Follow TV Tropes


Permanently Missable Content

Go To
"When you're exploring a video game world, you don't like being told which areas you can and can't go to. So, you're really not gonna enjoy it when you try to go to an area you've already been to, and then you're told, 'you can't come in anymore 'cause you're wearing trainers.' What if I left something important in there?! What do I do now?!"

Permanently Missable Content is a gameplay component (such as an item, weapon, sidequest, character, achievement, or plot event) that can become permanently inaccessible after a certain point. A close relative and often an example of Guide Dang It! A common source of frustration for gamers, especially those shooting for 100% Completion. If a player's window for accessing the content has closed, their only options for getting it are to either reload an earlier save (if possible) or start the game anew.

These components frequently appear in areas that can only be accessed once, or are rendered unavailable after a certain plot event occurs. The early town that is destroyed, the mountainous area that caves in once you leave, the area that your characters are restricted from accessing after a certain point for plot reasons, the Load-Bearing Boss's hideout that explodes after you defeat them, the ship that departs after your trip is finished and never returns, and so forth. These components may also become missable for a random or arbitrary reason (such as an NPC related to the component suddenly disappearing after a certain point in a game).

Because of their tendency to induce great frustration, smart developers tend to avoid implementing these, and allow the player to collect items or do sidequests at their own leisure. However, allowing the player to backtrack to any previously visited location can be difficult to reconcile with the game's narrative. One increasingly common way around this is for the game to provide a shop or other special location that makes available all of the unique items the player missed throughout the game as an Anti-Frustration Feature.

Not to be confused with Killed Off for Real, where a character dies permanently and cannot be resurrected. Also not to be confused with Awesome, but Temporary, where a component is deliberately taken away from the player. If a Plot Coupon is permanently missable, the game becomes Unwinnable by Design. May be a result of Point of No Return, where the game cuts the player off from accessing earlier areas. So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear becomes this if a party member permanently leaves or dies. Bonus Stage Collectables may become permanently missable if the Bonus Stage can only be played once. Permanently missable items are often found in a One-Time Dungeon. If the player has the choice of one item resulting in the others becoming permanently missable, they are Mutually Exclusive Power-Ups.

If the content (or even the entire game) is truly permanently missable because it is/was released online for a limited time before being taken down, that's Temporary Online Content or Defunct Online Video Games.

Video game example subpages:

Other video game examples:

    open/close all folders 
    Adventure Game 
  • EcoQuest: Didn't notice the oil-eating bacteria at the start? Guess you're plumb out of luck.
  • Enchanter trilogy:
    • Any scroll that can't be added to your spellbook can be used exactly once, after which it's gone forever. If you used it in the wrong place, the game is now Unwinnable by Design.
    • Spellbreaker has a plant that needs to be dug up rather than cut. If it is cut, it dies. To make matters worse, the game placed a pair of shears by the plant.
  • Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within is a huge point-and-click game, six discs large. If you forget to pick up a certain item in the chapter on disc two, you will get stuck at the end of the chapter on disc four.
  • Infocom The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1984):
    • At the very beginning, you want to get the toothbrush. Once Earth's destroyed, of course, you're sunk.
    • In the Vogon ship, if you don't manage to get the Babel Fish before the Guard drags you away, you might as well quit and restart, all that happens next is a lengthy lead up to Game Over. The reason you need the Babel Fish is to get the atomic vector plotter. You only have a few turns to grab it, too, and you need to put down your towel as part of the convoluted method of getting the Babel Fish. But you also need to have the towel with you later in the game, to be able to survive. If you don't remember to pick up your towel once you've got the Babel Fish, you're screwed.
  • The text-based game of The Hobbit required Bilbo to get assistance frequently from either Gandalf or Thorin — most notably, getting out of the goblins' dungeon (you had to be carried out the window) and getting into Smaug's cave via the side entrance (the key broke if Thorin died). The game also depended on the elves' butler to periodically open the door to the wood elves' dungeon. If these parties were killed, various areas became unreachable, and randomly spawning enemies like goblins and the vicious warg often killed them while Bilbo was elsewhere.
  • In King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder!, there is a moment where you MUST throw a boot at a cat chasing a rat, so that when your character is trapped later, the grateful rat will free you. The cat-and-rat chase moment happens quickly, and the game gives no obvious cues that you must throw the boot. If you don't, your character will not be freed, thus culminating in a game over.
  • Leisure Suit Larry 2: Looking for Love (in Several Wrong Places) throws one requirement after another at the player, with no real discernible cue that any of them are going to be needed later in the game, leading to a plethora of Unwinnable situations, especially since the game has absolutely no qualms with you saving your progress while a doomed scenario is already playing out.
  • Luigi's Mansion:
    • There are two bonus enemies hidden throughout the mansion: Gold Mice and Speedy Spirits. Speedy Spirits appear in the blink of an eye in certain dark rooms and vanish just as quickly; if Luigi doesn't catch them in one go, they'll vanish forever. Gold Mice are similar, but instead of just vanishing, they move really quickly, and can be vacuumed up in one hit. Both types will disappear if all other enemies in the room are beaten first, because beating the enemies turns on the lights in the room. Both of them drop the same thing: Lots and lots of money, and, in the case of the Speedy Spirits, gems. There is a blackout partway through the game, however, giving Luigi a second chance to catch any Speedy Spirits he missed previously, but there are no more chances after that, and to make matters worse, there are certain Speedy Spirits that can only be gotten in random, out-of-the-way rooms during the blackout. Lastly, you can't save during the blackout.
    • The two Gold Diamonds, the most valuable items in the game, can be missed under the wrong circumstances:
      • The next-to-last room of Area 2, the Boneyard, has a plant you can water once you bag the resident skeleton and Spooky, the guard dog. You need to water it before you enter the Graveyard beyond this point, since you become unable to leave the Graveyard and it has the boss of Area 2. Afterwards, you must water it at some point in Area 3 before its boss, and watering it in the last area rewards you with first Gold Diamond in the mansion. Miss any of the three waterings, and you can't get the diamond.
      • The second Gold Diamond is earned after capturing all Boos except King Boo, as he's the Final Boss and only has a much less valuable treasure. Although you're given the option to save your progress every time a Boo is captured, the Diamond can only be collected after you finish talking with E. Gadd and save. If you get the Diamond but forget to save again afterwards (either by talking to a Toad or by defeating King Boo and finishing the game), it will be lost permanently since you'll have already captured the last Boo and won't have a chance to claim back the prize.
  • In Maniac Mansion, pouring film developer on the Man-Eating Plant will kill it, preventing you from climbing into the observatory for the rest of the game. If a character is up there when the plant keels over:
    "The plant's gone. I'm stuck up here!"
  • Myst III: Exile has a snag quite late in the game: if you get the sequence of actions wrong when you confront Saavedro, he'll toss the Releeshan book off a cliff... and you'll never get it back.
  • The Pajama Sam series is known for including collection sidequests as an extra activity. No Need To Hide When It's Dark Outside has a chance of placing one of the socks in Sam's room, the very first screen of the game. As soon as you leave this screen, there is no turning back, though since the sock is really easy to notice, it's unlikely. The third game pulls this off twice in the boxtop sidequest, and unlike the first game, both are very easy to miss since they're tiny and are as far from the middle of the screen as possible. Top it off with the fact that they always appear no matter what, are on the second and third screens, they're really easy to miss, and once again, if you move on, there is no turning back. This is especially annoying since the box tops are the hardest items to notice in the series, leaving you running around frantically looking for the last one.
  • Rakuen series:
    • In the first game, the patient lounge can be decorated with all sorts of dolls, furniture, and pets that can be found throughout the journey. Most of these collectibles can be obtained at any time, but a few of them are hidden in areas that are only accessible during certain parts of the story:
      • Ogee the Cat can be found in the master bed room closet in Tony's memory. Grab it before you complete the memory and obtain the second part of the "Mori no Kokoro" or it will be gone for good.
      • The Pet Goldfish, Panky Doll, and Ao Boshi Matsuri CD can only be obtained during the Star Night festival. Once the festival ends and day rolls over, they will be unobtainable for the rest of the game.
    • Mr. Saitou: One achievement requires you to inspect every single plant in the game. Several sections of the game can only be explored once, so if you miss even one and progress to the next section then you will be locked out of the achievement for the rest of the save file.

