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Missing Secret

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If the game's cleared, what's that empty space?
"Won't open, huh? I bet they didn't even put anything on the other side. Bah! Patch in the rest of the castle, you cowards!"
Bowser, lampshading this trope on a locked door in Peach's Castle, Paper Mario: The Origami King

So you have a game with lots of hidden areas, secret stashes of powerups, and generally all kinds of rewards for exploring and busting down walls. You're at the end of the game and have every powerup you've seen, but... why is there still an empty slot in your inventory? Does that bridge get fixed at all? Where is the ultimate upgrade for the laser gun? How do you get to that island in the distance?!

Turns out, it... doesn't exist. There isn't an item for every box in your inventory screen. That broken bridge was just there for flavor. Not every type of weapon has an ultimate variant. The island in the distance is just part of the skybox. There's no reason to be paranoid because of Interface Spoiler; the game just never tells you this, so you're left to wonder what you're missing out on.

This is often spawned from an Empty Room Psych or something that was Dummied Out, and often creates an Urban Legend of Zelda. For those into 100% Completion, this can end up as a form of Fake Longevity. Last Lousy Point is when it really is just that well hidden.

Can be considered a video game-specific Sub-Trope of Riddle for the Ages. See also Interface Spoiler for another video game meta-trope based on expectations, that often overlaps with this one, or would, if the thing it "spoiled" existed.


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    Action Game 
  • No More Heroes III: As Travis progresses in the assassin ranking charts, parts of the overworld are unlocked so they can be explored for sidequests, activities and assassination challenges. But even after you clear the game, certain parts in the map won't be unlocked, despite the Forbidden sign teasing that they'll be available at one point like the other parts. This includes the whole central island where the Damon Tower is posed, as "accessing" there for the Rank 1 stage takes you directly to the inside of the tower, not the city surrounding it. Suda 51 confirmed in an interview that these areas couldn't be implemented due to time and budget constraints.

  • ANNO: Mutationem:
    • The Intelligence Index, which serves as a Lore Codex, has all entries entirely blanked out regardless of completion. Word of God stated that due to a programming error, the entire list wouldn't appear. However, some players found a bug that displayed the index in full.
    • Helen's room at the Flores household is always locked, with no certain way to unlock it.
  • This blue orb thing in Avalon Code. It's shiny! It's unique! It looks like one of your standard-issue MacGuffins, and it even has concept art! It has absolutely zero relevance to anything, ever.
  • In the main waterway of the City of Canals in Beyond Good & Evil, there's a secret side-waterway you can get to by hopping over a laser barrier. There are a few twisty passageways back there, as well as what appears to be a lowered gate that, if opened, would lead to another side-area. The camera even pans over to it as if it's supposed to be important, but there's no way to open it. However, it is possible to glitch you way through it—revealing that it still contains a working warp, which teleports you to a glitchy, unfinished map there's no way to escape from. Whatever was meant to be back there was removed long ago.
  • In Darksiders, a bug causes one chest to never register as opened. If the player returns to the location with an item that reveals collectibles on the map, that chest will still show up, even though it's no longer there. Doubly annoying since there are actually a few chests that are marked on map but only appear when some action is performed.
  • The Rare-developed title Grabbed by the Ghoulies has quite a few secrets just beyond reach and nearly unlockable features like its GoldenEye (1997) counterpart. Touring the game you'll manage to pick up 100 secret collectible 'Rare' tomes called 'Bonus Books', collecting a set number will allow you to unlock certain features and bonus content — so imagine the rancor of players who manage to stumble across a pile of Bonus Books just beyond a thick gate arranged into a question mark. It doesn't help that the 'Jukebox' feature seen in the manual isn't in the final game, leading players to believe that if there were some way to get beyond the grate they could unlock the hidden audio feature.
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets:
    • Each level in the PC version features "secrets" of any kind, but for some reason the Chamber of Secrets level announces one more secret than what you can actually find.
    • In the Xbox version, you are told that the alohomora spell will allow you to 'unlock all kinds of things'. So long as they're prize chests and not the numerous temptingly locked doors scattered throughout the game.
    • The PlayStation version has some doors in Hogwarts that can't be unlocked no matter what.
  • There are some doors that are just not meant to be opened at all in Iji. Also, you can get a maximum of 60 level-up points unless you use the Null Driver, just three short of the number required to max out all your stats. Lampshaded in one instance where using The Nuke to get across a certain gap triggers a response from Iji that there is nothing there.
  • In Illusion of Gaia, there's a little hole next to the second dungeon's entrance, just the right size to Psycho Slide through — but you don't get that ability until rather later in the game, and at that point, there's no way back. Using a cheat device to give Will the ability early reveals that the hole is just decoration, as solid as any other wall.
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising, there were a series of AR Cards that you could use with the game, generally distributed at events. A total of 412 cards are programmed into the game, but cards #405 and #411 were never released, though they are still in the game's data. Card #411 was ultimately revealed online, six years later, as a promotion for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past:
      • Near of the beginning, Link's wounded uncle tells him "" before passing out. Apparently, many players assumed the missing word is "sister"—since this is never brought up again over the course of the game, people have searched for some hidden sidequest that reveals their relationship.
      • There are a number of cracked walls. Some can be blown open by bombs while some can be knocked down by being rammed into with the Pegasus Boots, but others aren't affected at all by either of those. Some players have wasted many hours searching for a bomb upgrade to blow these walls open. The closest thing to a bomb upgrade is the red bomb, which opens up a specific location, and is never a standard inventory item. These cracks are merely for decoration. Generally speaking, if cracks aren't positioned on the center of the wall in any given room, they're just decoration, and the decorative cracks are only seen in dungeons, anyhow. However, there's a cave somewhere on Death Mountain that has a noticeable cracked wall, in a relatively obvious spot, but it can't be cracked open in any way. This is the only instance of this happening in a cave.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is known for this as well:
      • That Triforce-shaped icon in your inventory is merely a decoration and doesn't signify anything obtainable (note that it's raised in relief, where all empty item spaces are indented), Zora's Domain never gets unfrozen until the end credits (unlike every other bad effect Ganondorf causes upon the world)note ... and the Running Man never loses.
      • In addition to being permanently frozen, Zora's Domain also houses two underwater tunnels. One of these tunnels is a shortcut that takes the player to Lake Hylia. The other is inaccessible through normal gameplay, and even if you use hacking tools or glitches to reach it, it doesn't lead anywhere. This has caused much speculation about it being the planned door to some scrapped content.
      • There's a square hole in the ceiling of Darunia's room in Goron City that can easily be seen by both Links, but is never used for anything. It's been speculated that originally you'd have gotten inside his locked room via this hole rather than simply playing Zelda's Lullaby to unlock the door.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games, there are more item slots than items. This is probably to prevent a glitch that occurred in Link's Awakening (which provides the engine for those games) that's caused by filling each slot before getting the last item, even though the situation that caused it does not exist in these games.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap gives you bonuses for finding homes in the village for two of three female travelers to your village. There is no way to get the third one a home, as this is a Development Gag referencing the planned trilogy of "Oracle" games for the Game Boy Color, of which only two were completed - in fact, the three travelers are those games' namesake Oracles. This is even worse in the European version, where Gorman (the guy who gets the women homes) says that he can build a third house south of the library if he could get rid of the stray cats on the lot. The cats disappear after a certain point in the game, but so does Gorman.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has a few of these thanks to its open nature.
      • After completing every Shrine and slaying every Blight Ganon, you'll be three upgrades short of maxing both Hearts and Stamina. How do you fill up those last three slots? You can't, because then the food items that give you temporary extra hearts/stamina would be rendered worthless. The Downloadable Content has enough new Shrines for one more upgrade, still leaving you two short.
      • You can customize your horse's saddle and bridle at any stable, and one of the monstrous item sets you can get from creepy Kilton are the Monster Saddle and the Monster Bridle. All of Kilton's items involve and are based around the various enemies and monsters in the game, and these two items mention that he made them with a "monstrous" horse in mind. Two of the rarest horses in the game, which you can only tame temporarily and can't register at stables, are the Lord of the Mountain and the skeletal Stalhorse, which are both pretty monstrous. So hey, maybe the Monster gear will let you keep them forever? Nope! Only your regular horses can wear the armour and it's just for show with no actual effects.
  • Opening the pause menu in LEGO DC Super-Villains shows that there are, counting the DLC packs, 270 playable characters. However, the full character select screen only has 269 characters, meaning there's one character completely missing with no way to unlock them.
  • In LEGO Island, the box screenshots, included comic/instruction manual, and map all show a red car somewhere in the mountain area. Needless to say it isn't there.
  • The Game Boy Advance version of LEGO Star Wars 2 features a % completion meter that literally stops at 99%. There is no kind of victory screen or end credits rolling, but as far as anyone knows, there's nothing else. And in the first LEGO Star Wars game, there's a brick wall behind a sealed door in one level. There's no way of getting past it.
  • Shadow of the Colossus
    • One section of the overworld is permanently clouded over on the map screen, and in one area of the game you can clearly see a bridge that leads over to that section, but it is impossible to reach the bridge. As a number of additional Colossi were planned for the game but never made, that area is probably where they would have been fought. In addition, the very top of the Shrine Of Worship is inaccessible, which is a little surprising in a game with so much emphasis on climbing things. You can reach the Secret Garden with enough effort, but that's only about 60% of the way up the tower, and you can't climb any higher than that.
    • Celosia's boss arena has a rather conspicuous stone door that never opens under any circumstances and doesn't seem to have any purpose. This door is central to the "Intersecting Points" fan theory, which posited that four points of interest on the map (indicated by four distinct stone carvings found elsewhere in the game) converge on specifically this location if straight lines are drawn between them, and that the door could be opened if certain requirements were met. Theories about what was behind it ranged from a dominant endgame weapon, a way to unlock an alternate ending, or even the fabled 17th Colossus. Once the game was eventually hacked, however, the secret behind the door was finally revealed to be... nothing. It's just set decoration, and there's nothing behind it.
  • Tomb Raider, Tomb Raider II and Tomb Raider III (and maybe later games too) each have at least one large medipack in a location that's inaccessible (outside of hacking or bugs, anyway)note . In the first game's case, someone contacted Core Design and found that it was originally going to be accessible in a part of a level that was removed.
  • Done deliberately in Vampyr (2018): Playing as vampire Jonathan Reid, the player has the option to kill citizens and feed on their blood to gain experiences points, but this can only be done to citizens with an inferior or equal mesmerize level. Pillars citizens have a mesmerize level of 6 which is actually impossible to reach for the player and is simply a mean to prevent these characters from being killed by the player until the game allows you to.

