitions, an extra level per world might seem to avert this, but it's played completely straight between the third and fourth repetition.

    Rhythm Games 
  • Bit.Trip Void was very guilty of this during the songs Ego and Superego, repeating lots of the beat patterns from earlier songs but throwing in some extra white beats to make it harder.
  • Rhythm Heaven's "boss" stages are remixes of older games glued together into one harder game. After the 60% mark, even normal levels are just variations of older levels. The remixes and variations are pretty different, but the marketing of "50 minigames" is questionable. For the record, Heaven for the DS has 24 minigames, 10 remixes, 16 hard versions of minigames, 6 endless games, 8 guitar songs, and 6 "rhythm toys", while Fever has 28 minigames, 10 remixes, 12 hard versions of minigames, 5 endless games, 4 toys, 4 remakes of games from Rhythm Tengoku, 8 two-player versions of minigames, and 5 two-player endless games.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • Crisis Core is guilty of this, with a lot of the later harder missions taking place in what looks like the exact same dungeon as the easy missions, except you have more ground to cover, and the Palette Swap enemies get more deadly.
  • In EarthBound (1994), the stage before The Very Definitely Final Dungeon is Onett, the First Town, except now full of the high-ranking minions of Big Bad Giygas instead of stray dogs, crows, and skater punks. In addition, almost every door in the town is locked or refuses to open because the townspeople are scared out of their minds, meaning you also can't access any shops or sidequests. Lucky for Ness that his mom still provides free healing once he reaches his house.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • Several of the high-rank missions in the games are about hunting Palette Swap versions of previous monsters. These revamped opponents, known as Subspecies, are far more aggressive, have attacks that may be of a different element from the originals and, at the start, you're placed randomly in a part of the battlefield, far from the resting area, and the supplies provided by the Guild to help you won't arrive until much later, when there's little time left to hunt the monsters. A few games, like Monster Hunter Freedom 2 and its expansion Freedom Unite, introduce subspecies as early as low rank, but luckily the pertinent quests don't have any of the other parameters seen in high rank.
    • In addition to new monsters and subspecies of old monsters, the old monsters themselves return in high rank as well with buffed HP and attack power. Even monsters like Great Jaggi and Velocidrome can cause trouble at first, and monsters like Diablos, Gigginox and Lagiacrus become a nightmare because of this.
    • In the highest-end game/generation expansions (Monster Hunter G and the first Freedom, Freedom Unite, 3 Ultimate, 4 Ultimate, Generations Ultimate, Iceborne and Sunbreak), once the player enters G Rank (exclusive to these expansions, and known as "Master Rank" from the fifth generation onwards) in the multiplayer quests, old monsters will once again return with even greater power and difficulty, and new subspecies and variants of monsters (as well as all-new monsters) are introduced to provide very formidable boss fights.
  • Pandora's Tower: Five of the later towers in the game, namely from the sixth to the tenth, are thematically and structurally modeled after the first five towers. In fact, whereas the first towers give tribute to the gods of wood, earth, water, fire and metal, respectively, the subsequent five give tribute to the goddesses of those same elements. But as expected, the latter ones have tougher enemies and bosses, and some of the puzzles are more convoluted as well.note  The bosses are all different, however.

    Shoot Em Up 
  • 1942's second half is a rehash of the first half with a higher difficulty.
  • In Andorogynus (a Shoot 'Em Up by Telenet Japan), after playing through first six stages, you undergo a sex change operation and play through them all over again as a woman.
  • The arcade version of Commando has eight semi-unique levels, but has No Ending and starts over after you "complete" it, while the NES version, which has only four unique level designs, has a A Winner Is You ending after 16 levels (four loops).
  • After beating the first 8 levels of Heavy Weapon, you'll have to go through all of them again, but the enemies are replaced with far tougher ones in greater numbers, and the bosses are far tougher and have new tricks up their sleeve (for example, Twinblade now has two indestructible energy cannons, while War Wrecker now tosses up rocks from the ground when it swings its wrecking ball).
  • Prohibition, after a certain number of "boss rooms", would loop back to the beginning with the timer running a bit faster.
  • The Raiden games restart at a higher difficulty, and IV has a True Final Boss at the end of the second loop.
  • In Twin Cobra, stages 6 through 10 are the same as 1 through 5 with different, much harder enemies and bosses. And then the whole game loops indefinitely after that, without so much as a "congratulations".
  • In Gradius 1, Stage 4 is just Stage 1 inverted, with much more aggressive enemies and a new sub-boss. On top of that, the first five stages all have the same "Big Core" ship as their main boss. Likewise, in the arcade version of the spinoff Salamander (Life Force), Stage 5 is mainly a horizontal-scrolling version of Stage 2 with a different boss. The Famicom/NES adaptation replaced these with unique stages.