    Card Battle Game 
  • In Digimon Digital Card Battle for the PS, you get to choose a partner Digimon at the very start of the game, and you get two more later in the story. What nobody told you is that you have to choose them from a pool of six, and that the decisions are permanent; the three partners you didn't choose are permanently missable unless you cheat. To make matters more aggravating, the plot is set so that you're only offered one of them once, so if you didn't choose him when you first saw him, you'll never get another chance.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction, if you fail to activate the Robot Monkey sidequest, it's gone forever from that playthrough, and you can't duel the monkey in the Game Shop. Thankfully, any cards they would give you can still be obtained normally.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour, due to a glitch in the JP and NA versions, Pegasus disappears from the game permanently after you defeat Odion, and you cannot get his Imperial Order trade before he leaves. The EU version fixed the bug.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Monster Capsule GB has the threat of this as part of the game; if you get a game over in any of the RPG Worlds you miss out on rescuing whichever of Yugi's friends was trapped there, and also miss out on unlocking Yugi/Yami Yugi as figurines in the postgame.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2008, Voltanis the Adjudicator and Airknight Parshath are unlocked as opponents in the World Championship mode if you defeat Voltanis in the main story. The problem is that Voltanis is the only opponent in the story that cannot be rematched, so if you lose to him (which is very possible considering how powerful his deck is), you don't get to unlock either of them for that playthrough.

    Driving Game 
  • Anything related to Norahike in Choro Q HG4 after you beat Otto's grand prix. This includes loads of synthesis parts obtained from him which require you to spam on entering his house until you get everything.
  • Missed out on the Dr. Pepper promotion for Need for Speed Hot Pursuit? Say goodbye to any chance of getting the Dodge Viper SRT-10, Nissan 370z coupe, Porsche Cayman S, and Porsche Panamera Turbo for the Racer faction. Thankfully those cars are included in the Remastered version along with all the other DLC cars.
  • Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune:
    • Many special titles (e.g. those based on mileage and those based on how many wins) are only offered once, unless starting in 6, you have the Wangan Navigator app which allows you to change and save up to 10 of the last awarded titles.
    • In the first two games, your Story Mode "undefeated" status, represented by hollow "stage cleared" icons. Lose a single race and you'll have to get a new card if you want it again. 3 remedies this by giving you a second chance on your card after clearing Story Mode.

    Edutainment Game 
  • In the bizarre spinoff to The Oregon Trail called The Amazon Trail, you can catch a pirarucu, a fish that's as long as a bus in the Fishing Minigame. It only swims by once, but it takes up half the screen and if you don't catch it, that's your problem.

    Fighting Game 
  • Medabots AX: Metabee and Rokusho: While you can normally win multiple versions of the same parts, there's only one set of parts that make a full Medabee, Rokusho, or Arcbeetle kit. Lose even one of them, you'll never get it back.
  • Thankfully averted with Mortal Kombat: Deception; the Konquest mode has a chest with one of its unlockable fighters, Kenshi, in the small village where your character begins the game as a child. Leaving the village causes a time-lapse sequence which spans many years and causes your character to grow older, so the game prevents temporal anomalies by locking you out once you've left... and scatters all of the golden chests in the village around Earthrealm after beating Konquest, including the one containing Kenshi.
  • Punch-Out!! for Wii:
    • The secret Champions Mode, a submode of Exhibition that can be unlocked by winning ten fights in Mac's Last Stand. Problem is, should the player lose three times there before the tenth victory, the game will end and not only will Last Stand be locked, there won't be another chance to unlock Champions Mode.
    • The hidden opponent, Donkey Kong, will be permanently missable if he doesn't appear as an opponent before the player loses three times, since Mac's Last Stand picks opponents randomly. Fortunately, if you encounter him, he is automatically unlocked in Exhibition mode, regardless if you beat him or not.
    • If you never train in Exhibition Mode against wireframes before reaching Mac's Last Stand in Career mode, the second movie will be locked on that file.