    Adventure Game 
  • One door in the kitchen of The 7th Guest never unlocks because it would lead outside, and leaving the mansion just isn't in the cards; same reason the front door never lets you out. The original script states that it would have been able to open, but surreally just lead back into the foyer from the other direction.
  • Bugsnax: Catapulting yourself onto the rocks behind Floofty's shelter in the Boiling Bay will result in you being teleported back to the beach, giving you the error message "The Triplicate Space is not yet available to you." This area was later made accessible with the Isle of Bigsnax DLC, but for a time, this was the only mention of "Triplicate Space" in the game.
  • Colossal Cave: Two rooms with a window facing another window across a room, with a "Shadowy Figure" in that other window. The player would like to know who the heck he is, and what the heck to do with him. Turns out the two windows are over the giant mirror room, and the "Shadowy Figure" is your own reflection.
  • Conquests of Camelot: You can buy passage to several destinations via boat from the harbormaster. But if you don't buy passage to the one place you are supposed to visit, the voyage will always fail at the last moment. There is no way to reach those faraway locations.
  • Déjŕ Vu (1985): The second game allows you to take the train to most places in the continental United States. But if your destination is not Las Vegas or Chicago, Stogie will teleport in and murder you. In public. You can try visiting those cities in the end, but if everything is correctly set up with the two mob families, the game just ends with you victorious.
  • Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales includes a card game with five promotional cards. These cards were distributed wirelessly, but could also be unlocked by entering button codes. However, while all the codes were released in Japan and Europe, only one was released in America. Nobody has ever found the American codes for the other cards.
  • King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!: While logically, it looks like you can visit the southern part of Serenia (which appears unreachable by an impassible river) via going south and east through the desert, there is no way to get there as a scorpion will always show up and kill Graham on the border screens.
  • The Journeyman Project has one more Bio-Chip slot than obtainable Bio-Chips.
    • Lampshaded at certain points: "This floor/the room behind this door was neither modeled nor rendered".
  • The Labyrinth of Time contains two doors that can never be opened, and half of your inventory can be filled with utterly useless items.
  • In Loom, there is a room in the first village where you are shown a certain draft. However, the game requires you to get further in the game before you can get the right notes to cast it, and because you can't return to the first island until the very end of the game (where you are basically locked in the room with the Loom in it) it is impossible to find out what this draft does. There is a possibility it would have been used in the game's cancelled sequels, but nobody knows for sure.
  • Maniac Mansion:
    • There is a broken staircase. You cannot fix it, even though you have tools and you just KNOW there would've been something awesome up there. There is also a cabinet you couldn't unlock, and lots of useless items.
    • There is also a chainsaw that doesn't work because it's out of gasoline. So you'd figure there would be a cannister of gas to be found somewhere, wouldn't you? It's in Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders on Mars, where you can find a can of gas labeled "for chainsaws".
    • In the edited NES release there's a keypad hidden on the second floor directly to the left of the Steel Security Door that leads back down to the 2nd Floor Landing. It is super glitched (no sprite, your character interacts with it in completely the wrong place), and the correct code is randomly generated every time you interact with it, making it highly unlikely that you will get it right. If you do get it right (by extreme luck or by memory hacking) all it does is open the Steel Security Door, which wasn't ever locked anyway. To the best of anyone's knowledge, it's just leftovers of the Copy Protection from the original PC version — though why those leftovers are there at all in a port this extensive is a mystery.
  • In the Flash game Nicholas' Weird Adventure 2, there's a mansion with locked gates which appears to be logically the next place to go. However, there is no gate key in the game, and the actual path is somewhere else.
  • Phantom 2040 has a few examples of this. Though due to its obscurity, maybe the secrets ARE actually that well hidden.
    • Most weapons you missed early on can be acquired in a later chapter. A few, however, simply are lost forever.
    • There are three multiplier items you can find in the game. One doubles the damage you do, one halves the damage you take, and a third halves your ammo consumption. The incoming damage multiplier has a stronger and incredibly well-hidden variant that reduces incoming damage to one fourth. There is also a second ammo multiplier, and it reduces ammo consumption to one fourth. It's hidden about as half as well as the second incoming damage multiplier, and only accessible if you return to one particular level as soon as you complete it. There is no upgrade for the remaining multiplier.
    • Even in the Golden Ending, one of the two major villains still manages to escape.
  • The Secret of Monkey Island has the door at the back of the alleyway next to the circus poster. This door is locked for the entire game and you never use it. The sequel LeChuck's Revenge has an area open up onto that door, but the way out of the alleyway is blocked off for space reasons. It was made clear years later that Ron Gilbert originally intended the second game's ending to be used in the first game - the door would have taken you down to the basement area where you face LeChuck, who in the first game would have been meant to have brought Elaine down there. This is the same reason why Fester Shinetop (LeChuck in disguise) calls you back there - the player would likely not notice the area otherwise.
  • In the VGA remake of Space Quest I, when you take off in the spaceship you just purchased, something appears just as you leave. You might replay and replay to figure out what you're supposed to do with it. But you only find out in Space Quest IV that the appearing thing is your timepod returning you to Space Quest I.
  • An episode in Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People has one area where your metal detector will beep slowly even when you've cleared out the area.
  • Shadowgate has many possible exits that appear to lead someplace but are otherwise unusable or unreachable — the upper ledge in the arrow room; the upper exit with the wraith (both are too high for you to reach); the trapdoor near the dragon's lair (climbing down will only kill you as you will fall to the bottom); and the blocked staircase outside the waterfall (the rocks cannot be cleared by any means), just to name a few. And there are a few locked doors that you can never unlock, such as the door near the big well after you pass the gargoyle guards.
    • The blocked staircase near the water can be opened, but only in the original Mac version, and only through an extremely specific series of steps. The method was known as early as 1987, but has been lost and re-found a number of times over the years. It leads to a mostly-empty memorial room for ICOM Simulations founder Tod Zipnick. Weirder still, the room was put into the game a few years before Tod died in 1991.

    Fighting Game 
  • Rotating Tanya's character box in Mortal Kombat Gold reveals a question mark, but nothing is actually unlocked here. It is rumored that this was for the deleted character Belokk.
  • Mortal Kombat: Deception's Konquest mode has a ton. The most notorious is likely the Shaolin Temple at the beginning of the game, where attempted entry yields a box of text saying that only a Shaolin monk may enter. Even worse, the "Lightning Staff" sidequest, which leads nowhere and ends with Kung Lao proclaiming they are going to "strike down Shao Kahn", but there's nothing to do to follow up on that.
  • Mortal Kombat 9 has one in the character select screen (in the Xbox 360 version only). The game only has a few unlockable characters, all of which become selectable in the bottom row of the character select screen when unlocked. The PS3 version got the console-specific Kratos in the bottom right corner; the Xbox 360 version gets nothing. The space on the character select screen is always unselectable, and shows a duplicate picture of Cyber Sub-Zero, who is selectable in the bottom left corner. In an odd twist, during multiplayer matches the player on the right can only select the bottom right corner, and the player on the left can only select the bottom left corner (especially odd since these corner spots then expand to show the downloadable characters, which as a result show up mirrored in each corner).
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • Super Smash Bros. Melee has the weird situation of having 29 playable stages, and not 30. You could say there's a 30th stage (not counting the three trophy stages which are in Event Mode only), but it's the debug stage accessed via cheating. The hypothetical 30th stage, according to recorded statements by Sakurai, would have gone to one of the following:
      • The Ice Climber franchise is the only starter series without two stages; the stage menu shows an empty space under Icicle Mountain suggesting a 2nd stage. A second Ice Climber stage being planned was later confirmed by Masahiro Sakurai, who mentioned there was a second stage planned called Summit, which ended up being used in Brawl.
      • A Fire Emblem stage called "Akaneia" can be found using Action Replay, but it was scrapped. A Fire Emblem-based stage finally appeared in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, however, under the name of Castle Siege.
    • Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U: One of the challenges in the 3DS version lists its requirement as clearing Classic mode on intensity 9.0 "or higher". The difficulty slider can't go any higher than 9.0, but one could easily be led to believe there's some secret extreme difficulty.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • BioShock: Your money is capped at $500, while the UI clearly shows four digits. Despite this, there's no upgrade for your wallet in the game.
  • Borderlands 2 parodies this in Tiny Tina's Assault on Dragon Keep where a friggin' VAULT can be seen in the distance from Flamerock Refuge (but never mentioned or visited).
  • Doom:
    • In some versions of Doom, the Percent kills/secrets/items count at the end of the level will always display 0% if the level doesn't have anything of that category. This gives the impression that the secrets are there, but you just didn't find any of them.
    • Some old level-design books actually suggest making a "secret area" trigger that can't be reached, so that players will continue to search for it.
    • There are also some official levels where it is impossible to get 100% secrets. Such is the case of Ultimate Doom maps E4M3 and E4M7 due to bad map design; the former has secret sectors with torches on top of them, the latter an invulsphere that you can't reach and a door that's too thin for the secret to register. These can be triggered by noclipping, however.
    • The console ports of the early Doom games, which use somewhat redesigned levels, often didn't bother redoing the secret flags, making tons and tons of non-existent secrets still count as "not found" on the secret counter.
    • There are also several instances where 100% items isn't possible due to said items not being flagged as multiplayer only in deathmatch areas. Map 6 of 'Requiem' for example has two berserker packs unobtainable in single player mode because of this.
    • The many, many, many console versions of DOOM sometimes do this with enemies. One level of the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer port has a hidden Imp you can only kill by shooting into a blank wall.
    • Doom II:
      • It's impossible to get 100% items on Map 27 in the original engine (though not in some sourceports), because there are two Computer Maps and you can only pick up one.
      • For years it was believed that Map 15 also had an example of this, due to a peculiarity of the engine; one of the triggers is on a teleport pad, but a teleporter activates when the player crosses the edge, which means you can never enter the sector and trigger the secret. This one was ultimately subverted, however, as in 2018 it was discovered that there is a way to obtain the missing triggernote ; creator John Romero would confirm on Twitter that this is indeed the intended method of obtaining the trigger, making the discoverer technically the first person ever to 100% complete Doom II.
  • Duke Nukem 3D uses a sector-based engine, like Doom, and this led to at least one instance of having more than one secret-flagged sector in the same hidden location, and confusing players trying to figure out just where to find all the secrets. Examining the map E2L2 in the BUILD editor shows that two adjacent sectors both have the secret area tag. The line they share also happens to be one used for splitting the area for shading purposes, so given how the BUILD editor handles tagging sectors which have been split (both get the tag of the parent sector), this instance is a clear oversight on the part of the developers.
  • GoldenEye (1997):
    • There are 23 unlockable cheats, not the symmetric 24, generally assumed to be due to a missing level which would give a cheat called "line mode." This is accessible by a button press code, but has no legitimate unlock method in the final game.
    • The game also has the infamous far-off outpost inside the water behind the dam in the first stage. It sits there fully rendered not doing anything, no enemies on it, and no programmed items. It was revealed by the Goldeneye team that it was supposed to be used, but they ran out of time to find a use for it. Rumor has it this is where you were originally supposed to retrieve the bungee jumping equipment.
  • People have not yet found the elusive Item 3 in Gravity Bone.
  • In the Marathon levels "Colony Ship for Sale" and "Low Flying Defense Drones" there are rooms full of weapons and ammo that are inaccessable and just there to tease the player. Also, the rumored "A Good Way To Die" level. There are also many locked doors that never open; looking in a map editor reveals that there's nothing behind them.
  • Perfect Dark runs this trope to hell and back. Some of its many, many examples include:
    • The infamous piece of cheese hidden in every level, which does absolutely nothing. Eventually one of the developers admitted they're just there to mess with players.
    • The Pond Punk bar in the Chicago mission, which can only be accessed by disarming a guard, letting him run away, then following him up to the door, which he will unlock. A fully fleshed out area with multiple rooms and decorations, but the only things of interest are a pistol which you already have, and a piece of cheese in the bathroom.
    • One multiplayer map has a grate in the ceiling marked with a large question mark. No way to open it of course. Other multiplayer maps have ammo boxes that can be easily seen in inaccessible locations.
    • Some maps have extensive ventilation shafts. One of these shafts has a wall with a keyhole in it just outside the player's normal vision, but can be seen with the game's x-ray device.
    • When Cassandra De Vries is killed in the Attack Ship mission on Perfect Agent difficulty, her necklace can be obtained from her corpse. Upon examining the necklace in the inventory, it gives the username "cdv780322" and the password "18M0ZYM8ND185" (speculated to mean "I AM OZYMANDIAS", Ozymandias being a sonnet by P.B. Shelley). There is no place where these can be entered in-game.
    • Similarly, attaining the "Perfect" rank in multiplayer mode gives the username "ENTROPICDECAY" and the password "ZERO-TAU".
  • The Quake II level "Pumping Station 2" technically has four secrets, but one of them is lacking a trigger and therefore won't register.
  • Serious Sam:
    • Due to a few broken triggers, some secrets in Serious Sam: The Second Encounter don't exist but the secret counter still shows like they're there. It also shows up that the game's intro has one stage despite not being playable at all.
    • In some of the games, due to bad counting, it's impossible to get all of the kills in a level. Basically, when the game calculates how many enemies are in a level, it counts all of the pre-placed enemies and all of the spawners. The problem here is that some spawners only spawn their enemies on certain difficulties, meaning that the game counts enemies that you can't kill due to playing on a difficulty where they never appear. In addition, some spawners aren't even connected to anything that activates them, but these spawners are also counted. More info can be found in-depth here.
    • The level "Dunes" in the PC version of Serious Sam Classics: Revolution has a spawner that takes 27 hours, 46 minutes, and 40 seconds to spawn an enemy. (Or at least it used to. After Omgarrett uploaded a video that proved it, one of the developers said in the comments that it would be fixed.)