    Simulation Games 
  • Black & White has an interesting example with world 4. It is world 1, but supremely messed up by Nemesis. You have to destroy three well protected stones which cause fireballs to assault your village regularly, lightning to strike randomly, and constant rain.
  • Mindustry spawns enemy waves in a repeating pattern, but they are more numerous each time. After beating each iteration, the game gives you an option to launch your core into orbit, ending the stage and allowing the gathered resources to be spent on research or brought into New Game Plus. You may choose to continue instead.
  • The original Pilotwings did this. When you reached Area 5 after your first helicopter mission, the game became Pilotwings Expert and you had to play through the same four areas as before, except a LOT tougher.
  • Since the levels in the original Populous were generated with an algorithm, they often fell into this (and Schizophrenic Difficulty) — you'd invariably get levels resembling early ones but harder. Such filler levels were usually bunched together, though you could skip past them if you earned a good enough score.
  • Theme Park boiled down to this. After the first few missions, every level boiled down to the same thing, but suddenly the customers spent less money, inflation was much higher, and everyone began hating you

    Sports Games 
  • Alpiner had eighteen levels, consisting of the same six mountains repeating with faster falling hazards and decreasing time limits.
  • Punch-Out!!:
    • The Wii game has Title Defense mode. You have to refight all the characters from the game with remixed movesets, and you have less HP.
    • Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! for the NES makes you re-fight Piston Honda, Bald Bull and Don Flamenco a second time in tactically improved form with halved HP.

  • Disgaea:
    • The Land of Carnage, aka the Carnage Dimension, has been a staple since Disgaea 2, not only increasing enemy levels, but also allowing for the best weapons and armor to be found in the Item World. Disgaea 3 even made it so that enemies that would surpass Level 9999 would continue to increase their stats. Disgaea D2 even added a unique perk: absorbing the stats of defeated Carnage foes!
    • Disgaea 5 turns the Carnage Dimension from merely a side-quest to a full-on story arc of its own, involving the Carnage Demons invading the main universe to recruit strong people. The Carnage Demons rescued Goldion from what would've been his demise at the story's end, training him to become several times more powerful. He joins you once the storyline is complete. In addition to this, the Carnage Dimension also has its own set of the game's equipment, albeit with much better stats, and completing a series of Carnage Maps would open up a final fight against Void's disembodied Malice, which was the crux of several story maps preceding the Carnage arc. Clearing this nets the player their last Primary Evility Slot, alongside Eclipse Power, the ability to absorb Item World Boss foes' stats.
    • Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny has not only Carnage as a difficulty setting, but went one step further by importing Dimension 2's Rakshasa modifier — this in addition to the game taking the Absurdly High Level Cap even further beyond. And yes, both modifiers have their own equipment sets.

    Survival Horror 
  • The second act of Silent Hill 4 runs you through the same levels that you went through in the first act, except now each level has a unique and extra difficult Victim stalking you through it, different (and usually harder) enemy placement, a new challenge consisting of something that was either ignored in the first run or added for the second, and you have Eileen following you around needing to be protected.
  • Dark Echo: Zigzagged by the Light World levels. Layout-wise, they're identical to their Dark World counterparts. However, there are more enemies, and they're buffed: they're faster, are able to walk through walls, and they can absorb sound.

    Wide Open sandbox 
  • Grand Theft Auto 2: A lot of the missions in the industrial district are basically a rehash of missions in the two first districts, only harder. "Tanks A Lot" is "Stop the Tank" (the difference being that there are two tanks instead of one, and they're shooting at you), "Army Base Alert" is "Tanksgiving", "Grand Theft Auto" is "Operation Z", "Russian Sailors" is "Sink or Swim", "Karma Assassins" is "Greatest Hits", and "Gang War" is "Double Cross Crush". The worst is what happens with "SWAT Van Swipe", a mission from the downtown district which involves stealing a SWAT Van; it gets repeated in the residential district with "Law Enforcement Larceny", which involves stealing a SWAT Van and a Special Agent Car; and it gets repeated again in the industrial district with "I'd Like A Tank, Please, Bob", which involves stealing a SWAT Van, a Special Agent Car and a tank.