    Party Game 
  • Mario Party has a rather unusual example in that one of its title screens becomes permanently inaccessible. Normally, the title screen changes to reflect whichever character won the most recently played game board. However, there is a generic title screen that only ever appears the first time you load up the game. It returns after playing Eternal Star once, but beyond that, once it's gone the only way to see it again is to delete your save data.

    Puzzle Game 
  • Antichamber: The first pink cube is only accessible at the very beginning of the game. After you've completed a few rooms, the layout of "There's No Way In" changes and you can't access the area where it is anymore. It's particularly bad because it's precisely one of the most Guide Dang It! cubes (it requires you to walk among darkness through a passage that you won't learn the existence of until after the point where the layout has changed).
  • In Love & Pies, the generators that produce items for special orders such as Joe's order to find Marshmallow the cat are automatically destroyed after the orders are fulfilled. This means that if they're not fully upgraded when the orders are completed, then you'll never see what their final upgrades would look like since their components will no longer be in stock at the marketplace.
  • Manifold Garden: The first secret area you encounter is impossible to access once you complete the blue level.
  • McPixel has four Mind Screw bonus rounds (one made entirely out of the title character, one set on the rainbow trail of Nyan Cow, one set in a sewer underneath a toilet, and a crazily glitched up one) that can only be accessed a limited number of times while doing the initial runthroughs of each of the official stages.note  Once all of the stages are finished, there's no way of accessing these rounds ever again.
  • In Portal 2, there's an achievement called "Professor Portal" that you get by beating the co-op mode, and then going through the co-op mode's tutorial with a Steam friend who has never played the co-op mode before. Because of how it works, it's mathematically impossible for every player of the game to get the achievement, because once all but one player has it, they've all played the game before, so the one remaining player doesn't have anyone left to play with to get the achievement. And in practice, even fewer players will be able to get the achievement, since not everyone started playing co-op with a Steam friend.
  • Professor Layton: Almost every game has certain areas where you can never go back past a certain point, so if you happen to miss any of hint coins (and in Miracle Mask, the Chapter 6 collectibles) that are in those areas, they're gone for good. However, if you happen to miss any puzzle this way, they will be sent to a puzzle keeper, who will keep those puzzles safe for you to solve whenever you speak to them.
  • In Puzzle Quest: Challenge Of The Warlords, every enemy (and learnable spell) can be attained at leisure... except for the Imp spells (Burn, Taunt, and Zap). The Imps only appear on one spot of the map, which only unlocks after you've completed "The Marriage" subquest in Enmouth, and will disappear the moment you return to report to the Queen. You have to stay there and defeat three Imps in a row before capturing one, and the aforementioned spells turn them into Demonic Spiders if you're playing as a Fighter or Wizard.
  • World of Goo: A Bragging Rights Reward known as an "OCD". There's a glitch in the game preventing the gamer from getting the OCD Achievement in the level "MOM's Computer" after completing that level once. (The glitch has been fixed through patches in most versions of the game.)

    Real Time Strategy 
  • In Medieval II: Total War, generals can sometimes gain Ancillaries, technically characters following them around but essentially a stat boost. Most of them are gained through specific but generic actions like winning battles or being in a town/castle when a given building is completed. However, some of the most powerful ancillaries are historical ones like William Wallace or Machiavelli, and those can only be gained in very specific circumstances that aren't revealed to the player note . Joan of Arc, for example, can only be gained during a 20ish year span (1 turn being 6 months in the game), only for French players, only if France and England are at war late in the game (which is unlikely, since both countries are in each other's way, and one usually destroys the other in the early game) and only if the given general wins a battle against the English in which the odds were against him, but not too much.

    Rhythm Game 
  • Rock Band: Challenge rewards can only be obtained one time per band. While the "impossible [instrument] challenges" clearly show what the costumes look like (before coloring), the "Impossible Marathon, part 2" challenge has a reward of ONE (not a set. ONE) "crazy instrument" for each active player, corresponding to whatever instrument that player cleared Painkiller with. In order to get all 4 crazy instruments on one character, the entire challenge ladder must be gone through four times, each one in a different band. The amount of time one such run takes is comparable to the time it takes to clear Endless Setlist II. Remedied in Rock Band 3 — unlock once, use on every character you want for that profile.

  • Absented Age: Squarebound: Unlike other scannable bosses, the Final Boss cannot be rechallenged, meaning the player has only one chance to scan them.
  • ADOM has too many to count. Two Bonus Dungeons, the Pyramid and the Minotaur Maze, are only open to characters of certain levels (13-16 for the Pyramid, 22-30 for the Minotaur Maze). If you haven't found and killed the superboss inside when you reach that level, then they close up for good and render everything inside permanently irretrievable. And if you so much as talk to Khelavaster without giving him an Amulet of Life Saving, he'll die a Plotline Death, rendering the Trident of the Red Rooster and the Golden Ending unavailable all at once.
  • In Roguelikes (Angband, for example), items are usually unidentified when you first find them, and they can always be generated again later. This includes unique "artifact" items, but only if you don't identify them, since artifacts are only generated once per game. If you ID an item and it turns out to be an artifact, it is permanently missable when you leave the level and you're not carrying it.
  • Deepwoken: Both the Stranded and Whaler Initiate outfits are automatically discarded upon picking a new outfit. Furthermore, there aren't any schematics obtainable in both the overworld and the Depths, making it so that the only way to reobtain it is to start a new character.
  • In Sword of the Stars: The Pit, don't activate something unless you're sure you're going to use it immediately. Some of the devices lying around have only one use and will be unusable afterwards even if you don't do anything with them.
  • To ME has a few dungeons with special named levels, which are different in that they aren't randomly generated, and thus the same in every game. They also have the same unique monsters and artifacts in every game. They also disappear if you leave (for example via the down staircase) and if you attempt to go back to it, you'll just get a randomly generated level instead. So, you only get one shot at grabbing those artifacts (whether found on the floor or dropped from a unique) before leaving the level, or they're permanently missable. Make sure to have some free inventory space when you get there.