    Idle Game 
  • The Tree of Life: The Micro tab has seven upgrades, with the last one called Micronutrient bulk buying its ...waves and buyables and costing 1e500,000 Micro. Nearly all other buyables have upgrades/milestones that bulk buy them and you can easily reach over e500,000,000 Micro, but no matter how long you wait for the resource to accumulate, there is no eighth upgrade that bulk buys ...soft. Eventually, becomes useless and the Stem Cells layer is removed anyway.

    Maze Game 

  • In RuneScape:
    • There is a room in Ape Atoll containing a monkey skull item that is impossible to enter. After being impossible to get for more than 5 years, a way of obtaining the monkey skull item was added, but not by entering the room; instead, the monkey skull is a rare drop from zombie implings. There still is no way to enter the monkey skull room.
    • There is a miniquest in the game where the player searches for the scattered body parts of a murder victim. One piece, however, is never found, and after you find all the other pieces, he is buried without it.
  • There are so many plots that dead end in World of Warcraft that a list of them would double the length of the page. There are also quests and areas only available in earlier versions of the game; the plot has moved on and those quests are officially already over. The most famous of these was a legendary sword known as the Ashbringer. There were a very small handful of references to the sword in game, leading to many rumors and speculation, including an entire fansite dedicated to searching for it, but it turned out to not actually be in the game. The mass attention did lead to Blizzard introducing a corrupted version, but then the rumors and speculation turned to ways on how to purify the weapon, which couldn't actually be done. At this point, the weapon became so iconic that Blizzard handed it to a major character in the canon, who purified it himself and went on to wield it as his signature weapon. Players were finally able to wield the purified Ashbringer themselves in the Legion expansion.

    Platform Game 
  • Banjo-Kazooie:
    • Stop 'n' Swop one-upped this — you were supposed to be able to collect items in the first game to use in the second, but Rare failed to anticipate changes to undocumented N64 behavior, and the planned means of unlocking the items (power off, switch cartridges, and power back on within about half a minute) had to be abandoned. Presumably, the N64 Controller Pak could have provided the necessary memory, but they had released the first game with the intention of using the cartridge swap method, so it was too late to use that instead. The Xbox Live Arcade rereleases fixed this. Of note is the fact that all the secret eggs and the ice key can be obtained in the N64 version of the original Banjo-Kazooie, by going into the sand castle in Treasure Trove Cove and inputting a VERY long code for each of the eggs/key. The codes were most likely going to be given in Banjo-Tooie.
    • When you enter the room in Gruntilda's Lair where Tooty was imprisoned you can see a closed door, but there's no way to open it and it doesn't seem to be linked to the Stop 'n' Swop.
    • Banjo-Tooie has some strange loopholes:
      • Two are related to Bottles. The multiple-choice quiz sequence close to the end of the game uses different character text mugshots, with accompanying voice sounds. These mugshots are chosen randomly, but among them is an angry red mugshot that looks like Bottles and has his sound. Players tried to find this new Bottles to no avail until hacking found it to be part of a Dummied Out Counter-Op mode. The other supposed secret deals with Bottles' house. During the endgame, a party is held there and the characters won't let you in until you finish the game. However, upon entering the file again afterward, it's obvious the party is over, but the entrance is still blocked off. This connected to the Stop 'n' Swop rumors, but hacked entries reveal that nothing has changed in the house and the continued sealing is most likely a programming oversight.
      • Some items and features that would be present (either by logic or by context) just aren't: Proximity Eggs cannot be obtained in single player, even if they can in multiplayer along with the other egg types (this also leaves the Quagmire portion of Isle O' Hags the only one besides Jinjo Village not to have Jamjars teach the main characters any move). Three levels in the game (Mayahem Temple, Jolly Roger's Lagoon and Cloud Cuckooland) lack train stations and there are only 90 Jiggies instead of 100.
      • Banjo-Tooie also includes a text string for the title of a supposed 'Ridiculously Secret Area'. No such area has ever been found, and some hackers suspect that Rare included this as a red herring, knowing that gamers would dissect the game.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day has three:
    • A gated cave near the entrance to the Uga Buga chapter, where you pay the toll, that looks like it can be entered but never opens.
    • The top of the windmill looks like it has a path to a pressure switch on top of it. Too bad it gets destroyed before you reach it. Lampshaded by Conker saying "The windmill's been destroyed! I thought for sure that was the final level!" In the unofficial developer's commentary on YouTube, Chris Seavor confirmed it was intended to be a Red Herring all along in Bad Fur Day's development (though Twelve Tales: Conker 64 footage shows Conker going inside it), hence Conker's comment.
    • Inside the Poo Cabin there appears to be a rather large grate with a piece of chocolate just beyond reach through the bars. It looks as though the tunnel continues off to the left as well, leading players to scour the level to find some way to open the grate and gain access to the tunnel beyond. The grate even managed to appear in the remake, Conker: Live & Reloaded, and once again it can't be unlocked to gain access to the chocolate and whatever wild secrets might be waiting just beyond the corner. The YouTube developer's commentary confirms that, like the one with the Windmill, it was intended as a red herring meant to mess with the players.
  • In Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back, the level Cold Hard Crash has an icicle fall from the ceiling and trigger a TNT Crate's countdown in such a deliberate and easy-to-avoid way it's clearly showing you that can happen for a reason, like warning you that the level will be full of these later on or you'll have to contend with a hidden path or a bonus area that uses this mechanic, or maybe an early warning that enemies will appear who will trigger them on you, right? This is the only time a TNT Crate is triggered by an outside force like this in the entire gamenote . TNT Crates being triggered in this way is such a deliberate act it's likely a leftover of a planned stage that was ultimately scrapped.
  • Donkey Kong 64 has a number of these:
    • Cranky makes mention of a secret level named Great Girder Grapple in the game's instruction booklet, which fans have hunted for for years. This is most likely a joke reference to the original Donkey Kong game, which is a crucial element of this game. Another example is a barn with a number of doors in its loft, except one door that never opens. Before deciding on infinite lives, Rare intended to hide a 1-up balloon behind this door.
    • The Fungi Forest lobby features three wooden shutters. One opens to reveal a Banana Fairy, while another contains a Chunky Pad, which is used to access a Battle Arena. The third one, however, remains closed. Hacking the game reveals there IS a small area beyond the door but there's no way in-game to open it.
    • Inside the Creepy Castle museum there's a conspicuous room with a pillar that can be accessed via a Tiny pad located behind the racetrack. Aside from some purple bananas, there's nothing noteworthy inside and it's seemingly only for decoration. Rareware actually commented on this via Scribes and Uncle Tusk, the company's long-defunct fanmail pages. Aside from explaning the pillar DID something at some point, they did not elaborate any further other than saying it was removed due to "developmental fluctuations".
  • In Flashback, Restricted Area 1 is never accessible.
  • The Nintendo 64-styled web platformer Kiwi 64 has a presumably intentional example. There's an N64 cartridge locked in a cage, supposedly of the game's cancelled sequel, Kiwi 65; once you free it, it promises to let you play it if you bring it 60 clefs. Except you can't, because there's only 59 clefs in the entire game. A good number of people have wasted a lot of time running around looking for that last lousy clef, not realizing it doesn't exist.
  • Mega Man 7:
    • There's an empty spot in the weapon inventory menu. Naturally, this one drove fans bananas because the opening cinematic shows a cameo of Cut Man, leading many to expect some means of battling him and acquiring Rolling Cutter for that slot.
    • Interestingly, a prototype ROM shows Proto Man's shield in that slot, and replaces the slot below it with Beat; since Beat was changed into a Bottomless Pit Rescue Service in the final version, it's presumed that Beat was originally intended to show up as a weapon, like in the NES games. Setting memory address 7E0B9D to FF will enable the Beat item, albeit with a glitched icon and no functionality beyond removing Mega Man's ability to charge: whatever else it was meant to do has been removed from the game.
  • Mega Man 9 has an empty spot in the weapon inventory menu.
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps has an idle elevator in the lower right corner of the Windswept Wastes, along with a lantern that looks like the switches activated with the Light Burst, but doesn't do anything either. This was planned to be the entrance to the Dummied Out Gorlek Mines area. The Windtorn Ruins also has an unreachable area visible on its map.
  • In some versions of Rayman 2: The Great Escape, the counter showing how much of the game you've completed stops at 99%, even if you've found everything in the game.
  • In Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows, one of the main mechanics is customizing Plague Knight's bombs with different components. In total, the game has six different bomb cases, six different fuses, six different powders, and five different Bomb Bursts. The bomb component area on the file select screen has all 23 bomb components in a grid pattern, so even once you 100% the file, there'll still be an empty spot in the bottom-right corner below the other Bomb Bursts, and no way to fill it.
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog series has a couple of examples.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 3 lists Sandopolis, Mushroom Valley (Mushroom Hill), and Flying Battery in its level select, though you can't choose them. Like the wealth of Sonic and Knuckles tunes heard in the Sonic 3 sound test, these are merely leftovers from before Sonic & Knuckles became its own game. (For the record, Dummied Out versions of these levels do exist in the game's data — and so does Lava Reef Zone.)
    • Scrap Brain Zone's third act in the 8-bit version of the original has only 99 rings.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 has music from a Dummied Out level (specifically, Hidden Palace Zone) left in the Sound Test. More than that, a pre-release feature printed in Electronic Gaming Monthly has a brief description of all levels, including the supposedly secret Hidden Palace Zone, which they promised to give hints about in the next issue. (They didn't.) None of the other beta levels are detailed here, which is not surprising, as Hidden Palace was cut very close to the game's final release, which would explain why its music is in the sound test.
    • There are no Metal Sonic holograms to be found in Metallic Madness in Sonic the Hedgehog CD. This one's justified; you took him down one level earlier in Stardust Speedway.
    • In Sonic Lost World, you can receive optional mini-quests from Omochao on the world map. These missions range from accumulating a certain number of rings as you play to doing certain stunts with the Wisps or parkour actions to doing no-damage runs of levels and bosses. The prizes for completing a level range from free items to new vehicles and upgrades for Co-Op mode. After you complete all 100 missions, Omochao says "Congratulations! You did them all! I have a present for you!" You then receive absolutely nothing whatsoever.
    • The instruction manual for Knuckles Chaotix depicts a screenshot, using in-game graphics, of the island setting of the game. This image cannot be found anywhere in the game whatsoever.
    • When the HD version of Sonic Unleashed first came out, several Night stages, most notably Dragon Road, Jungle Joyride and Arid Sands, were revealed to have terrain beyond the goal ring, only accessible via glitches, and largely devoid of props (such as swinging poles) required to progress very far in them. To be extra teasing, even if one is unfamiliar with the glitches, all three are beyond closed gates or gaps that the player can see from the end of the respective stages. Additionally, some songs in the Sound Test were illustrated by screenshots from stages that weren't in the game, such as an underground waterway in Spagonia. Both mysteries were solved when the DLC stages were released: The unused areas and missing stages are featured in said DLC packs. The unused areas were likely cut due to the already-excessive length of the mandatory Night stages, while the missing stages with unique locations were likely cut due to disc space limitations. If the player isn't aware of the DLC, the trope remains evoked by the base game's content.
  • Space Station Silicon Valley has a secret collectible trophy in each level. None of them are missing, per se. You can find them all just fine. You just can't collect one of them, as it has no collision detection. This makes it impossible to reach 100% Completion and therefore unlock the bonus level at the end of the game. Which, again, is not missing and does in fact exist, you just can't get to it. Not without cheating anyway.
  • Spyro the Dragon:
    • In Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! there is a summer homeworld, autumn homeworld, and a winter homeworld. Despite seeming like there's a secret level, there actually is no spring homeworld anywhere. Fan speculation is that the level was never added in because the game was Christmas Rushed.
    • Spyro: Year of the Dragon has a far-off island in the final homeworld. If you somehow reach it, you get... three butterflies (life-ups). The island was originally supposed to have a bonus round on it accessible via a tall whirlwind after beating the Final Boss, but the artist went on vacation, the round was moved to another location, and no one ever bothered to delete the leftover island. The island was made accessible again in the remake, though the Super Bonus Round still retains its original location.
    • Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly includes a single Cash Gate with Moneybags in the first world. In Ripto's Rage and Year of the Dragon, beating the game allows you to encounter Moneybags and recollect the gems you paid him throughout the adventure; this doesn't happen in Enter the Dragonfly, leaving you with 6,800 held gems out of 7,000 total (which the game still considers to be 100% gems) and no way to take back the 200 spent in Dragonfly Dojo. There are cut voice lines for a scene where Moneybags returns the gems, but it was never implemented and Moneybags only appears once in the final game.
    • Spyro Reignited Trilogy added a large fancy door to Artisan's World, right behind where Spyro spawns at the start of the game. Charging into the door causes it to bulge inward momentarily, as if it can be opened but is merely blocked from the other side or needs a stronger impact; it's the only door in the game to react this way, and it immediately seems like the perfect spot for a bonus level. Unfortunately, not only is there no way to open the door, but glitching the game to view the interior reveals that the small room beyond is empty anyway.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Bros. 2 has three levels per world and there are seven worlds total, thus there should be 21 levels. Not quite! World 7 only has two levels instead of three, and it is never explained what happened to the missing level, thus players were confused by it for years. Doki Doki Panic, the game Super Mario Bros 2 is a Dolled-Up Installment of, does explain the reasoning behind the missing level: the worlds are from a storybook and the children in the intro tore off the final page in the book in which Mamu (Wart) was defeated, which is why the final world only has two levels. Because the story was changed in localization overseas, the explanation of the missing level being gone is never given.
    • The deleted level pictured on the back of the Super Mario Bros. 3 box, which isn't even Dummied Out in the ROM.
    • Despite the game indicating when all exits have been completed (with a star next to the number of exits completed in the American version and the number itself turning blue in the European/Australian version), Super Mario World maxing out at 96 exits had people looking for four more, just in case. It doesn't help that, according to The Mushroom Kingdom, only the North American and European/Australian releases indicate when all exits have been found, so for Japanese players before the likes of GameFAQs, the confusion is understandable.
    • Also in Super Mario World, there's an island above Top Secret Area that has enough space to host a level marker, which made some players believe that there's a way to unlock a secret level in that island, but looking in the game files there's nothing there. It's unknown if the island is just decorative or was part of a planned level.
    • In Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, every zone of the game has at least one secret exit leading to a secret level... except for Mario Zone. There's no way to open up the Mario statue's other foot.
    • Super Mario 64:
      • There is a sign outside Boo's Mansion that reads "If you walk out of here alive, you deserve... a ghoul medal." Players spent ages trying to determine what it meant. It turns out it's just a pun.
      • A sign in the third floor of Peach's Castle says "Shh! Please walk quietly in the hallways!" Nothing will happen based on the amount of noise made in any hallway at any point in the game, so it appears to reference nothing, in a game where almost every other sign tells some sort of important information. The sign is not even in a hallway, but a circular room.
    • Super Mario Sunshine:
      • During the Red Coins in a Bottle Challenge in Noki Bay, if one sinks to the bottom of the bottle and looks at the structure from a certain direction, you can spot a mysterious book in the center of it, but can't reach it at all.
      • Observant players noted that Il Piantissimo has a face resembling The Running Man from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and data miners have confirmed the entire face and head is rendered separately beneath his pianta mask which can even be completely removed via modding. It's unknown whether this is just an Easter Egg for observant players or if he was actually meant to be unmasked in-game at some point.
    • In Super Mario Maker, you can collect additional costumes for the Mystery Mushroom. In the costume collection screen, ten rows are shown by default, but additional rows appear when you collect costumes that weren't present when the game was originally released (most of them added through completion of the Event Courses). Even with all 152 costumes collected, there are still seven empty slots in the sixteenth (and final) row, each marked with the numbers 154 through 160 (the Mystery Mushroom itself, which by default randomly selects a costume you've already unlocked, takes up the very first slot).
    • In Super Mario Maker 2, the Game Styles menu has an "Extra Game Styles" section at the bottom, with the Super Mario 3D World Style on the left and an empty space on the right. Speculation ran rampant assuming that post-launch content, which was very prominent with the original game, would add another Style. That didn't happen: the game only got two updates after launch and neither added any. The second update did add the Super Mario Bros. 2 Mushroom, and some suspect this is because the developers couldn't get a SMB2 Style done fast enough and had to cut their losses, as a result of not realizing how important post-launch content was to Mario Maker 1's success.
  • There are a few stages in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz's Space Case set that seem to have no Invisible Bananas. Supposedly, a secret character would become unlocked for anyone who can get every Invisible Banana, but no one has found the Invisible Bananas in these two stages. Obviously, finding these Invisible Bananas is Trial-and-Error Gameplay of the highest magnitude, and it's a testament to these players' patience that they found all of the other ones.
  • Vexx:
    • The game has the mysterious floating tower that appears in the background in nearly every level. Supposedly the player was supposed to be able to go there eventually (there was even an extra level shown in the trailer) but it was cut out of the game.
    • In one area of the ring of land surrounding the main bubble in The Under, there's a strange pipe that hangs above you. You can wall jump a little ways into it, but usually, you'll just fall. There's nothing up there, you.

    Puzzle Game 
  • Antichamber:
    • Invoked. Those pink cubes that roll around when you look at them and bleep when you get them into a nook? Yeah, they don't do anything.
    • One area has a sealed door with the sign "Under Construction" written above it, and a picture panel beside it bearing the caption "Some things don't have a deeper meaning". There is no possible way to open this door at all, and using noclip reveals that there is nothing behind it anyway.
  • Portal 2: Many players tried in vain to open the "vitrified" doors that appear in several of the "old Aperture" levels because they look a lot like they could be opened if you can find the just the right tool or switch... (Using the "noclip" cheat shows that there's nothing behind the doors, though.) Unsurprisingly, when the level editor for the game was published, several people created their own visions of what's behind those doors.
  • Full completion in The Witness is marked as 523 panels + 135 secret puzzles + 6 obelisks, plus an unsaveable item, for a total of 665. Many people suspect there's a 666th item somewhere.

    Racing Game 
  • Diddy Kong Racing:
    • If one accesses the sound test, there is one song that never shows up anywhere else in the game. Players searched for one last racetrack in the game where this could be used. It turns out the song was originally to be used for the Crescent Island track, but its music was replaced with another one late into production.
    • Spaceport Alpha, in Future Fun Land, features a very conspicuous nook hidden near the beginning of the racetrack, which most players would nevertheless only notice if they did a U-turn out the starting gate and started driving backwards. In all four previous worlds, there's one racetrack per level that features a key hidden away in a similar nook, which unlocks a hidden mini-game for that world. Future Fun Land, however, has no such mini-game... and despite the nook seeming to suggest that one did exist at one point, it's completely gone from the final game. In addition, looking at the track selection menu, which forms a grid shape with said mini-game tracks making up the far right column, rapidly switching between selected tracks will sometimes display the edge of the icon for this theoretical Future Fun Land mini-game track, though too little is visible to make anything out of it.
    • After you beat Adventure, the game says "To be continued." Many assumed this message refers to Adventure 2, but you get the same message when you beat that. Much confusion happened as a result. It doesn't help that the sound test has a seemingly unused audio track that sounds like dinosaurs being shot by Wizpig's ships and, when choosing a track in Versus Mode, if you go diagonally from the last track of the game to the trophy challenge of the previous round, the screen will scroll across an otherwise offscreen option you can't highlight, but you don't get to see what it is because it doesn't have time to load.
  • Crash Team Racing: Nitros Oxide was originally meant to be playable, but was scrapped due to time constraints. He can be used via Game Shark and even has dialogue unique to being driven by the player that otherwise goes unused, but his large kart makes it very difficult to see the track and he will crash the game if used in multiplayer due to his large model causing a memory overflow. The intended means to unlock him in the game, the Purple Gem Cup, is still there, but beating it instead unlocks Joke Character Fake Crash, much to the chagrin of players and the cackling of Naughty Dog. He was restored in Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled with a smaller kart and full multiplayer functionality.
  • Despite what the manual says, the driving subgame of Die Hard Trilogy does not have a dump truck or 18-wheeler, nor skaters in Central Park, nor a West Side Highway level.
  • In early Japanese and American prints of Gran Turismo 2 (which were Christmas Rushed), it is impossible to get 100% Completion, due to the planned drag racing mode that was Dummied Out of the final game. This was fixed in later prints and the European version of the game, which was released over a month later.
  • According to the manual for LEGO Racers, every track in the game has a short-cut. This left people searching and searching for one on Knightmare-athon, only to fail. There was intended to be one there, but it was removed. There is a screenshot that shows it though, and there are still power-ups intact from where it originally was.
  • In Mario Kart 64, there is a Thwomp stuck behind a cage in the Bowser's Castle stage. A yellow light shines on it, making it appear green. It is the only Thwomp in the game to not slam down on the floor as an attack, preferring to hover in place indefinitely. Naturally, rumors about this supposedly green Thwomp spread like wildfire, both about what it could do if set free and why it's caged in the first place. There is still no official explanation for that Thwomp. It even returned when the course was brought back for Mario Kart Wii.
  • In Rage Racer, there are several blocked-off roads and tunnels that are not used by any of the courses. Rumor has it that there was a planned fifth track that was Dummied Out.
  • In Gran Turismo 5 and 6, the DLC track Special Stage Route X has an inaccessible alternate layout with numerous banked turns and spiral ramps that is visible from the main oval track, and at one point was apparently planned to be playable, but ultimately got Dummied Out.

    Rail Shooter 

    Rhythm Game 
  • DanceDanceRevolution:
    • The American Version of Dance Dance Revolution Extreme, released in 2004, lacked a congratulatory message for completing all the songs in the game on any difficulty but the Challenge difficulty. Without any official word, it seemed like this was just a bug. However, in 2006, Konami had a cross promotion with Burger King - and as part of that promotion, the secret code to unlock a secret song (Memories, which doesn't contain a Challenge chart) was finally released. Completing this song along with all the others gave the congratulatory message.
    • When DDR X was released, it came with a new difficulty scale, and a difficulty meter with 10 blocks. Difficulties 1-10 are represented with yellow blocks in the meter, and difficulties 11 and higher have a doubled-up meter with red blocks each representing one level over 10 overlapping the yellow blocks (for example, a level 15 chart would have 5 red blocks and 5 yellow blocks). This implies that the then-new scale goes up to level 20; however, at the time, the highest difficulty any chart got was an 18, and the highest difficulty rating given to a song since is 19. Whether there will ever be a chart rated 20 remains to be seen.
  • The Rock Band series has "Awesomeness Detection" listed in the options menus as a trigger you can turn on or off. Speculation ran wild about what it was supposed to do, ranging from sending hidden data to Harmonix's servers to tightening the timing window down to zero. Harmonix finally came out and said later that it changes absolutely nothing.
  • Due to a glitch in one of the dance minigames of the original Raving Rabbids, it's impossible to get 100% Completion, despite rumors it grants a better ending (since the game's ending features Rayman successfully escaping from the Rabbids, only to end up going back to rescue the Globox children).