    Simulation Game 
  • In Freelancer, there is a very good ship called the Anubis that you have exactly four opportunities to obtain: if you don't get it (which is frankly rather silly, as it's dirt cheap) within those four chances, or sell it afterwards, it's permanently missable.
  • Some activities in Growing Up are only available in the early stages of the game and can't be accessed again when you move up a school level. You won't be able to add them to your schedule if you don't unlock them with Action Points first.
  • Harvest Moon:
    • Many of the older games have items and characters that will become unavailable after a certain amount of time. Most famously is Harvest Moon 64, where Cliff, Karen, and Kai will leave town if you do not get their relationship levels high enough - depriving you of two potential rival marriages and 100% completion on your recipe list. Kai, though, will stay if Karen stays, regardless of his relationship level with you. The death of Ellen is avoidable, if you know what to watch out for (if she's sitting on the side of her house, instead of the front, DO NOT APPROACH). But if she dies, she'll take her recipe with her and knock a good chunk of points off Elli's affection levels.
    • Another particularly nasty one is the Hot Springs in Harvest Moon DS and its Distaff Counterpart Harvest Moon DS Cute, which can only be found by befriending or partially wooing Flora (regardless of whether or not you intend to marry her), since finding it is one of her Heart Events. The problem? If Flora marries her partner Carter, you're locked out of the event forever. In the girl version, it's based on Friendship instead of Affection, but you're still locked out of the Hot Springs-discovering event if Flora or you marries Carter, for seemingly arbitrary reasons. What do you miss if you don't get the Hot Springs? A different Hot Spring in another area of town, a shippable item (the Spa-Boiled Egg), and a huge chunk of Harvest Sprites, making 100% Completion of the Harvest Sprite teams impossible. On top of it all? The whole thing is a Guide Dang It!.
  • In Hometown Story, Sunny the tailor at some point gives you an outfit and suggests that you wear it on a date. You will register of having done this if a bachelor asks you out while you are wearing the outfit and you accept. That will trigger a cutscene if you visit Sunny later on, in which she's pleased you wore it but suggests you to choose your own outfit next time. However, it's possible to go on all dating events before you even get the outfit, thus eliminting the possibility of seeing the cutscene.
  • In I Was a Teenage Exocolonist, babysitting is only available if you save Tammy, but you can only take the job in the first four years because the creche gets permanently destroyed in the Faceless attack at the end of Year 5.
  • In Jurassic World: Evolution you can miss getting the T. rex in the Claire’s Sanctuary DLC if you don’t realize you have to photograph the dinosaurs on Isla Nublar before you finish the medication and transport missions and the volcano erupts. The rex is a reward for the photography mission.
  • My Child Lebensborn: A school backpack that can be purchased for the child will no longer be available after a few days because the store will have sold it to someone else. The wool to make the scarf and the stuffed fox will also stop being available if they are not purchased during the playable part of the winter. In the case of the wool for the stuffed fox, it's because the latter is meant to be made into the child's Christmas present.
  • No Man's Sky: Choose the wrong option at the temple? Enter the wrong code at the observatory? Give the trader the wrong item? Sorry, you're SOL. Can't ever get that particular thing's option again. It may appear elsewhere later, but that one is gone.
  • In Star Wars Tie Fighter you can be inducted into the Secret Order of the Emperor and progress through multiple ranks within the Order by completing bonus objectives in levels. However, you cannot replay campaign missions outside of the Flight Simulator, and completing bonus objectives in the Flight Simulator does not count towards nabbing a higher rank in the Order. In other words: if you don't complete the bonus objectives the first time you finish missions, you won't be able to progress all the way through the Order's ranks.
  • In the first Viva Piñata, the gold Dragonache variant can only be obtained by hatching its egg on dry soil (the kind the garden's covered in at the start of the game). If all the dry soil is flattened out, there's no way to get any more, making the gold variant unobtainable for that garden. Trouble in Paradise later fixed that problem by removing dry soil altogether and making the gold variant obtainable by hatching the egg on golden paving, which is easily bought from Costolot's store.
  • War Dragons has seasonal event dragons that you may not get a second chance at if you can’t obtain them during the current season. A few have been resurrected later on, though.

    Sports Game 
  • Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games: Cream has an entire side story dedicated to her in Tokyo 2020, involving her visiting all of Tokyo's most famous landmarks. However, it can only be experienced by talking to Cream in every chapter she appears in, and failing to talk to her even once cuts the sidequest short, forcing you to start story mode from the beginning all over again to get another shot at talking to Cream.

    Stealth Based Game 
  • Hitman: Absolution: With the shutdown of the servers for the game's Contracts mode in 2018, the entire weapon and disguise collection aspect and a few achievements/trophies are completely neutered. Unlike previous games, you cannot select your loadout when replaying a mission in Absolution.
  • The Metal Gear series often averts this. For instance, if the player misses the SOCOM pistol at the start of MGS1, he will have one sitting in front of him during the first major firefight. In MGS3, if the player fails to locate the Night-Vision Goggles in the cavern, EVA will simply hand him a set in a later cutscene, etc.
    • There are still some items that can be permanently missable, particularly optional items, if they are not picked up as soon as they are available. Examples include the torch from MGS3 (find in the cave before The Pain boss battle or never again) and AKS-74u silencer in MGS2. Neither are overly necessary and both actually require more effort than just leaving them, but for 100% completion...
    • Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes has a silenced, tranquilizer-shooting M9. On the lower difficulty levels, it's stored in one of the lockers in the opening docks area. The cargo elevator at the back of the docks is a one-way trip.
    • In Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions, if the player completes all the training missions, the game will show a concept artwork of Metal Gear RAY from the then-upcoming Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. However, there's no way to view picture again once the data has been saved.
    • During Chapter 2 of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, there is a mission titled "A Quiet Exit", which means exactly what you think it means. Upon completion, Quiet can no longer be selected as a buddy for missions. What's worse is that she goes missing upon completing the previous mission, so even if you've heard that Quiet leaves, you'll have to hold off on two missions if you want to keep her around. The game itself can last for over 100 hours if you're going for full completion, so starting over is less than desirable. This was only an issue with the launch version of the game though. From the Ver. 1.06 patch and onward, she can recruited back by repeating the "Cloaked in Silence" mission seven times, which changes the mission tag from "replay" to "reunion".
    • Also in Phantom Pain, not utilizing the Old Save Bonus from Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes prevents the player from acquiring several exclusive items, including the SV-Sneaking Suit (Snake's attire in GZ) and several unique recruits (including "The Eye" and "The Finger", the targets of a side mission in the same title). One of the items is a subversion of this; the Bionic Arm (Gold) was originally only intended to be awarded in this fashion, but was then removed from the save file transfer so that it could be sold as Downloadable Content, and was then integrated properly into the Definitive Experience release, where it is unlocked within normal gameplay.
  • In Yandere Simulator, you can only join a club once in a single playthrough. If you quit or are expelled from the club, you will not be able to join it and reap its benefits again. Clubs can also be shut down if too many of its members, or its leader, die. Furthermore, YandereDev has confirmed that certain elimination methods will require specific NPCs to be alive - killing them ahead of time renders those methods inaccessible. What, Did You Actually Believe...? that being an Ax-Crazy psycho wouldn't have consequences?