    Role-Playing Game 
  • Avencast: Rise of the Mage: The starting area of the titular Wizarding School has one locked door amid the other seminar rooms, offices, and library. To the frustration of anyone who went looking for a related Sidequest, the door can't be unlocked and has no game area on the other side.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm has so many legitimate secrets that it’s often hard to tell what’s ‘missing’ and what isn’t. Still, a few things don’t seem to lead anywhere (yet):
    • If you equip the Seeker’s Compass while standing in front of the Tumblrwood Tree, you can see a hidden item sparkling in a patch of distant flowers, but there isn’t any way to get over to it.
    • The Iris and the Egg, two unique items that can be found by interacting with specific bits of the scenery on Artistry Highway. The Egg is supposedly part of a Dummied Out sidequest, and can at least be used to heal 200 HP, but the Iris doesn’t seem to have any use at all, aside from being sold for a high price at one specific shop.
    • The Activation Gem is an accessory you can buy starting in Chapter 5. Its description says that it’s “working as intended,” but as far as anyone can figure out it doesn’t actually do anything at all.note 
    • There’s a llama grazing in a field beside the path that goes from YouTube to 4chan. Talking to it yields the message, “this llama knows a secret.” Well, whatever it is, we never get to be let in on it.
  • Breath of Death VII features a few chests found in towns that you never get a chance to open, despite looking like the usual shiny red-gold Inexplicable Treasure Chests.
  • Breath of Fire:
    • Breath of Fire I has the infamously Dummied Out bar in Nanai, as well as other stuff that is inaccessable and unfinished, although you can view parts of it by hacking the Dr Warp into your inventory.
    • Breath of Fire II has the game dropping loads of hints that Patty is actually Ryu's lost sister Yua. Before the final dungeon, she's tossed into some tall grass, never to be seen again. Some of the hints are dropped after that part. Cue players looking for a way to actually get any kind of acknowledgement from the game. There is none. No cutscene, no way to ever talk to her again.
    • Not the case in the GBA remake, though all the fans get is a panorama still of Patty over the hills of Gate, admiring the sunset... And that's all.
  • Breath of Fire IV has the Soma Forest, an area only Fou-lu gets to explore. There are what look to be side paths blocked by obstacles that it seems like your other characters could remove, but your main party can never visit this area.
  • Chrono Trigger: In the original English version for the SNES, the Guru of Time tells you of things that are happening around the world in different time periods. It quickly becomes obvious that he's telling you about the sidequests you have left. The problem is, there's one statement that persists no matter what you do: "One of you is close to someone who needs help. Find this person... fast." This is a translation error; it would have been more accurate to say "each of you". In the original Japanese script and retranslated DS version, Gaspar simply tells the party to speak to its members at the End of Time in order to learn about events or sidequests in their respective eras.
    Gaspar: [DS version] Speak to your companions. Some among you may well know the figures behind the events which I have seen. Borrow the might of all these lives throughout the ages. Let their strength become your own! For only then can you hope to defeat the enemy you face. Such is the power required, if you wish to save the future. I will remain here, and bear witness to the world's fate.
  • Cthulhu Saves the World's bonus campaign Cthulhu's Angels features a treasure chest in the final dungeon that just can't be opened for some reason. It doesn't even trigger a message, so it's probably an oversight.
  • The North American version of Dark Cloud has a key to the Back Floor of every dungeon... except the Gallery of Time. The entrances (rugs on staircases) are perfectly intact, able to be examined, and like every other dungeon they give you clues as to what item to look for, but the actual item doesn't exist. Why? They forgot to include it when they dubbed the game into English. The Back Floor key is supposed to be a feather duster but it's not even in the game's coding, so any player unlucky enough not to read the web FAQs will wonder why the hell it never shows up.
  • In Devil Survivor a Kudlak X Kresnik fusion has unique dialog (appearing only in this fusion) by the components, but has the normal fusion results for demons of their race and level. Making this stand out more is that Shiva is always made by fusing the similarly opposing Barong and Rangda.
  • Dragon Quest VII has a four-character party. You lose one of the characters fairly soon. And then you stay that way for a very long time. You do eventually find another fourth party member, but not before you've unlocked many islands, killed many bosses, and probably assumed you missed something and checked a guide.
  • EarthBound Beginnings: There are four damage-dealing PSI abilities; PK Fire, PK Freeze, PK Thunder, and PK Beam. All of these have four power levels, going through α, β, γ, and ending on Ω... Except PK Thunder, which ends at γ for some reason, having no Ω level. Of course, this is rectified in the sequels.
    • Its sequel Mother 3 features a Battle Memory that fills up as you see the front and back sprites of enemies throughout the game. Enemies can't be turned around during scripted battles (unless they have an attack that changes their sprite), so the back sprites for some bosses and Unique Enemies can't be seen through fighting and aren't counted towards full completion of the Battle Memory as a result, though the sprites are still present in the game's files.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • In Morrowind, the otherwise nondescript Sixth House base Sharapli has the "Pool of Forgetfulness". Other than the special name, it is just a body of water with no special qualities. Perhaps the developers simply forgot about it?
    • In Skyrim, you can pickpocket or kill Nazeem to find a key to Wintersand Manor. However, no such place actually exists in the game. It's believed this would have been his home, and it was cut near the end of the development. This would explain why Nazeem, despite being rich and arrogant, lives in a tavern in Whiterun rather than having his own home.
  • Parodied in Epic Battle Fantasy 4. Two special weapons, the Lance of Creation and Blade of Destruction, are touted to be Infinity Plus One Swords that boost elemental damage of several types and have a chance of casting certain Limit Breaks randomly. The catch? They're Random Drops (note that this is a game where all equipment is unique, and thus is only gotten via quests and treasure chests) from the two cat forms of Godcat (which are both invincible), and checking the descriptions of the enemies in question shows the drop rates at 0%. It only serves as flavor and a tease, since the weapons don't exist in-game.
  • The very first "cave" area you enter in Ever Oasis, the Horned Cave, has a very conspicuously cracked wall hidden behind a few mining points. To make it more obvious, bomb fruits also spawn in the cave, making you think that if you could just pick them up and carry them somehow, the wall would break. But you can't, and even the Hammer upgrade you get later, often used for breaking cracked things, does not affect it. Even the map says there's nothing there... it does nothing but look suspicious.
  • The identity of Yan Angwa in Exit Fate is never revealed. A comic made does reveal some of his backstory. He once searched for the secrets of demons and in that pursuit Clint's master ended up dying.
  • In the Super NES and PlayStation versions of Final Fantasy VI:
    • There is one more Esper slot than there are Espers. A lot of players took this to mean there was a hidden piece of Magicite somewhere out there that they'd overlooked. In reality, the empty slot is just there to allow the player to de-equip an Esper after obtaining all of them. Upon hearing the above explanation, some people continued to believe in this nonexistent Esper, insisting that they wouldn't need such a blank space because you have to lose Odin to obtain Raiden. It's there in case you cheat in all Espers.
    • Triangle Island: Home of That One Mook Intangir, or something more? It's true that it is in the World of Ruin, where there's a Side Quest to get Gogo to join the party. However, in the World of Balance, it's just an island that only has Intangir.
  • Final Fantasy VII has a few of these:
    • The 1/35 Soldiers and the Custom Sweepers items both seem to indicate they have some purpose at some point, but don't. For those wondering, 1/35 is the scale of the item, not a note that there's anything significant about having 35 of them ("Collect all 12!"). They still apply, though, as they're prominently hidden, are handed out as rare prizes, and are good for absolutely nothing whatsoever. Selling for one gil a pop, they don't even make worthwhile Shop Fodder.
    • One location on the path to the Forgotten City has a cave that can't be reached. Naturally, Wild Mass Guessing ensued over what could be beyond that exit, including a rumor that it's where you can resurrect Aerith. A bit of texture map analysis shows that yes, there originally was supposed to be something up there, as there are layers on the background meant for you to walk behind the cave a small distance, but the path was removed and the cave goes nowhere.
    • Not only is there no way to resurrect Aerith, there's also no way to get back the Holy materia she drops.
  • In Final Fantasy IX, examining a fountain in Lindblum yields the message "There's no place to insert the medal". This appears to be a Shout-Out to Resident Evil 2, which features a fountain that the player has to insert a medal into, but that didn't stop eager item collectors searching for both the "medal" and a place to insert it...
  • In Final Fantasy X, three aeons correspond to one of the four elements of the game's Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors mechanic (Ifrit - Fire, Ixion - Thunder, Shiva - Blizzard), absorbing and being healed by that element while being weak to the opposite element, but there is no such corresponding aeon for the fourth element, Water. One of the game's secret unlockable aeons is even found in an underwater temple and looks vaguely like a fish, but isn't water-themed and doesn't absorb that element.
  • Final Fantasy Type-0 has ten Fire spells and their Blizzard equivalents, with nine of them having Thunder versions. Thunder-RFII does not exist.
  • Golden Sun:
    • The first game has a door just poking out of a lake. The player would assume that the lake would be drained and the door could be reached, but it never is.
    • The Lost Age has a cellar in Mikasalla, where you can evaporate the water. Usually this leads to treasure or a secret room, but here, you get nothing. Another is Taopo Swamp; the locals tell you it's dried up, but you can't do anything about it. Finally, as you sail the boat along the coast of the continents, you can see towns from the first game, but you can't reach them. They look like you should be able to visit them, but even if you use a certain glitch to get across the mountains, you can't actually enter the towns.
    • In Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, the Mercury Lighthouse from the first game is visible while sailing the heroes' ship on the world map similar to the case from The Lost Age, but it cannot be accessed at all. In addition, the country of Bilibin, despite being mentioned often early on, is also never visited (the Broken Bridge in the second town and the closed border in the border town with Morgal both end up past points of no return) even though the game gives the impression the heroes will travel through there to get to their destination of the country of Morgal (instead they are forced to take a detour through a completely different part of the continent to reach said destination).note 
  • Gwen in Guild Wars was originally this. She's a little girl who follows you around in the tutorial area, and gives you a tapestry shred marked as a quest item if you give her enough flowers. After the tutorial, the player never saw her again, nor found a use for the tapestry, even though one could meet her dead mother in the underworld or find items of hers scattered throughout the world. This was never intended to be expanded upon, but so many players demanded closure that Gwen was eventually reintroduced. She now has more backstory than any other character in the game, most of which the player gets to experience first-hand.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, you can collect a few items called Pretty Stones. The game seems to hint that they're important and should be held on to; you'll find a handful of them in the first two worlds and then nowhere else until the Very Definitely Final Dungeon. Players might assume they're used for late-game item synthesis, but they're one of the very few items in the game that aren't. In actuality, they have no purpose but to be sold in the shops for a little extra pocket change.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has the infamous sunken chest item. It's a common item, definitely, and it IS used in conjunction with other items to make a spooky pirate skeleton. However, it still does have an annoyingly alluring "use" link and the text given when it's used almost gives a hint that it should be opened, but the damn thing just will. Not. Open. The game's designers love trolling the users about it, frequently claiming it's the longest-standing undiscovered secret in the game. The worst thing is, they may be telling the truth - or eventually add a use - in which case it isn't this trope.
  • Light Crusader: Gloves, swords, and body armors are all in separate lines in your inventory. However, after finding every possible sword and armor, you find that the "glove" line has a gap right in the middle. That set of gauntlets was never placed in the game.
  • The final room of the final dungeon in Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals has a doorframe in the north wall and is the only place in the game where such architecture exists. Rumors claimed that it would be open at 100% Completion or something, but it's just a sprite that calls attention to itself by standing out.
  • In Mass Effect 3, there are several areas of the Citadel that appear as if you should be able to enter them - you can see things like door-opening icons and the like - but they are blocked by locked doors, desks, etc. and at no point in the game (or any DLC) do you actually get the chance to enter them. One example is the area behind the security checkpoint in the cargo bay area where the refugees make camp.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • Monster Hunter Portable 3rd: Despite the presence of Rathian, Rathalos and their respective rare species (Gold and Silver), the Pink and Azure subspecies don't appear anywhere in the game, just like in Monster Hunter 3 (Tri). They'd have to wait until 3 Ultimate to finally have a presence in the series' third generation.
    • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate: Great Jaggi and Gendrome are the only large monsters that don't appear at all in G Rank (not even as DLC), while the related Velocidrome and Iodrome do; their infants (Jaggi, Jaggia and Genprey) appear as well despite this. Many players who enter G Rank for the first time have asked on websites and forums where those two monsters are, and are given either the traditional negative answer or a joking one. Great Jaggi, Monoblos and White Monoblos are also the only large monsters outside the category of Variants, Elder Dragons and Rare Species that don't have any appearance under the Frenzy Virus effect; this too had unsuspecting players searching for them with no success.
  • Neopets has an odd example. There is a Game called NeoQuest that you can play. In that game, there is a door that is locked. No key for this door has ever been found. The Neopets team that runs the site has made numerous jokes about people being unable to find it, yet these jokes cause users to believe that there is no key and/or it was forgotten.
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2, you can find NPCs around the world to occupy buildings and plots of land in your keep. You have two farms, but there is only one recruitable farmer; the second farm stays unoccupied. In addition, when you do recruit the farmer, he always says that the farm is in a poor condition, but unlike everything else in the keep, there is no way to improve the situation. Farms don't even have any gameplay effect, so apparently the developers never got to implementing them properly.
  • Paper Mario: The Origami King:
    • If Mario returns to the Whispering Woods, there's a tree that says, "I know you're busy, but if you ever come back, I've got some stuff I want thrown in that spring..." This ultimately amounts to nothing, because the tree never actually gives you what he wants you to put in the spring, nor tells you what it is. In the European Spanish translation, he specifies that it's supposed to be after you save the world; nothing happens even if you return in the postgame. The original Japanese translation actually removes this ambiguity; the tree simply expresses admiration at the spring's power and says he has some stuff he wants to throw into it, without specifically asking you about it.
    • The Boot Car is shown as "Boot Car Type B" in its intro cutscene, along with various stats. This may lead you to believe that you can upgrade your Boot Car or buy a better one, but returning to Toad's Automoboots doesn't let you buy anything and you don't end up learning what Type A could be. Making this even stranger is that the vehicle in the next area can be upgraded, by the same Toad, even. In the original Japanese translation, it's simply that the Boot Car is "the latest model, developed by Toad Motors."