    Turn Based Tactics 
  • Cecille from Luminous Arc has a particularly plot-relevant Class Change that resets her Relationship Values and opens up a new set of related conversations. Any items you didn't get from raising her Relationship Values before her class change are permanently missable, along with the special CG for maxing them. Really forever, since her class change is retained going into the New Game Plus. The items can be acquired by other means, but the CG can't. Also, any equipment she has on when she leaves will also be lost; when she comes back with her new class, it'll have been replaced with other things.
  • In Odium, combats and exploration are done on separate maps. Sometimes, combat maps contain a crate with goodies or two. If you do not open and empty a crate before killing all the enemies, everything you failed to grab will be permanently missable.
  • X-COM:
    • X-COM: UFO Defense: The Plasma (sniper) Rifle, one of the most devastating weapons if put in the right hands, quits spawning around April or so. If you haven't cannibalized and manufactured your own Plasma Rifles by then, you're up a creek. Your troops will be stuck with the low-power, less accurate Laser Rifle or the very inaccurate Heavy Plasma.
    • Terror from the Deep: The Sonic Pistol is phased out by the aliens after a few months. This can screw you over if a) none actually ever spawned during that time, or b) you sold all the ones that did because you didn't know about it. Researching the Sonic Pistol is tremendously important, because it's both the best assault weapon in the game, and a required prerequisite for the Sonic Oscillator, the best craft weapon. It is possible to win without these, so it isn't unwinnable, but it's a lot harder.
    • This game also has a couple of research tree bugs:
      1. These two items, the MC Reader and the Sub Construction store item, are special in that they will only become available for research if and only if a sample is available in your general stores before completing research for their prerequisite technologies.
      2. Live Deep One, which should only be researched after you have met the other prerequisites for Ion Armour. Without Armours you won't get to research advanced subs; without advanced subs you can't reach T'leth and defeat the aliens once and for all.
    • XCOM: Enemy Unknown: It's possible to miss the Plasma Pistol if playing without the Enemy Within expansion. It is carried only by Sectoids, both types of which are phased out of regular missions after a certain point. If there are no more story missions where they appear, then the only guaranteed chance is in the finale, which is too late to do any research. With Enemy Within, however, Mechtoids show up throughout the whole game, and are accompanied by sectoids or sectoid commanders, whom all drop Plasma Pistols.
    • XCOM 2: Most weapon upgrades require salvaged alien corpses to craft. The top-tier GREMLIN and Psi Amp upgrades need Sectopod wrecks and Gatekeeper shells, respectively, which are end-game enemies you won't encounter all that often before the global timer forces you to tackle the final mission. A lot of mission types don't allow you to take salvage with you in the first place, so if the RNG is having a particularly bad time during your current campaign, you might never get the chance to fully upgrade your armory.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, Nagito Komaeda's first Free Time Event must be completed in Chapter 1, or else all of his following Free Time Events will be rendered unavailable.
  • In Fate/hollow ataraxia if the players don't see some of the filler scenes before moving to the plot scenes, they're no longer available. And not getting 100% completion means it's impossible to unlock a bonus scene where Shiro and Saber are Together in Death.
  • Hotel Dusk: Room 215:
    • There's a sidequest in which the player can earn a prize from a vending machine. There is only one very short point in the game in which one can exchange cash for change; after that, it's permanently missable. There is also no warning. There is a kind-of New Game Plus mode after completing the game with an extra puzzle and ending, but the scavenger hunt item one gets out of the machine changes, making the original permanently missable unless starting a clean game. In addition, the original scavenger hunt vending item can be given to two different characters, but the only way to give it to one of them is to randomly guess the vending machine number, because there is no opportunity to give it to her after legitimately completing the scavenger hunt.
    • There's an item that the players practically need for when they get trapped in the basement late in the game that's completely missable and never mentioned. While it is possible to get through it without the item, the players must prepare for a lot of trial and error and game overs.
  • The Price of Flesh: One of the secret endings requires you to have zero deaths. Getting the 100% completion achievement requires you to earn that route first. If you didn't know this from the beginning, you'd have to reset all the progress you already made.
  • In True Love Junai Monogatari, if the Player Character fails to show up to a date, the girls will be understandably angry at him but may ultimately forgive him if he plays his card right. There's one girl who will NOT do so, however, and will completely ditch him: the Cute Bookworm Miyuki.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Bully. Chapter 1 features "The Big Prank" side mission, available only during Halloween night. Unlike every other mission in the game, this one's gone for good if you don't do it the minute it shows up (ie. sleep during Halloween). Luckily, it doesn't count for 100% Completion. Also, the game literally texts the uniqueness of the mission and leaves very little margin for the player to miss it.
  • Cyberpunk 2077:
    • The game has several locations that you only visit once during missions and can never go back to later, and some of those have Iconic (unique) weapons or clothing that be easily missed (particularly the Katana in Konpeki Plaza, at the end of Act 1, in a place where you probably wouldn't think to check because the game itself directs you to go somewhere else immediately). The worst offender, however, is unlocking the secret "Don't Fear The Reaper" ending path, which requires a specific set of dialogue choices from one mission late game. Choose wrong? Unless you have an earlier save file to try again or use a mod to run a console command, you're locked out of it permanently for that run. Not that the game ever tells you this or that there even is an alternate final mission, in fact.
    • You can fail "Riders on the Storm" simply by taking too long to do it in an aversion to almost every other mission in the game. If you do so, or if you side with Saul against Panam later on then you're permanently locked out of both Panam's romance option and the entire Aldecaldo ending path, widely considered to be the Golden Ending.
  • In The Godfather: The Game there are Thief Bags with cash in every mission that will disappear after the mission is over. Fortunately, it's just cash, which you can easily earn elsewhere.
  • Entire missions in the original Grand Theft Auto (and its GTA London expansion packs) are permanently missable if you fail them. When the jobs you're offered start getting... challenging (think assassination attempts on politicians protected by machinegun-wielding bodyguards), let's just say it's a good thing that level completion is tied to your bank account, not storyline missions.
  • In Grand Theft Auto III:
    • It can be difficult to complete the paramedic vehicle missions as early as nine missions into the game, as the Triads turn hostile and will shoot on sight and try to drag you out of the ambulance. Things get incredibly harder once you leave Portland because all the members of the Mafia that eventually betrayed the protagonist shoot at your vehicle with upgraded weaponry (shotguns), usually destroying it in 2 shots, and the Cartel on Staunton and Shoreside Vale are hostile from the beginning and will carry rifles instead of their usual SMGs upon completion of the story. Ditto the last mission "Big 'N' Veiny" for El Burro. Since those missions are required for 100% Completion, this screwed many gamers who decided to procrastinate on doing them.
    • Missions where you work for Kenji can be permanently missable, if you don't complete them before doing a mission for Donald Love where you kill Kenji to start a gang war. However, players surprised that killing somebody makes it impossible to get missions from them should consider the possibility that they've been playing too much Grand Theft Auto III. Asuka's final mission in her first strand is unplayable if you unlock her second strand of missions. Same with the entire Leone family; any missions from them that are still hanging around after you off Salvatore are gone for good. Future titles fix this by disabling such missions until the ones to be affected are completed, so this may not be realized by anyone who started to play GTA III after the others.