    • Even after you've seen all the graffiti in Graffiti Underground, Olivia still says that there could be more if you come back later, although you've beaten the game and there's nothing left to do. This line is present even in the original Japanese translation.
    • There's a store in Shroom City called DJ Toad's Groovy Sound Discs. You meet DJ Toad in the Temple of Shrooms, and he's among the Toads you rescue after destroying the streamer, so you might assume you can buy something at the shop now. You can't actually do anything there, and DJ Toad never goes in it; he spends the rest of the game at the hotel pool.
    • Lampshaded with one of the doors in Peach's castle. When you can't open the door, Bowser will correctly assume there's nothing on the other side and will tell the developers to patch it. This is even this trope page's quote.
  • Persona 4 has a blinking eye that appears mysteriously at the status screen of a party member after maxing his/her Social Link. Apparently, it does nothing, but considering the heavy emphasis of the game on finding out hidden truths, this hasn't stopped the fans.
  • In the Roguelike Pixel Dungeon, each boss drops the key to a gate that is required to progress to the next section of Pixel Dungeon. The final boss does not drop a key, but there still exists a gate at the bottom of the dungeon that cannot be opened by normal means. Should the player hack a key in, he'll find that there is, in fact, one more floor in the dungeon, but it is completely devoid except for a single sign that says, "What are you doing here?!"
  • From Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Red and Blue:
      • The infamous truck in Vermilion Port. In a game with sparse decoration, and where almost nothing else—not even legendary species of Pokémon—has a unique overworld sprite, there is exactly one truck that, unless you get creative, you can't get to or even see! Many theories surrounded the truck, the most popular being that it was the method to accessing Mew. In reality? It does absolutely nothing, but the Gen III and VII remakes keep the truck there and put items at the location as a nod to the urban legend (a Lava Cookie in Gen III, and a respawning Revive in Gen VII).
      • There appears to be a pathway behind Bill's house that leads somewhere but is impossible to reach. Like the truck, this has been linked to one of the many myths of where Mew lurks, the belief being that it leads to "Bill's Secret Garden" where you can catch the Legendary.
      • Two large patches of grass parallel to Route 1 are never accessible. This had many people guessing as to what could possibly appear in that grass. A simple "walk through walls" code for emulators/game cheat cartridges reveals the secret!note 
      • In Fuchsia City, there's a man wandering around the zoo who's looking for his girlfriend. His girlfriend is hanging out in the Safari Zone, looking for her boyfriend. There's no way to help the two of them to meet, but that hasn't stopped people from trying to figure out how to get them together.note 
    • Pokémon Gold and Silver:
      • The Unown Dex used an interface that places all caught Unown as symbols. After catching all 26 Unown, there seems to be a vacant spot at the end, which lead to rumors of a 27th Unown called the Unown King.note 
      • There were also rumors about being able to get the GS Ball and catch Celebi in non-Japanese versions of Crystal, fueled by the fact that the Celebi event was fully translated and is still functional. No such thing is possible; hacking is the only way of accessing the event in international versions. The Virtual Console re-release of Crystal, however, allows you to acquire the GS Ball after defeating the Elite Four, finally making the translated event accessible for non-Japanese audiences.
    • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire
      • There are a total of 69 trainers that you can register in your Trainer's Eyes PokéNav feature that will battle you again after a while. Yep, 69, not 70. Conversely, Professor Birch's kid (the PC you did not pick) doesn't have a Trainer's Eye profile in those games. They do get one in Emerald, though, but not in the Remakes.
      • FireRed and LeafGreen, to implement a feature from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, have a house on Seven Island with a box blocking a doorway. In the Japanese versions, scanning a battle card for the e-Reader would unblock the door leading to a battle with the Trainer the card is for. However, international releases of everything past Ruby and Sapphire (including their Updated Re-release, Emerald) removed e-Reader functionality due to poor sales in North America and a lack of a European release, but oddly enough the door is still there and due to the removal of the e-Reader features it is always blocked. Interacting with it says that there's wind blowing from behind it, but that's all. Emerald has a door in a house in Sootopolis City that serves the same purpose, and is always blocked by plants in the international versions.
      • Then there's Altering Cave in FireRed, LeafGreen, and Emerald. Normally it only contains Zubat, but the game's code reveals that several other Pokémon, mostly ones from Johto that can't be obtained in FRLG normally, can be found there. Turns out there were supposed to be live Mystery Gift events to change the Pokémon there... which was never held, not even in Japan! And given that the game itself frequently alludes to the mysterious nature of the cave and... you get the idea.
    • The demo that plays after waiting on the title screen in Pokémon Colosseum shows the "Card e room" which was Dummied Out in international versions due to the failure of the e-Reader outside Japan. In the Japanese version, players could access it via the left door in the Phenac Stadium lobby after completing the main story, where they could battle VR Trainers by scanning Battle e cards. In international versions, both doors in the lobby lead to the battle area.
    • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl:
      • Mr. Backlot's mansion consists of a hallway with doors to five rooms and the back garden (which is the only important part anyway). At each end of the hallway, there's a door blocked by a maid who says that the rest of the mansion is private and off limits. They never leave or let you through. The reason for this is probably to demonstrate that the mansion (which does look like a mansion from outside) consists of more than five rooms. Also, one of the rooms contains a statue that you're not allowed to touch. The security guard who won't let you in front of it works 23 hours a day. If you go there between 5 AM and 6 AM, you can touch the statue, but there's still no point in doing so.
      • The Azure Flute, an event item that remains the only way for players to legitimately battle and catch Arceus in the wild, was never distributed, not even in Japan. (While Arceus itself has been distributed several times, it's always been given directly, without the need to catch it.) This sadly renders Arceus' battle theme a Long Song, Short Scene situation in HeartGold and SoulSilver, which has a sidequest involving it and the main legendary trio from Diamond and Pearl.
      • The Azure Flute returns in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, but this time it's unlocked by having save data from Pokémon Legends: Arceus where you've completed everything, meaning that this time around, it is possible to battle and catch Arceus, although players had to wait until Legends: Arceus was released before it could be done.
      • Similarly, HeartGold and SoulSilver have the Lock Capsule (containing the TM Snarl), which is even more notable since it would have required a quest spanning two games of different generations to unlock, and the NPC who opens it keeps insisting he'll be seeing you later. To add insult to injury, the sequels simply give the player the TM directly, which would render the Capsule completely useless even if it were released.
      • The Updated Re-release, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, has a zigzagged example of the trope. A new book was added to the Canalave Library entitled The Sea's Legend; it tells the tale of a human attempting to meet an aquatic Pokémon known as "the prince", and how he took a Mantyke, a Buizel, and a Qwilfish with "huge spikes" to meet the prince at a place called Seaside Hollow. Players familiar with the franchise's lore will instantly recognize "the prince" as a nickname for Manaphy, and on face value the story seems like the perfect hook for a quest to catch the Mythical Pokémon. However, not only is there no legitimate way to catch Manaphy in the game, but there's no place in the game called the Seaside Hollow, and all Qwilfish use the exact same model, so there's no way to catch one with "huge spikes". So what's the point of the book? It's meant to be used in Pokémon Legends: Arceus, which takes place in the same region many years in the past; there you can find a location called the Seaside Hollow, and you can take those three Pokémon (including Overqwil, an evolution of Qwilfish that does indeed have very large spikes) there to get an encounter with Manaphy. So the trope is subverted taking both games into consideration, but played straight if you only play the former (or indeed the latter, since unless you've already played the former games or read about the book online, the Hollow serves no purpose).
      • Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl replaces Veilstone City's Game Corner with the Metronome Style Shop, used to buy and switch between clothing styles. The building next to it that was originally for prize exchanging is now a storage unit for the shop, containing two NPCs talking about how long it's taking them to unpack everything. It's easy to believe that this is connected to unlocking more outfits for purchase, but they will never finish unpacking even after beating the game, and there are no extra outfits to unlock. One of them also wishes that Clefairy (the shop's mascot) would help them unpack, but bringing your own Clefairy doesn't change this at all; it's just a conspicuous building that only adds a bit of flavor.
    • Pokémon Black and White:
      • A post-game area known as Challenger's Cave is said to have a legend associated with it of a Legendary Pokémon and its student. This seems to indicate a connection with the Musketeer Trio and Keldeo, but none of the events involving them have anything to do with Challenger's Cave, and as the area is removed from the sequels, it's unlikely there will be any follow-up on this. In addition, Keldeo doesn't seem to be involved at all because the sequels in question added a location where Keldeo changes into its Resolute Forme with the assistance of the Musketeer Trio, with said location being located near a completely new town, far from where Challenger's Cave was.
      • The story of Gen V talks a lot about how Zekrom and Reshiram were once a single, powerful Dragon-type Pokémon that split itself into two entities. There's also Kyurem, a weak-looking husk that is revealed in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 to have also been made by that fission, and can absorb either of its brethren to become stronger. However, it can only absorb one at a time; there's no way to completely restore the "Original Dragon" or otherwise imbue Kyurem with its full strength.
    • Pokémon X and Y:
      • After beating the main story, two NPCs in Lumiose City change their conversation. One of them mentions that she heard there was a Lava Dome Pokémon in Jaune Plaza (where the NPCs are located). What Heatran (which isn't available in these games, but rather in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire) has to do with that place is unknown, and bringing Heatran there does nothing anyway.note 
      • The Kalos Power Plant has several locked doors which can't be entered. Many have speculated that a non-existent "Pokémon Z" would have made them accessible, or even connected them to the Mythical Pokémon Volcanion in some way, but as it stands, they serve no purpose other than to be there.
      • Zygarde is blatantly set up as a counterpart to Xerneas and Yveltal, following the pattern of Rayquaza, Giratina, and Kyurem in previous generations. Its 'dex entries also hint at it having some kind of special abilities. While its alternate forms did get revealed in the following generation's Pokémon Sun and Moon, Zygarde never got a third version, sequel game, or even a post-game story like the other three "third mascots" did.
    • The Battle Resort in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire featured several nods to the Battle Frontier from Pokemon Emerald, making many believe that the Frontier would be implemented later as DLC... except it never happened. note 
  • In Quarterstaff: The Tomb of Setmoth, a hollow sound when knocking on a wall indicates a secret room on the other side. One such secret proves unreachable—and examining the game code shows that there's actually nothing there.
  • Romancing SaGa 3: By connecting the dots one can deduce the weird girl running in towns and who forces into your party if you bump into her and have an empty slot is Tatyana, the missing heir to House Rzhyev from Ryblov. This seems to be part of a sidequest but it turns out it's not. The remaster simply gives us her backstory detailed above in a Bonus Dungeon and her arc remains without a proper resolution.
  • Secret of Evermore: In the overworld there are two locations that can't be visited: a small island with a forest ring and a large island with a mountain ring. In an interview with the head developer, he vagely recalled that the small island was supposed to be part of something but it never came to pass. Most players assume those places were part of sidequests that were never implemented.
  • Secret of Mana:
    • You can find seven hidden orbs (to reach level 8) for each of the weapons lying around... except the axe and glove, which mysteriously only have six. Turns out that monsters in the Very Definitely Final Dungeon drop weapon orbs randomly, and this is the only way to get the axe and glove up to level 8. Then it does it again: Using those final dungeon random drops, it's possible to bring any weapon to level 9 (despite most of the game revolving around the number eight)... except the sword, because no monster randomly drops a Sword Orb. The ninth level sword is actually the fully powered Mana Sword, which can only legitimately be attained by casting two different temporary buffs on an eighth level sword. (And it's the only weapon that can defeat the final boss, naturally.)
    • This game can also cause a lot of frustration for players because each spellcaster can only get seven kinds of magic. Which meant each of the characters has an empty slot on the spell page. Cue many Epileptic Trees and even a hoax that circulated for a while online suggesting that it's possible to reseal each seed a second time to get a ninth magic.
    • One of the dungeons has what appears to be a sealed door in the northern wall. Nothing the player can do will open it.
  • In Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, about a quarter of the way through the game, you reach the Trading Town of Peterny, which has four gates. Three of them lead to different locations that you will traverse, but the fourth is inaccessible, leading to the Kingdom of Greeton. This region can never be accessed at any point in the game or post-game, and the gate serves only to note that yes, the kingdom does exist in a different part of Elicoor.
  • Star Ocean: The Second Story has a couple small examples.
    • Every character has a favorite food, which will be displayed on their status screen when/if the item is used on them, and which always fully heals them, regardless of whatever the item's normal effect is. However, Chisato's favorite food, the Fruit Sandwich, was Dummied Out, meaning her Favorite Food entry will always remain blank.
    • A second, lesser instance is in the "Compounding" item creation method, in which you combine two herbal items in order to create new and better medicines. Each combination produces one of four items, except for two Artemis Leaves, which only produces three. Its fourth potential item, the Mint Pot, was likewise Dummied Out.
  • Tales of Symphonia has the lighthouse in the Palmacosta docks. There's a man standing outside it that tells you that anyone who goes in gets sick. Palmacosta is fairly early on in the game, so it's easy to think that you'll come back later and do something with it, but it never happens. Most likely this was something taken out because they didn't have time to finish it.
  • In Terranigma, the southern half of Africa is inaccessible by land, air or sea. There are areas labeled "Kalahari" and "Cape Town," but not even hacking the game will let you enter them.
  • In the North American and European/Australian releases of Wild AR Ms 4, two of the monsters were removed from the game, therefore making 100% Completion impossible.
  • Valkyrie Profile has the whole deal with Lady Beliza, the demoness that cursed Belenus' home and caused the death of her servant girl Asaka. A bit of info in the Japanese version but removed in the English localization mentions that it was Belenus' late wife who made a pact with her over her jelousy about the budding romance between her husband and Asaka. This plotline is dropped abruptly and Beliza is never mentioned again in the game.
  • In Yo-kai Watch 3, one of the storefronts in BBQ's restaurant area is for an Indian restaurant. It sticks out dramatically from the rest of the buildings in the area, and "Curry" is one of the food types you can buy in the game, so you'd assume you can enter the restaurant eventually. However, it's not actually possible to enter—the only Indian food restaurant in the game is in Springdale, and the BBQ restaurant was presumably Dummied Out.

    Shoot 'em Up 
  • Dariusburst Another Chronicle has 12 Zones/stages labeled A through L used for Original Mode, and 12 stages labeled O through Z used for Original EX mode. Curiously, there is no "Zone M" or "Zone N". This is most likely in order to ensure that the EX set of stages ends in 'Z'.

    Simulation Game 
  • Story of Seasons:
    • Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life has a small building on your farm with a locked door. You're never able to open it. It was originally a horse shed, but in development, the horse was moved to the barn and the shed was just closed off. There's also a shed near Romana's house, but that also can't be accessed; it's repurposed in Harvest Moon DS as the Witch Princess's home.
    • In Harvest Moon: Back to Nature, there are characters mentioned to be 'away' — Duke and Manna's daughter Aja, and Lilia's husband Rod — who never return. This is despite Lilia's husband going to search for a flower that blooms in the desert every seven years, suggesting to many that if one played for seven in-game years, he would return with the flower and heal her.
    • In Harvest Moon: Magical Melody, the cover of the game's box shows a number of animals around some of the characters. All of the animals show up in the game, except for the Labrador. Also, one little girl who moves into the town constantly alludes to being frightened of something, considers herself evil and not going to heaven, and has a profile that says she has "some skeletons in her closet". It's never revealed what Meryl's deep, dark secret is.
  • Slime Rancher has the Plort Market which shows every plort and its financial value. It has 22 available slots, but you'll only ever fill 17 of them. Even taking into account quicksilver plorts (which exist but are sold off-market by Mochi) and meteor plorts (which are produced by the Dummied Out meteor slime) that leaves 3 more: presumably either for future use or because there were other slime species meant to exist at some point.
  • Twisted Metal 2's
    • Despite the manual listing Santa Claus as a pedestrian, he's nowhere to be found anywhere in the game. Sorry kids, but due to a programming oversight you'll never get to run Santa over in this game.
    • Blowing up the Mona Lisa reveals "Up, Down, L1, R1", an apparent cheat code, but nowhere in the game does it do anything. Early official game guides claimed it played a hidden FMV, but data miners have confirmed there are no FMV files on the entire disk.

    Sports Game 
  • In international versions of Ribbit King, you unlock a bonus frog after beating Story Mode the first time around; the frog you unlock is different depending on the version you play (Scrappy for the GCN version; Fly Guy for the PS2 version). In both cases, this still leaves behind an extra slot that would otherwise be occupied by the other, suggesting that either both frogs were intended to be unlockable in both versions, or an oversight on the developer's part.

    Stealth-Based Game 
  • In Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, there was going to be a weapon which would have served as an alternate fiber wire on replays of the game- a rosary (crucifix!). It was taken out at the last minute, but the space for it in the weapon collection area is noticeable in the final version of the game. Ditto for the Mark III rifle in Hitman: Blood Money.
  • Metal Gear Solid has one leftover space on the codec menu, but there's no one to fill it. In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, that empty space is reserved for "Healing Radio" frequencies, which can be found by listening in on guards, meticulous searching or blind luck.

    Survival Horror 
  • In Corpse Party (PSP) there is one name tag that cannot be gotten in the English Version of the game, due to the translators putting an event in the way of the area it's in.
  • Completing the Nightmare mode of Five Nights at Freddy's 4 reveals a box that can't be opened no matter what, with the text, "Perhaps some things are best left forgotten, for now," appearing over it. Looking through the files, there's no data for anything hinting at what could be inside, let alone what the method for unlocking would be. This box was supposed to have been unlocked via the Halloween update (and, according to Scott Cawthon, it contained "all the pieces put together"), but it was left completely unaltered when the update actually came.
  • Resident Evil:
    • If you enter the bedroom through the deer trophy room, the bed can be examined to read "These footprints look like they're headed straight through the bed". There's nothing known for sure about what it was meant to be, though a rumor has circulated that it was originally part of an escape route used to flee the labs after activating the Self-Destruct Sequence.
    • If you examine the Bazooka / Grenade Launcher, you'll find it reads "It's loaded with [insert rounds here]" so you'll know if it has Grenade, Acid, or Flame Rounds. The Colt Python / Magnum can similarly be examined to read "It's loaded with Magnum rounds", implying you can find different ammo for it as well that simply does not exist in the mansion. It turns out "Dumdum Rounds" do exist in the game's code, are fully functional, and can even be hacked into your inventory, but were Dummied Out for just being redundant: they did additional damage to zombies but less damage to other creatures, but since the Magnum rounds in the final version already one-shot zombies this was an entirely worthless "benefit", so the dumdums were dropped from the gamenote . Oddly they exist in all versions, even the GameCube remake.
    • The Killer 7 magnum in Resident Evil 4 doesn't have an Exclusive upgrade when every other upgradeable weapon does.
  • In Silent Hill, there's a finite amount of pickups, and the game will tell you how many you got at the end. However, following any official guides will still leave you missing one item, according to the game. At least one person on GameFAQs has reported getting a full score after going through the game clicking at every location. If so, the item may still be in the game, just invisible due to a programming error or Dummied Out.