    • There was a bug in the PC version that made 100% completion impossible forever on any new games you save. There is a mission on Shoreside Vale where you have to do a drive by on X amount of enemies. If you had completed all the missions for the guy at the phone and attempt to do this particular mission in a new game after saving, the enemies NEVER spawn!
  • In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City:
    • The katana hidden in a cafe that gets blown up as part of a mission, rendering it inaccessible for the rest of the game. The player can't even cheat to get it after this happens; if a trainer or similar cheat is used to walk through the rubble, they will simply fall through it, as the interior is no longer solid. However, the katana can be purchased from the DIY store in the mall and still spawns in a garage next door to the mansion on Starfish Island, if you don't want to pay.
    • Due to a glitch involving clothes pickups, missions that require the player to change clothes will permanently relocate the pickup for the Havana Outfit behind an invisible wall. The only way around this is to do the mission that unlocks the Havana Outfit ("Two Bit Hit") after the offending missions.note 
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas:
    • The side missions "Big Smoke's Cash" and "Loco Syndicate Drug Courier" cannot be completed once the player completes "Yay Ka-Boom-Boom", since this mission involves destroying the drug factory featuring in the two side missions.
    • The game has several vehicles that can only be obtained in the main missions, such as a Volkswagen bus with a retro hippy paintjob, an armored car, and several modified cars, or cars with vanity license plates. This creates the odd situation where the game plans for you to lose these vehicles forever — the only way to hold onto them is often to park them in a garage, then fail the mission and restart it.
    • The player can start over with most of CJ's girlfriends if they are killed during a date, as they will respawn in their "meeting point" in the map. The only exceptions are Denise Robinson and Millie Perkins because they meet CJ through the storyline missions, which means that they can't be met again if they end up dead.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories has special vehicles that spawn one time outside your safehouse after completing certain side missions. In order to keep them, they must be stored in a garage, which can be a pain if that means sacrificing another vehicle for the garage space.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV:
    • The game presents what can only be a very intentional variation of the above and for once an interesting twist: there are certain missions where you are presented a choice of whether or not to kill someone. The game is even nice enough to tell you that "your choice has consequences for the future." What it doesn't tell you is that the person whose life you're playing with also has missions for you to do should you choose to spare them; if you choose to kill them, well, that means no extra side-mission for you (and that you're a cold, cold bastard).note 
    • A more minor example comes in the form of the taxi driver job that you can take up for Roman. This venture becomes unavailable after his cab depot is burned to the ground and remains as such for the rest of the game, even after he starts a new cab business. Not that you're missing much, though; each fare pays around 30 dollars at most, so the job is only really useful for scraping cash together in the early game.
  • Grand Theft Auto V:
    • There is an optional Random Event that is unlocked by bringing four people in certain other Random Events to the Altruist Cult's fortress as Trevor. If you played the applicable Random Events as Michael or Franklin, or you had not brought the required amount by the time you played through them all as Trevor, then this mission became permanently inaccessible. A later patch fixed this: now, the four people infinitely respawn with the exact same premise so you can eventually deliver them as Trevor.
    • A more insidious example happens if Packie McReary gets killed in his Random Event. Seeing as how he's a Disc-One Nuke when it comes to heists, you'll want to avoid this by any means possible.
    • Another secret Random Event involves Michael or Franklin returning to crooked salesman Simeon Yetarian's car dealership, at which point the man sics guards on them which the played character must kill, before then gaining the option to either kill Simeon himself or let him escape. The catch is that in order to access the event, you have to return to the dealership after completing a certain mission (and you're given no in-game reason to actually go back there) but before the first heist; the Event becomes permanently inaccessible afterwards. Thankfully, said Event isn't necessary for 100% Completion either.
    • There's also player characters. Ending the game with the "Kill Michael" or "Kill Trevor" missions renders them and their assets permanently unavailable in the postgame. This doesn't intentionally lock you out of 100% Completion, but the knock-on effects make it very difficult and any content exclusive to that character is gone for good.
  • Just Cause 2 has the MV Command vehicle, which is only guaranteed to spawn in the fourth main mission. If you don't ride it there, your only other chance is one specific Ular Boys mission, but it is not guaranteed to show up. Miss out on it, and you're locked out of the achievement for driving every vehicle at least once.
  • In Minecraft, killing the Ender Dragon nets you a lot of experience and the purely decorative Dragon Egg. It can only be collected in a certain and rather tricky way, and if accidentally touched it will teleport in a spot at random, potentially falling off the floating terrain the fight took place on and being destroyed by the Void. In older versions of the game, you couldn't fight the Ender Dragon again.
    • Many guides stress the role of renewable resources, as while it's possible to expand one's range of exploration to find more non-renewable resources, they will eventually run out if the player stays in the same zone.
    • Minecraft is attempting to avert this and with each new release many previously non-renewable resources are becoming renewable though crafting, trading, and fishing.
  • Bringing up the same game again, the Minecraft Marketplace sometimes has events (like community celebrations) where you get free gifts by checking out everyday. The gifted maps are unlikely to be gone, but the Character Creator-exclusive items will be permanently missable if you fail to get them as gifts after the events are over.
  • No More Heroes. The collectible cards scattered around in each of the ranking matches are permanently missable once you finish that level. The first time through is not a problem, since they're just trading cards of fake Mexican wrestlers, but in New Game Plus, you lose concept art of the assassin from the current stage, so there's no chance for 100% Completion. Of course, you can always just start another New Game Plus.
  • In Starbound, the Protectorate uniform, flower, and cape can only be found during the prologue; once you leave Earth, you can't get them anymore. The cape is particularly tricky since it's tucked away in an out-of-the-way area during a part where you're urged to leave as quickly as possible. Thankfully, none of them have any use beyond appearances.
  • Terraria:
    • Many items used to be severely limited—notably, loot from floating island and dungeon chests. The 1.3 update added several varieties of loot crates, obtained by fishing in the associated biome, specifically to avert this. Items exclusive to chests still apply, especially the rarer ones. Lava Charms in particular can be difficult to find.
    • Worldgen might be cruel and leave you with a Jungle with only a single Beehive, or even make you a world without giant Living Trees. As for the Giant Pyramids, small worlds have a very high chance of generating without a single pyramid to raid. Even if one is generated, the single chest within will never contain the full range of loot. What's worse, pyramids don't have a fishable crate associated with it.
    • The Spider Banner drops from Wall Creepers for every 50 kills. Once you enter hardmode, Wall Creepers are completely replaced by Black Recluses, who have their own banner, which means you can't get one if you didn't get it prior to hardmode. Somewhat fixed in 1.3.1, as Wall Creepers can be spawned using statue farms, although you must first find a Wall Creeper statue, and they're quite rare.
    • The Gray Zapinator is sometimes sold by the Travelling Merchant, but in hardmode it's permanently replaced by the Orange Zapinator. What's worse is that the Travelling Merchant only has roughly a 1 in 5 chance of appearing on any given day and the items he sells are randomised from a large pool, so getting an opportunity to buy the Gray Zapinator before entering hardmode is a Luck-Based Mission.
  • Some ships in the X-Universe series can only be obtained at certain points, and are impossible to get afterwards without cheating, such as the #DECA CPU ship.