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • Jet Force Gemini:
    • The game houses a secret level called the Spacestation (whose only playable area is Abandoned Wreck), which tasks players with descending through its charred husk to the floors below. At the final deck, you'll find a mysterious door that slides open to reveal a thin alcove and nothing more. Keep in mind, an entire floor is dedicated to this grand reveal, which seems rather underwhelming when the door offers up little more than a bit of closet space. The developers later stated that "[The Abandoned Space Station] was one of the first levels we prototyped. We abandoned it, then put it back in late on as a hidden level."
    • All three playable characters can separately collect all five types of key (red, yellow, green, blue and magenta), except for the blue key for Lupus. At least he won't require it at all during his errands.
  • MDK2 has one point in Stage 3 where the doctor finds a fish bowl and a lighter. he then remarks "Now some more jelly and a blowdryer. If only I could find that monkey". This makes the player assume that three items: a jar of jelly, a blowdryer, and a monkey can be found, however none of those three items exist anywhere in the game. Not in stage 3, stage 6, stage 9, or stage 10. Many people believe it may have been an outtake audio file they never removed.
  • Ratchet & Clank has a few of these:
    • In the first game, after you've done all the side missions, there still is an empty slot in the Items menu. That slot is there to hold the Raritanium, an item used for a Fetch Quest, until you turn it in, after which it is removed from the menu, leading to some confusion. You can, however, fill the slot again in New Game Plus by picking up the Raritanium again and not turning it in.
    • Also in the original game, you can upgrade ten of your weapons in the two Gold Weapon Rooms... leaving the other five weapons in their vanilla forms. More than a few players assumed those could be upgraded as well, since five of the full ten could be acquired through the second Gold Weapon Room, so there must be a third for the rest of the weapons, right?
    • Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando allows weapons to level up, and then in Challenge Mode, they can go to Mega and then Ultra... but not all weapons can do that. The returning Gadgetron weapons only go up to Meganote , the Sheepinator and Clank Zapper can only level up just the once, and the RYNO II and the Zodiac don't level up at all!
    • A more classic example is the empty slot in Going Commando's Item menu. This was probably the spot for the Hydro-Pack upgrade that fires torpedoes, which was likely cut as the game didn't feature any underwater combat in its downplayed swimming sections.
    • The RYNOCIRATOR in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal is the only weapon that peaks at level 5 instead of level 8.
    • In Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, if you look at Time Bombs in the pause menu, it says that they're level 1. Time Bombs don't level up at all, so the level number is just misleading.
    • On the Deplanetizer in Ratchet & Clank (2016), there are a bunch of locked doors with red padlock icons on them. You'd think that since the game is so up-front about how these doors are locked, there's some way to open them, right? After all, other doors in the game that can't be opened don't have a giant lock icon on them, so there must be something special about these padlock-sign doors, right? Wrong. There is nothing special about any of those doors, despite the giant lock icon on them. Even worse is that there are hidden switches behind a few of the door frames in this level; they're the green switches that turn red when hit with a wrench or other kind of weapon fire (though any you find will already be red and look to be activated). Aiming a weapon at these switches shows a reticle over them, as though they were functional. On top of that, in the room with the small elevator (that you originally have to ride while wearing the Hologuise) there are three doors to leave the room; one is in the center and takes you to the elevator that leads to the rest of the level, one is on the left which is locked and looks like all the others in the level, and an open one is on the right, and behind it is... another locked door. All of these strangely placed objects seem to imply that something is hidden, which is all backed up by the existence of the "Et, tu Copernicus?" trophy, which specifically tells you to find Captain Qwark's room in the base. Though there is some hidden dialogue to be found, such a room is never actually found inside of the game.
    • There's also another one in Ratchet & Clank '16; when you have all of the Holocards, Raritanium drops are increased by 35% total, but Holocard and bolt drops are only increased by 30%.
  • The buildings and alleyways in Splatoon's various hub areas serve as shops and entrances to the game's modes, but there are always a couple of them that exist strictly to promote the atmosphere of a large, crowded city. These include a walled-off train station just behind the starting area in the first game's Inkopolis Plaza, and a coffee shop in Inkopolis Square of Splatoon 2 that you can't enter, but can see Spyke (an important NPC from the previous game) typing away at a computer from the window.

    Tower Defense 
  • The "Encrypted" map in Bloons Tower Defense 6 was promoted as having a big secret behind it. Between the intruiging ancient-style design and the title, fans were quick to experiment and try to figure out what the secret was. However, nothing ever came out of this. The map's only gimmick seems to be the panels that only a certain tower type can be placed on, but that's rather obvious, and isn't beneficial. Exactly what the secret is on Encrypted, if it isn't the panels, remains unknown.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Every class (Both humanoids and monsters) in the first Disgaea game has its basic form and five recolored upgrades, except the Prinnies, which only have 4. The final Prinny class shows up as an Optional Boss in the game - so the class exists but you can't have it in your party. NIS added in a way to get the next tier in the sequels.

    Wide-Open Sandbox 
  • Don't try to find more than six "secret" locations in Assassin's Creed II if you didn't buy the game from GameStop and don't use Uplay. Of course, there's nothing in the game that would tell you about that.
  • In Fallout 3, the Vault-Tec computer in the Citadel mentions a Vault 76, but it does not appear in the game, or any other Fallout game until Fallout 76.
    • There's also a locked gate in the Mama Dolce's loading yard that cannot be picked and says it requires a key, but the key doesn't exist and the gate leads nowhere. There's another always-locked door in Vault 87, which has an atrium behind it, but the inner vault door leads into a blank void rather than an entry tunnel (which would be collapsed anyways).
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, players may go nuts trying to figure out just what the "Lucky 38 Executive Override" does after they activate it at the H&H Tools Factory, House Resort, New Vegas Steel, and/or the Central New Vegas sewers. The answer is...nothing. At one point, it was intended to play a part in the "The Moon Comes Over the Tower" quest, but they cut that part out since the results for the quest are already underwhelming.
    • The schematics for the Rock-It Launcher from Fallout 3 could originally be found in the Nellis hangar, but it could not be crafted even if you had all the components. A patch removed the schematics.
    • The flight simulator VR pods in the mess hall of Nellis Air Force Base cannot be used. When interacted with, a message says they require a code to operate. If you ask Loyal if you can use them, he says they're for the Boomers' use only, no matter how high your reputation is with them.
  • In the Mountain Resort in Go Vacation, there's a heart-shaped island in the lake. Several nearby NPCs talk it up, which is usually an indicator that the island is involved in a secret. One even says that couples who vow their love on the island later get married, which has caused some people to think you can get married in the game. But the island doesn't seem to do anything and you can't get married. It appears to just be there for flavor.
  • Grand Theft Auto V has the chiliad mural, which some people try to connect anything they can, even when there is nothing to link. However, there are a few unexplained things. Once you reach 100%, you can find a few UFOs floating on the sky, and since they are invisible until close enough, not all might have been found. One of them (above fort Zancudo) shines a light into a bunker below. The bunker is unique, and has an unusable elevator inside it. The strange thing is that you can force its doors open via a glitch, but it leads nowhere. People have spent years trying to unlock its doors legimately and find a trigger to start the elevator, but without any results.
  • Red Dead Redemption II has two major ones.
    • The missing princess is the most well known, as the Roanoke Ridge area has several references to her. She has a character model and the scripting still includes bits of this quest (but not how to trigger it, unfortunately), but as of February 2020 no-one's been able to locate her in-game - many fans assume she was simply cut from the game, and the clues weren't removed to keep players searching for her.
    • The player can find 2 meteorite fragments in Roanoke Ridge, but their description always says "X out of 3". If the satchel is upgraded the max number of these fragments stays at 3, so it's not the default item count cap either. Some sources claim finding all three would increase the player's tolerance to cold weather, but no evidence of this has been found in the game's code. An easy glitch allows the player to obtain 3 by picking the 2 up and waiting for them to respawn in the epilogue, but (at least when done this way) players have not received any bonuses.
  • The yellow marble in Riven's fire marble dome puzzle does nothing but throw you off, there is no hidden sixth island.
  • Spider-Man 2 has a row of locked doors inside the Daily Bugle. The curious thing is that walking to them plays the "door locked" sound effect, that normally only plays when you try to enter a story location early (or after the mission) or when a shop is closed during nighttime.

  • In Ta-Koro of the Mata Nui Online Game, there are two locked doors on each side of the town square, but they never come up in the gameplay. One hut in Onu-Koro isn't locked, however, but you still can't go in. As revealed by some unused game files, this place was to be home of a smith of some sort, but it has been Dummied Out.
  • Phantom Doctrine: While loading, the game displays gameplay tips randomly chosen from a list of 44. Tip 44/44 never appears, presumably due to a coding oversight.

    Non-Video Game Examples 
  • A probable urban-legend college prank involves releasing three piglets (or chickens, or whatever) with the numbers "1", "2", and "4" painted on their sides. The pranked quickly find all the animals, but continue searching for the non-existent one marked "3".
    • In What's with Andy?, Andy Larkin pulled this prank once. He did also a variation of it... with about one hundred sheep.
    • The Great Alicorn Hunt has Scootaloo mention that Rainbow Dash once pulled the same prank in Ponyville Town Hall with a set of four piglets (marked 1, 2, 3 and 5). As a result, poor Mayor Mare spent the whole day going out of her mind trying to find a non-existent pig marked "4".
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • In the very first set, Alpha, the cards Volcanic Island and Circle of Protection: Black weren't printed due to an error, which meant there was a Circle of Protection for each color but black and a dual land for each two-color combination but blue/red. This was fixed in the next set, Beta.
    • The head designer, Mark Rosewater, has mentioned that he deliberately tries to avoid upsetting player expectations, but sometimes he either doesn't notice a pattern or is overruled. In the case of Goatnapper, which temporarily steals a goat, the card is supposed to be a sly reference to the changelings.note  Cue angry letters from fans asking why there weren't any goat cards. Tower of Calamities was printed about a decade after the four Mirrodin towers just so people would stop asking where the fifth tower was.
  • The Planescape Campaign Setting has several of these. Comparable creatures can often be found on each Inner or each Outer Plane, but there are some gaps. For instance, there are mephits on each Inner Plane except the energy planes, except that there is no Vacuum mephit, and Steam has both Steam and Mist mephits. This led to in-universe (or in-multiverse) rumors that there were Inner Planes that were either hidden or lost, and that there had once been a race of Void mephits that had been wiped out. A later sourcebook actually references in passing a unique creature that might have been the last void mephit.
  • The standard edition of AC/DC Pinball has a large portrait of Angus Young in the middle, with the electronics to light up his eyes, his mouth, and for some reason, his nose. Despite it having the most official code updates of any pinball machine, none of these lights are ever used in normal gameplay, though they do flash in its Attract Mode.
  • In the Pokémon Trading Card Game, during the Neo series of sets, spread throughout them were various Unown cards, one for each letter... except "R". As it turns out, there was an Unown R card made around that time, but it's a promo that was only released in Japan, thus making Unown R's conspicuous absence in those line of sets apparent.
  • Most likely an intentional example in the pinball machine for Family Guy: In the left outlane (a path that leads to a drain, ending the ball) is a light that reads "Not Special" and a sensor switch right next to it. Not Special is the most seldomly lit light in the game (though, unlike with Angus, it does happen), and because of its location, players wouldn't want to willingly send the ball down there. What does Not Special do? Appropriately, absolutely nothing. The consensus of fans is that Not Special was originally something else but was removed or Dummied Out late in production (no one has found anything in the code that would correspond to any theoretical effects of Not Special), after the holes in the playfield to install the lights were already finalized.
  • Westworld. This is the MacGuffin the Man in Black is searching for in Season One. He's convinced the designer of Westworld put in a secret level known as the Maze. Turns out the Maze is actually for the androids to gain full self-awareness, though the Man in Black isn't disappointed as that just makes the game more interesting again.
  • In Quantum Physics, there are elementary particles called force carriers, which transmit the four fundamental forces (strong and weak nuclear force, gravity, and electromagnetic). Photons are the best well known, and carry the electromagnetic force (which includes light). Scientists have also learned of gluons (for the strong force) and W and Z bosons (for the weak force), but have never been able to find a force carrier for gravity, even though logically there must be something for it like the other three forces.
  • Goudey's 1934 baseball card set included cards numbered #1 to #240... except #106. When they got called on it, they hurriedly produced a #106 card of the long-retired Napoleon Lajoie.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, each nation learned how to bend its respective element from a specific animal, referred to as that nation's spirit animal. Airbenders learned from sky bison, Earthbenders learned from badgermoles, and Firebenders learned from dragons, but there's no spirit animal for Waterbenders. This turns out to be because Waterbenders learned from the push and pull of the tides rather than a specific animal.