Non-video game examples:

    Fan Works 
  • In My Huntsman Academia, a Quest Fic that combines aspects of Tabletop Games and roleplay, certain socials and events can only be accessed if Izuku explores certain parts of Vale or speaks to certain people. These can be permanently lost if certain benchmarks aren't met before turning points or certain "sidequests" in the story. In addition, social events can be lost if Izuku doesn't stay in regular contact with people. Lampshaded by the author after the Junior sidequest.
    "Howdy there, I'm gorilla_fingers, and I burned 80% of the Side Quest and its content, including its possible better outcomes, because you guys didn't pursue it. I am not so afraid of you missing out on stuff that I'll throw up my skirt to show it off. If you make the choice to ignore it, well, life goes on and the game doesn't pause."

  • Fighting Fantasy could be particularly bad about this. In Black Vein Prophecy and Creature of Havoc, you can miss useful items or powers on a dice roll. (Black Vein Prophecy is particularly grim, since the dice roll in question is failing a Luck Stat roll.)
  • In the Lone Wolf books:
    • The Sommersword is the best weapon in the entire series and has many important plot-points tied to it. If you skip Book 2, you'll never get it.
    • The same thing goes for the Dagger of Vashna from Book 4, which is permanently missable automatically in Book 16 anyway. Likewise for the evil sword Helshezag in book 12.
    • The Silver Helmet, which can be missed in Book 3, grants +2 combat skill and (unlike many similar items) can be kept for the entire series. If you miss it in Book 3, or skip that book, you'll never get it.
    • Similarly, the Jewelled Mace, Bronin Warhammer, and Silver Bow of Duadon are all unique weapons that grant constant or situational advantages in later books, all of which you only have one opportunity to find. On top of this, the Silver Bow and Bronin Warhammer are on mutually exclusive paths, and the contest you need to win to get the Silver Bow is nearly unwinnable if you are anything but completely perfect at archery competitions.
  • Sadly this is common in any gamebook series that features a hero with a continuing adventure and in many cases, it's the first or second book that may have some of the best goodies in the series (such as Avenger getting a Kick combat modifier and learning Kwon's Flail then gaining a free ninja skill in Way of the Tiger). Miss that book and your main character could end up suffering tremendously.

  • Agrippa: A Book Of The Dead by cyberpunk author William Gibson. Each of the book’s pages are printed with a special ink that gradually turns invisible upon exposure to light — which is an irreversible process. It also came with a floppy disk, with a program can only run once and then corrupts itself, refuses to run if the write-protect tab is covered, and is copy-protected so you can’t just make a backup — and oh, it corrupts itself first thing, so if you quit it halfway through, yeah. Only two copies of the book delivered to the Library of Congress for archival purposes are printed with regular ink instead. It can be assumed that the version of the floppy delivered with the book to the Library of Congress will also not self-destruct, although given the age, bit-rot would’ve done the job anyway. Later gloriously subverted when a image of the floppy was made and distributed into the dark of the internet. There was also a live one-time public reading on TV, though that one was also gloriously subverted since hackers managed to social-engineer their way into the studio to make a recording of the reading, and the transcript began being distributed on underground BBSes soon after.
  • Chrysalis (RinoZ): There are a variety of optimisations and bonuses available from the System, which get lost or locked out if you don't take them at the right time. For example, condensing a monster core, maximising its capacity, and then overcharging it with a Special core, will give extra (typically superior) evolutionary options, as well as additional energy to make changes and improvements during evolution. Maximising the level of all mutated body parts before evolution gives an additional 10% bonus energy. If you miss out on any of these bonuses, too bad; you can still work toward gaining them on your next evolution, but you'll never catch up with what you could have had. Unfortunately, when Anthony is first reincarnated on Pangera, he doesn't have any tutorial or guide, and has to discover these options through luck. (It takes him until tier five before he discovers the mutation bonus.)

    Toys and Online Stores 
  • Fangamer may put certain items in the Last Chance collection for reasons unknown to many people.
  • Klei Shop differentiates between "special edition" and "limited edition" items. Both are sold in limited quantities, except that the latter will only get a single chance and is the rarest of the two. Zombie Wes Figure and Pink Crabbit plush toy are two examples of the latter; scroll down on the latter item's page to know more about the distinction.
  • Makeship does limited-edition runs of creator-designed plushies. They only get manufactured if enough pre-orders are made before the deadline, and only enough will be made to fufill said pre-orders; if you missed said deadline, your only hope is to hit up ebay and hope you get lucky. The tags on them will even say how many of that plushie got made.
  • Nendoroid: Since GoodSmile releases nendoroids based on demand, occasion, and licensing, like with Figma, a nendoroid may never have a rerelease, especially if there isn't enough demand for a particular nendoroid.
  • Sylvanian Families: It can be assumed that some sets that have been considered as “permanently retired” (ie there has been no reissues in a long time) are this when it comes to new collectors- they're no longer issued that collecting them would mean paying an unthinkable sum of money for them used. For example, apparently (according to old commercials) at one time there was a range of figures with built-in music boxes. Given that the line was pretty much not exported out of Japan and (judging by how there were no subsequent commercials) was very quickly discontinued even within Japan, that these things probably don’t allow the owners to replace the batteries without destroying the toy, and that the batteries in these are most likely dead by now, one can only imagine most of them ending up in landfills and what remains are in the hands of longtime collectors in non working condition- there is just zero chance of new collectors getting their hands on the discontinued dolls.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons adventure WG6 Isle of the Ape. Near the end of the module six jewels worth a total of 300,000 gold pieces float to the ground. If the party doesn't pick them up within one round (1 minute) they vanish forever.
  • Official Pathfinder Society play limits players to a small list of core races for characters, though participating in events may earn the players "boons" which allow them to play certain non-standard races. However, only players at a small number of events in 2014 were offered the boon to play as a goblin. Of the boons distributed, all have since been put to use, and the overwhelming majority of goblin player characters have since been slain. Barring another official event offering the same boon, players are no longer able to make history with goblins.

    Web Comics 
  • City of Reality had a story line about a festival that accomplished its goal of uniting people in peace. At the end of the story line, a mysterious character used a time travel device to redo those events, sabotaging the festival so that the hosts were blamed for acting in bad faith. After the timeline was edited like this, the comics depicting the previous timeline were deleted from the website’s archives. New readers would not be aware of the old timeline unless they noticed the discussion about it on the webcomic’s forum, and they could only read it by downloading a backup of those pages made by another reader.

    Web Original 
  • Noob:
    • The franchise in itself is set in a fictional MMORPG that regularly gets updates over the course of the story. The novel and comic version have mentioned ephemeral quests that are only available for a limited time before or after a given update and secret quests whose outcome affects the game's plot and apparently can't be repeated.
    • Noob: La Quête Légendaire reveals that this is the case for the beginning of the questline to learn forbidden spells. The player needs to Hold the Line in a Multi-Mook Melee without getting any kind of assistance. If the player fails, the forbidden spell master won't give them a second chance.
  • The social photo sharing app Snapchat uses this as one of its main gimmicks. When you receive an image from another user and then open it, you can only view the image for how long the sender specifies, up to 10 seconds, and then the image is deleted from your device. Taking a screenshot notifies the sender. If the sender permits, the image can be "replayed" — that is, viewed again, but only once a day. However, Snapchat also has Stories, the images of which are viewable by all users on the poster's friend list for 24 hours each.
  • The Youtube channel Unus Annus, a social experiment by Youtubers Markiplier and Ethan (of Crank Gameplays), which was deleted one year after its creation as per its creators' wishes. The entire gimmick of the channel is that they'll upload one video a day for a year, then the channel is deleted, and everything becomes a memory of the viewers. Granted, some people got the idea wrong and erroneously believe that the channel should not be mentioned after the project ended. And some people tried to defile the message of the project by re-uploading entire episodes against their wishes (Mark has said that short clips are okay, but not full episodes), although these tend to get reported really quickly by fans.
  • Videos on YouTube. They may disappear due to copyright strikes or DMCA takedowns, due to the creator deeming a video an Old Shame and removing it, or even because a paid video service bought the rights and their contract demands that the freely-viewable copies be taken down (for example, what has happened with the first season of the Sylvanian Families shorts and Netflix and is happening with the second season and Amazon Prime Video). This is the main reason programs that let you download videos off the site exist.
  • Crossing with Anime & Manga, the Japanese Shimajiro Youtube channel does this with their weekly episode uploads. The first two thirds of an episode are usually kept up for only a week and then deleted right before the next week's episode goes live. The final third is up for a coin-toss- if the decision is delete, it's only kept up for a month then deleted. If the decision is keep, however, it's put into a pool of 50 significant anime shorts, of which the oldest video in that pool will be deleted instead.
  • PBS Kids also does this with their YouTube videos, specifically the full episodes. Whenever they upload a new episode of a particular show, previous episodes of that show will be deleted. For example, when the Donkey Hodie episode "Piano Problem; Bongo-Lympics" premiered on the YouTube channel, "A Big Favor For Grampy; A Fair Way To Bounce" got deleted to make room for it.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Lost Forever


You have missed 45 QUESTS!

As Brendan Blaber briefly sums up in his recent video on the Trails of Cold Steel series, the games have a significant amount of side content that the player can permanently miss if they aren't too careful.

How well does it match the trope?

4.79 (33 votes)

Example of:

Main / PermanentlyMissableContent

Media sources: