Follow TV Tropes


Stealth-Based Mission

Go To

The single-mission counterpart to the Stealth-Based Game, where the player must sneak through an area infested with enemies. Getting detected may result in automatic failure and/or death or just mean being besieged by lots of guards. Being thrown in an easily escapable jail cell is also common. Frequently means dealing with guards that have no sense of peripheral vision (or hearing), so the player only has to avoid direct line of sight with them to slip past.

Sometimes the player will have to avoid searchlights that sweep about in a specific pattern. This is actually convenient for players since a visible stream of light is easier to detect and get around than a normally invisible line of sight from a Patrolling Mook. The guards may also be equipped with flashlights that give off a similar effect.

These missions are frequently hated by most players, as many, many, many versions are shoddily implimented, historically; particularly when even the slightest failure leads to instant Game Over.

May be combined with a Sniping Mission. Otherwise often occurs after the player has been stripped of their weapons. If there are alternatives to complete the mission and stealth is only an option, it's Optional Stealth. May sometimes end loudly.

A type of Unexpected Gameplay Change. The exact opposite is Action-Based Mission. See also Stalking Mission, which also involves stealth but for different reasons, Stealth Escort Mission, where someone must be protected without knowing they're protected (or even that they're in any danger), and Assassination Sidequest, a type of sidequest that requires you to kill a specific target stealthily.

See Don't Wake the Sleeper for a non-game version of this trope.


    open/close all folders 

    Action Adventure 
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has Hyrule Castle, where you have to avoid the guards standing outside and then sneak around the patrolling guards inside, and Gerudo Fortress, where you have to avoid being thrown in jail. The Gerudo Fortress mission downplays the mandatory nature of these missions: since your captors don't notice that you're carrying a trunkload of weaponry, getting back out of your cell and simply neutralizing the guards is a snap.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask has the Deku Palace and Pirate's Fortress, made laughably easy if one uses the Stone Mask. Although, in places where you are forced to fight, the pirates always point out that the mask doesn't fool them.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle Games:
      • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages does it in Ambi's Palace — you have to dodge guards outside and inside. Unusually, once you get inside, if you get caught you don't get immediately thrown out — the guards just attack you, but if not defeated fast, they will call out to other guards who will throw you out.
      • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons: You have to follow a Subrosian to a hidden portal without being seen by hiding behind trees. A later trip to Subrosia has two guys steal your equipment, forcing you to get it back.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker has the Forsaken Fortress, in which you lose your sword and are forced to avoid being spotted by the enemies. Unlike earlier examples, there aren't any ways to simply bypass dealing with sentries altogether, but you can hide in a barrel the same way Snake hides in a box to get around them.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures had a few stages where you had to avoid the spotlights that searched the area.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess:
      • In both Old Kakariko and the Arbiter's Grounds bulblin camp, since there's virtually no penalties for being spotted (aside from getting shot at and rushed), they tend to play out more as a western shoot-out and The War Sequence, respectively. Also, nighttime makes it harder for them to see you.
      • Two moments that involve Wolf Link: In both, you're stuck in wolf form and you have to get past a bar filled with people via tightropes and catwalks without falling or breaking/knocking down the many, many pots up there. Failure means being kicked out of the bar and you have to start all over again. There's also Ordon, again as Wolf Link, where if Rusl sees you he attacks you with a torch (though he doesn't move fast due to his injury).
    • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass has the Temple of the Ocean King, which is basically half the game. Ciela even sums the trope up nicely: "So we have to sneak around here like thieves!?"
    • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks has quite a few too, but added the ability to have one character distract a guard while the other character sneaks around. For example, early in the game you have to sneak Zelda out; the player can walk around and be seen as much as he wants—it's Zelda who needs to be stealthy.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword:
      • The third trip to Eldin Volcano. It's a combination of the Wind Waker example and the concept of the No-Gear Level seen at one point in Oracle of Ages.
      • The Silent Realm segments play similarly to the ones in Phantom Hourglass — gather MacGuffins and avoid invincible enemies. Getting a MacGuffin puts the Guardians into a sleep mode for 90 seconds, and if you're quick enough you can grab all of them without letting the timer end, but you have to avoid spotlight enemies that will wake them up if they spot you while doing it.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds has the Dark Palace's surrounding area, where you must sneak past cultists to reach the Dark Palace itself. Thankfully, there's a Weather Vane at the palace entrance, after you've passed the guards.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has several, some optional and some enforced:
      • The Bridge of Eldin doubles as an Escort Mission and has you sneak past robot sentries that will cause the volcano to erupt with you and your Goron companion on it if either of you get caught in their searchlights.
      • The preparation for tackling Vah Ruta includes obtaining a number of shock arrows, which at that point in the game is most easily done by gathering the ones scattered across the summit of Ploymus Mountain. This area is also home to a Lynel, a powerful centaur-like enemy. The mission can be done by simply fighting and killing the enemy and then gathering the materials, but the Lynel is far too strong a foe for an early-game player and, combined with the fact that the player has likely already come across the stealth-boosting armor set, the most efficient way of handling this mission is to carefully sneak around the area while avoiding the patrolling monster.
      • The Yiga Clan Hideout requires you to infiltrate the lair of a Ninja clan allied with Ganon while distracting the guards with bananas. If you get spotted, the room you're in locks down and traps you with a number of powerful enemies who can kill you with one blow, taunting you as you die. You can also Take a Third Option and bring along Ancient Arrows to snipe them with. The Champion's Ballad DLC adds a second Yiga Hideout stealth mission.
      • The Lost Pilgrimage, one of the three Korok Trials, requires Link to follow a Korok undergoing their own trial on the request of a worried friend who wants to make sure they'll be all right. As the first Korok wants to do the trial on their own, Link will need to carefully avoid being noticed — a task complicated by events such as the Korok backtracking when scared by shadows or falling branches or by passing next to packs of aggressive wolves.
  • In Star Fox Adventures, you have to sneak around the prison in Cloudrunner Fortress until you can disguise yourself as a SharpClaw and get Krystal's staff back (or just run though and don't step in any of the three small puddles).
  • Metroid:
    • Metroid: Zero Mission: After finishing what used to be the "original game", Samus flees to her ship and takes off her armor. Uh, bad idea. She gets shot down by Space Pirates, resulting in her being without a ship... or her armor. You then have to slink around a Space Pirate base as ordinary, no Powered Armor Samus, armed with only a stun gun. Unlike most examples, you probably won't perfectly avoid detection during your first playthrough, turning your stealth mission into a "run your ass off or die" mission, unless you have lightning-quick reflexes and are damned good at wall-jumps. (Of course, once Super Smash Bros. Brawl rolled around, it made Zero Suit Samus into a combat badass like her "regular" self, and made her stun gun into a laser whip.)
    • Metroid Dread has the E.M.M.I. zones in which the titular robots dwell. The robots are impervious to Samus' basic weaponry, requiring her to find and neutralize the Control Unit and pick up its energy, which powers the Omega Cannon required to bring the bots down. Until then, she has to stay out of sight or screw with their programming to evade capture, lest she be pinned down and pierced through the sternum. The first E.M.M.I. is found outside a zone yet too broken to pose a fatal threat to a decently careful player, and the seventh can immobilize her for lengthy amounts of time without any visual contact; it only goes down when she decides to suck it dry.
  • Fahrenheit (released as Indigo Prophecy in the US) has several stealth missions taking place in flashbacks to the protagonist's childhood (he lived on a military base and apparently enjoyed sneaking into places the guards wouldn't want him to be). These are generally considered to be Scrappy Levels.
  • Grand Theft Pizza Delivery: One of the missions in the game has Bob having to avoid the gaze of his boss, Speedy Joe, and the Trip Pub girl he's seeing behind his wife's back. He must do this while getting the girl's I.D. to show to Speedy Joe's wife.
  • The Harry Potter games have a number of missions in which you wander around under an invisibility cloak, and one mission where you have to avoid being seen without an invisibility cloak (because the potion that turned you into a Slytherin wears off before you get out of the Slytherin-only part of Hogwarts).
  • Retrieving the Green Hive in Overlord II requires the Overlord to possess a Green Minion and lead a group of them into an Empire base. He and his minions then have to sneak around and Back Stab the forces guarding the base, including the magic detecting Sentinels and the Eradicators, which are Exactly What It Says on the Tin. This section is pretty forgiving; the Overlord himself can't actually die here (the Minion does, but you can get more) and if you lose a few Minions there are jars with reinforcements scattered about the base. Plus, you get to sic Giant Pandas on the guards here. One of the more well thought out and entertaining examples of this trope. The mission where you have to rely on the Blue Minions in the sewers isn't so bad either thanks to their invisibility power. Being invisible makes a Stealth-Based Mission much easier.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum alternates between stealth and action, but a few missions are explicitly stealth-based, since Joker's got hostages and instructs his goons to kill them the second they see Batman, or even think Batman's around; as the Joker helpfully informs them, if the goons start vanishing mysteriously, that means Batman is there.
  • Spider-Man (PS4) has several in which you have to stealthily knock out all the mooks in an area as Spider-Man, or sneak around them as Mary Jane or occasionally Miles Morales.
  • There are lots of stealth-based missions in Secret Agent Barbie.
  • Fairly common in Marc Eckō's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, as Trane is vastly outnumbered and outgunned by the police and as such is better off sneaking around them.
  • Song of the Deep has one that requires diving through a pitch-black shaft and use only sonar to navigate as lighting up the area will attract the resident Demonic Spiders that will instantly kill you.
  • In Ghost 1.0, the Labs sector is under lockdown when Ghost arrives. Laser sensors sweep the labs for intruders, and if Ghost is detected, she'll be obliterated as beams flood the room. She must carefully sneak past the sensors by ducking behind crates and blocking them with moving platforms in order to deactivate the alarms for each lab.
  • In The Pathless, getting too close to a corrupted spirit when it's surrounded by lightning and fire results in the player being absorbed into it and forced into a sequence in which they must hide from the spirit, whose eyes act like searchlights, and try to reach the eagle companion to end the sequence.
Prodigal has a few:
  • When you have to steal an item from the Crocasino's vault, you must traverse a dungeon where you'll have to avoid being seen by statues and bandit guards. Thankfully, if you get caught, it's very easy to escape, and there's even a set of teleport statues that allow you to warp between your cell and a maze so you don't have to walk all the way back there.
  • There are two mutally exclusive stealth segments that relate to Oakley's marriage quest. One of them involves helping the Gravedigger by spying on some people for him, while the other involves following Oakley to help her rescue the Gravedigger from trouble. In both cases, getting caught means you'll have to start from the beginning.
  • In the post-game, you'll have to avoid bandits and moving statues at the Pirate's pier while going to find Hugh and retrieve his sword, and later return to steal a ring. Once again, it's not too hard to escape if you get caught, and there is even an item available at this point that can turn you invisible to make things easier.
  • The Brutal Bonus Level Daemon's Dive has what is probably the hardest stealth section in the game, as one stage is based on the Crocasino level but has moving statues and different room layouts, and one room even has both statues and enemies that persue you and can't be damaged. Thankfully, the aforementioned invisibility item can help a lot, and its sister dungeon, Enlightenment, doesn't have any stealth sections despite having a stage based on the Pirate's Pier.

    Action Game 
  • Ur-Example: In 005, a spy-themed Arcade Game produced by Sega in 1981, one of the game's four "scenes" has the player hiding out in a Container Maze while trying to avoid searchlights carried by cops.
  • Danger Girl have the stage, "Museum Mayhem!", set in the British Museum where you must infiltrate it's vault to retrieve a doomsday artifact before the Hammer Empire, while avoiding the guards. Your sole weapon is a dart gun for knocking out guards, and you spend the entire stage with your hands clean as you're not allowed to kill anyone.
  • Daemon Summoner have a rather frustrating level in the London Docks, where you must infiltrate a ship without being spotted. Unfortunately, due to a glitchy-as-hell AI, enemies will see you if you happen to be in their line of sight, even if you're a mile away - cue a cutscene of the ship leaving. Time to restart the level!
  • Some stealth segments appear in Hulk as Banner.
  • Hotline Miami throws you into a stealth based mission about half-way through the game, where Jacket has to sneak out of a hospital after suffering a near-fatal injury when mobsters ambush him in his own apartment. It's made even worse by the fact that any time you move, your screen starts to grow static-y, glow white, and and an ear-piercing screech starts to fill your sound, and if you walk too far too fast, your character becomes paralyzed for a few seconds which almost always gets you caught.
  • At several points throughout Freedom Wars, you have to sneak your way through Cell Gardens in order to advance the plot. Getting caught by one of the guards will get you kicked out of the Garden and get years added to your sentence.
  • Present in Star Fox 64 through the Zoness level, albeit in a downplayed manner since the only punishment for being spotted by the searchlights is not being allowed to proceed to Sector Z. The reboot Star Fox Zero has a Continuity Nod with Zoness being a stealth-based level again, but the punishment for detection this time is a more conventional enemy attck.
  • Astral Chain: A good portion of File 6 involves sneaking your way past guards in order to infiltrate Section V. Your IRIS gives a detailed map of where the guards are and their field of vision. You can easily chain bind them unconscious with your legion, and the missions give a good reputation bonus for not being spotted.

    Adventure Game 
  • Dreamfall: The Longest Journey has the Grubber cave, where you must match four symbols to statues while avoiding the Grubbers and fighting the camera.
  • Broken Sword 3 has some, of the Scrappy Level variant.
  • King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella has Lolotte's castle, in which Rosella must sneak past a handful of (asleep) guards.
  • Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers has two variations of the Stealth Based Mission; first, he has to escort a mime from one side of Jackson Square to a police officer on the other side, and avoid all of the other townsfolk along the way (lest they distract the mime). Later, Gabriel has to call Dr. John out of his chamber, sneak into it while he's out, and avoid being spotted. But Dr. John is the only enemy he has to avoid.
  • At one point in Jurassic Park: The Game, Oscar engages "stealth mode" by sneaking after the raptor pack, and following them through the utility tunnel. A large part of this involves him trying to sneak up on one that's separated from the pack.
  • In Medieval Cop 4: The Invidia Games Dregg has to sneak past a bunch of guards to get into the Stadium of Hopes and Dreams after Mina and Ina make him think he lost their tickets.
  • Ghost Trick: Chapter 15 tasks Sissel with saving Cabanela from another person with access to powers of the dead much like Sissel's, but far stronger. Since this person is still in the room the entire time, Sissel needs to stay off the radar — using ghost powers in plain view will result in the antagonist calling Sissel out, taking direct control of the situation, and skipping his Evil Gloating to jump right to the part where he kills Cabanela.
  • Stray features a late-game enemy that will track the cat and shoot them with shock bullets if it detects them in its sights for long enough. As the cat has no direct way of fighting back, their best course of action is to sneak around those enemies as encountered (or outrun them and pray they don't get shot). This becomes especially prevalent in the penultimate chapter when the cat and their allies escape the prison they get trapped within.

    Beat 'em Up 
  • The Spider-Man movie game has two stealth missions, both regarded as Scrappy Levels due to lack of open movement.
  • The noir sections of Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions are largely played in this style, requiring Spider-Man to hide in shadows in order to take down Mooks. The only exceptions are a few ambushes and parts of the boss battles.
  • The game based on the 2003 Hulk featured a few missions where the player has to sneak around as Bruce Banner, which were universally derided at the time as being completely antithetical to a game about The Incredible Hulk.

    Driving Game 
  • Several missions in the Driver series require you to follow a car without getting to close and alerting them.

    First-Person Shooter 
  • There is a mission in Call of Duty: Black Ops where the first half has you sneak a squad towards a facility in RTS-style. Getting caught while in RTS mode immediately gets the entire squad killed; you get an achievement for getting through the stealth-RTS section without getting caught.
    • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has "All Ghillied Up". Stealth isn't mandatory (except for one or two small sections) but it's strongly encouraged.
    • Two areas in the "Hunted" mission" involve stealthing across a farm field to avoid enemy patrols. If you get spotted too early on Veteran, your goose is cooked.
  • COD 2 Spanish Civil War Mod: The Garrabitas Hill mission begins with Shabah crossing a bridge at night, armed only with a knife, and ordered to eliminate enemy sentries. Due to a Game-Breaking Bug, he always gets detected and shot at before killing anyone. However, stealth mechanics work (mostly) correctly in the penultimate Republican mission when Marion has to sneak inside a Nazi mansion and steal the documents proving their plans for world conquest.
  • The first two levels of Gemini: Heroes Reborn sees you trying to sneak around the facility and avoiding guards, after being separated from your friend Alex. Of course, that's before you realize you have psychic abilities - the game starts becoming combat-orientated when your powers manifests.
  • Halo:
    • The stealth portions in Halo 2 (where you play as the Arbiter) frustrated many people as they were much less enjoyable to play, even though they often involved an interesting plot. To be fair, the stealth sequences were very similar to the stealth sequences in the first game. Namely, short and optional. You can go in guns blazing if you want to, and the game doesn't penalize you too much for it.
    • During the nighttime sections of Halo 3: ODST the player has the option of running around the city guns blazing (as per the usual Halo strategy)... or, using the city map to keep track of Covenant patrols and avoid nearly every enemy on the way to the next objective. The game doesn't care either way but does increase the number of Covenant near objectives and as the game progresses. The daytime sections are classic Halo gunslinging, though.
    • Nightfall is this combined with sniping for Halo: Reach.
  • A mission in Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast requires Kyle to sneak through an enemy base. Of course, you can try provoke all enemies and kill them before they push various alert buttons, by being at the button and kill all enemies trying to push it.
  • One very annoying mission in Return to Castle Wolfenstein requires you to remain undetected in broad daylight, in an open field; if you're seen even once and fail to snipe the guard in the split second before he hits the alarm, Game Over. And there's one guard you can't shoot or alert, if the latter happens and the alarm is already destroyed, the mission becomes unwinnable. Another mission much later is more tolerable because A) it's in a village, thus it's actually possible to hide and sneak, and B) so long as you do it quietly, every enemy you come across is fair game.
  • According to the official strategy guide for Wolfenstein 3-D, Episode 4 Map 10 was designed to be stealthed. It's a massive single-texture maze filled with an ungodly amount of stationary guards and no healing whatsoever...but if the player follows the bloodspots on the wall, they can reach the exit without alerting anybody or firing a single shot.
  • XIII, which was based on a comic that was in turn inspired by The Bourne Identity, has several missions that fail automatically if the alarms go off. A guard spotting you is not instant-fail as long as you stop him from getting to an alarm button in time, but then you'll have to remember to drag the body somewhere out of the way in case a patrol comes by later.
  • Variation: In BioShock, it is possible to get a Gene Tonic that makes you move stealthier when using the wrench, and deal more damage when you hit an enemy who is unaware of you. It is also possible to get a Tonic that, as long as you stand still, makes you invisible. This combination allows you to, if you wish, play as a Wrench Ninja.
    • The sequel manages, implausibly, to top that: While the same pair of tonics is available, you're playing a Big Daddy. Turning Delta into Mr. Driller, Stealth Assassin dances between scary and friggin' sweet.
    • Comstock House in BioShock Infinite has some elements of this. You guide Booker through a dilapidated insane asylum full of semi-catatonic patients wearing masks of the Founding Fathers. Unfortunately, each room full of patients also has one of the Boys of Silence, who basically act as security cameras: if a Boy of Silence spots you, he makes a horrible screaming noise that causes all the patients to start attacking you violently; if that wasn't bad enough, the Boy also generates a shield that makes the patients resistant to your attacks.
      • The entirety of Burial at Sea Episode 2 can be this if the player so chooses. In this expansion, Elizabeth can sneak up behind enemies and knock them out non-lethally, or use the new crossbow weapon with knockout darts from a distance. If you happen to be playing this on "1998 Mode", however, stealth is practically mandatory due to the added condition of being restricted solely to non-lethal attacks. Fittingly, promotional art for this expansion (along with the aforementioned "1998 Mode") pay homage to the classic stealth game Thief: The Dark Project.
  • Every time one plays the Spy class in Team Fortress 2.
    • Or not at all, depending on whether the Spy in question is invisible or just disguised. If the later, he could waltz right in front of the entire opposing team unless they're all paranoid and spycheck him (which any half-way decent set of players would do out of habit).
    • It also pays to be stealthy as other classes, since some stage objectives have an Instant-Win Condition and it's always good to have the first strike.
  • Comes up more than once in Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth.
  • In Killzone 3, the first mission after the six-month Time Skip has you sneaking through a Helghast-infested forest to reach a satellite uplink. Getting spotted won't result in an immediate Game Over, but it will summon the Capture Troopers-who are very fast, can take a truckload of bullets before dying, and can kill you in one hit if you let them get too close, so remaining hidden is a good idea.
  • Perfect Dark has two missions, which, while not stealth entirely, rewards you with dual weapons for not being spotted by the guards before a certain point.
  • Perfect Dark Zero has three in the game's first act. In the first mission (not including the Forced Tutorial), you must scan three enforcers with the Audioscope without them spotting you or being alerted by other mooks. In the fourth mission, you have to stealth kill a guard to obtain his radio and shut down enemy communication, then take out the security camera and use a voice changer to trick them into opening the door for you. From there follows more audioscoping, and dodging patrols, insecurity cameras, and killer laser traps. Then there's Laboratory Rescue, where if any alarms are triggered or you shut off the generator without locking it down, Bodyguard Babes with Hand Cannons are summoned. A little ways into the level, even if you haven't been detected, the lab floods with Deadly Gas that drains your health, and you must quickly find the valve to turn it off. Later on there's a mission in a jungle filled with spider-bots, and if you don't bring along the right tool to shut them all off at one of the first consoles, you have to move quietly and used silenced weapons to avoid calling all of them after you and blowing up in your face.
  • A few missions in Water Warfare task you to slink, weaponless, past opponents to a point. In one, you just have to make it to the goal. In the second, however, you must take a treasure chest back to your base as well.
  • The Ultor HQ levels in Red Faction. The first one requires you to use a business suit to blend in to the crowd (as the camera will not let you past), in addition to stripping you of weapons heavier than a pistol. The second HQ level pushes you towards dressing as a scientist, but it can be completed by waltzing in with a full miner suit with large weapons.
  • Soldier of Fortune II has at least three or four stealth levels. In the first one, being spotted results in an instant Non Standard Game Over.
    • The first stealth level at the Prague railway station is a particularly dubious example, as the transition to stealth makes little sence. Prior to that level, you kill dozens of mooks, blow up trucks and buildings in downtown Prague, even fight off armored troop carriers on the road to the station. Then, all of the sudden, you are required to be stealthy and not alarm the guards at the station - the same kind of guards you mowed down in the previous few levels.
  • The Far Cry games have the occasional stealth mission.
    • Far Cry 3 has two. "The Medusa's Call" requires the player to board a ship and steal intel while avoiding detection. Once that's complete, an alarm sounds, ending the stealth portion and forcing Jason to fight his way out. "Doppelganger" requires Jason to sneak through a cave, avoid detection, and stealthily kill a privateer and steal his uniform. Being detected in either mission leads to a Game Over.
    • Far Cry 4 has two as well. "City of Pain" requires Ajay to sneak through a city controlled by Pagan Min, free hostages, and kidnap governor Paul Harmon while avoiding detection. "Don't Look Down" is a combination of this, Prison Episode, and No-Gear Level; it starts off with Ajay escaping prison with a grappling hook while drugged, sneaking past demons in a cave, and stealthily killing Yuma's men. Once you get past the demons you're able to drop the stealth, but doing so is guaranteed to get you killed if you're not prepared.
  • Medal of Honor
    • In the 'Medal of Honor: Frontline'' level "Operation Repunzel", if the guard at the front desk is "asleep" (which may be a glitch), you can sneak your way through most of the mansion; if he's awake, your cover will immediately be blown. You have to blow your cover anyway if you're going for the medal.
    • Medal of Honor: Allied Assault has at least two stealth levels. In the first, you dress as a Nazi officer and infiltrate a U-Boat facility to destroy the U-529, in the second, you stow away in a truck to sneak into and bomb a tank park. In both cases, stealth is optional, but it is much easier than going in guns blazing.
  • Several Rainbow Six missions have you infiltrate a house or building without being spotted, which means you can't kill anyone either. The two stealth missions in Rogue Spear are especially infuriating, and they later become action levels that are no less difficult.
  • TimeSplitters 2 has plenty of chances for Optional Stealth throughout the game, but for the first half of the Neo Tokyo level you're required to tail a hacker to gain access to an underground base, the only instance of required stealth in the entire game. It's a pretty tough section with security cameras everywhere that give away your position, and if you mess up once you have no choice but to restart the entire mission, so anyone who's been playing the game like a run & gun up until this point, or hasn't played Metal Gear Solid (which has a similar radar to the one used here) is in for a nasty difficulty spike.
  • The Doom Game Mod Doom 2 Reloaded has the "Warehouse Siege" level, where you need to get through most of the map without firing a shot or otherwise attacking, or else tens of Arch-Viles teleport in and kill you. However, the emphasis is less on avoiding detection by the existing monsters, and more on finding ways to bypass or run away from them.
  • Some heists in PAYDAY 2 allow you to complete the mission stealthily, which requires avoiding civilians, guards, security cameras, and anything else that may raise an alarm. While most stealth-enabled heists allow you to keep going (with a change in objectives) after you get caught, certain heists will instead activate a very short timer to mission failure if an alarm is raised.

    Hack and Slash 

    Mecha Game 
  • Even Armored Core is not immune to occasionally indulge in this. The first half of a particular mission in Armored Core 3: Silent Line requires you to stealth your way through a deep ravine filled with AI helicopters. Getting discovered does not equal instant failure, but you only have two seconds maximum to destroy it before it broadcasts an alarm, which does fail your mission. Adding to the challenge is the existence of a hidden part within the level, and a bonus part awarded for clearing the sneaking part under a certain time limit (they do not, however, need to be obtained in one go). Thankfully, the helicopters are real pushovers; two small missiles will bring down one, and killing them outright before they spot you is a common tactic.

    Party Game 
  • Mario Party Advance: In the Bowser minigame Peek-n-Sneak, the player has to make their way within a castle passageway without being seen by any of the Koopa Kids present, and they must reach the end in 99 seconds or less. The player can hide behind pillars so the Koopa Kids don't see them. The Koopa Kids will periodically turn around, so patience is key for the player to pass between pillars without being seen. From time to time, the player gets extra seconds in the time limit after passing by a certain number of Koopa Kids. Being spotted by just one of them will make the player lose the minigame. Raching the end will reward the player with a Gaddget from Bowser.

    Platform Game 
  • The Hobbit featured lots of these - and they were the "do it right or it's back to the beginning of the level" sort.
  • Ratchet & Clank has many frustrating (more for the sheer idiocy of it than difficulty) forced stealth sections in later levels where you are forced to disguise as a security robot. In this disguise, you cannot attack or jump. Un-disguising in the view of the robots will make them run to press a red button which will trigger the security system, which will almost always kill you.
  • Sonic The Hedgehog:
    • Sonic Adventure 2 has Egg Quarters, a stage in the Dark Story where Rouge has to find keys to infiltrate Eggman's pyramid base. Said base is patrolled by a large beetle-like robot that will fire upon Rouge if she is caught. Sticking to the shadows will let you evade detection.
    • Sonic Heroes has only two levels that have this gimmick, both of which are played by Team Chaotix (who thankfully and coincidentally have a ninja-like chameleon character who can render himself and his teammates invisible to whatever they need to sneak past.) Both Stealth missions also make it so that you fail and have to restart if you're spotted.
  • A Hat in Time has two significant examples of the trope:
    • Chapter 2 is partially made up of these. Act 1 requires Hat Kid to sneak around Dead Bird Studio while remaining out of sight of the filming staff and the rolling cameras or she'll take damage and face a hefty fine for disrupting filming. Act 2 operates similarly, as the CAW Agents don't want anyone (especially not a random kid who decided to become a detective) messing with solving the murder on the Owl Express. The chapter's purple Time Rift also uses stealth-based gameplay.
    • Queen Vanessa's Manor. No conventional enemies (the one mook you encounter is non-hostile; too busy hiding in terror, much like yourself), very little platforming, just desperately avoiding the invincible and unexpectedly freaky spirit of Queen Vanessa, switching between obtaining necessary keys (which requires making enough noise to attract Vanessa) and hiding or occasionally just plain running whenever she shows up.
  • The second level of Gamer 2 begins with Hailey tripping and losing her deflector plate. Since she hasn't found any weapons yet, she's forced to sneak her way through a building full of zombies as a One-Hit-Point Wonder.

    Real Time Strategy 
  • In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, the first part of the seventh Soviet mission has you sneak into the Japanese Emperor's palace with a single conscript.
    • And a Warbear! Controlled by the allied AI unless you're playing with a friend.
  • This is essentially what it's like to play Twitch the Plague Rat in League of Legends. He is amongst the frailest characters in the game but can do a lot of damage very quickly and does almost always have the element of surprise due to his ability to become invisible for up to 50 seconds at a time. Twitch's role on a team is to roam the map and pick off wounded and occupied targets without endangering himself in the process.
  • One of the early campaign missions in Achron requires you to sneak into an alien base while avoiding random patrols. Fortunately, due to time travel, you can see where the enemies will be and avoid them in the past.
  • The New Folsom Blues level of Starcraft II is made to be beaten with stealth tactics, though it's possible (and ineffective) to just follow the allied army and try to use brute force to win.
  • Two scenarios in Warcraft III require you to sneak past at least some of your enemies: In "Trudging Through the Ashes", you initially command a level-1 Death Knight and two ghouls, which are no match for some of the patrols that you have to get past. In "Daughters of the Moon," you initially command a level 2 Priestess of the Moon, and you have to get past quite a few Doom Guard patrols.
  • In Dungeon Keeper 2:
    • The level "Creep" takes place in the hero-controlled Stonekeep. Due to most of the map's usable area being taken up by the fortress the only way to expand your base is by capturing rooms and sealing them off from the heroes with hidden doors. If an alert goes out, the player's forces will be overwhelmed.
    • "Interception" requires capturing three Princes. If any Prince spots an enemy they will immediately flee to the nearest portal, alerting their brothers to do the same. Even one escaping will result in failure, required careful minion management to secure the enemy portals and set up traps and ambushes.
  • The first half of the first mission in StarCraft II: Nova Covert Ops suddenly becomes this, you control Nova and need to sneak around without getting detected to recover your sniper rifle, save your colleagues who were also captured, and escape.
  • Myth and its sequel have a few such missions, most notably "Silvermines" and the first half of "Sons of Myrgard." You command only a small force in the former, and only a single dwarf (who happens to be invisible but not inaudible to the enemy) in the latter.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • Tales of Phantasia has Cress and his buddies sneaking through Alvanista castle to check on the prince. Getting caught sends them back to the balcony, but avoiding guards is as easy as running through while they are outside the screen.
  • Tales of the Abyss has a mission where you have to sneak your way through a forest without alerting any guards. If you're caught, you have to start the section over. However, if you're caught too many times, the game allows you to fight your way through instead.
  • Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII features a stealth sequence where Zack, a SOLDIER 1st Class who's been mowing through entire armies for the bulk of the game, has to sneak into a base controlled by the same Mooks he's been slaughtering the whole time. Getting caught sends you into a battle with a group of them, which Zack will win in under 30 seconds. One wonders why the stealth sequence was necessary.
    • Oddly enough, Zack, who is unstoppable by ordinary Mooks, gets launched out of the base if he's discovered. Fortunately, the only thing you get from successfully being stealthy is a heap of largely useless treasures. No one even seems to care if you fail spectacularly.
    • Also at one point you use a sniper rifle to take out a number of robots, when you've taken down larger robots with two hits.
    • The original Final Fantasy VII also contains a short stealth sequence in Shinra HQ, but if you fail often enough you'll just go in guns blazing.
  • One early mission of Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings tasks you with getting from Point A to Point B with Vaan and Vaan alone. Short of obscene Level Grinding, the only way to survive is not to get noticed.
    • Surprisingly and somewhat unintuitively, it's possible to give Vaan boots that prevent him from being immobilized by the enemies' lightning-elemental attacks, use an ability that temporarily increases his movement speed that you should already have at that point and have him just run through the level with any enemies in tow either not being able to get close enough to hit him or not being able to do enough damage to kill him before he gets to the goal.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: The Endwalker main scenario quest "In from the Cold" has the Warrior of Light kidnapped and their soul put into the body of a random Garlean soldier, denying them use of their many accumulated skills and even disabling their Regenerating Health. The stealth is technically optional, but in this state, even fighting one normal Mook is extremely dangerous, much less the Mini-Mecha patrolling the area, so the player is best advised to sneak their way through the area to their objective, avoiding combat as much as possible.
  • In Final Fantasy XV, the party at one point has to infiltrate an enemy base to reclaim the stolen Regalia. Mercifully, if you get caught, the party simply decides So Much for Stealth and allows you to battle the enemies guns-a-blazing.
  • One could say that only the first Boktai game is a Stealth-Based Game. The other three games are more action-oriented, with stealth missions on the side.
  • Saul D'Alessio's mission in the Guild Wars Bonus Mission Pack requires you to sneak into the Charr camp, defeat their leaders, and then survive the onslaught of every Charr in the camp.
    • Even more obviously, Gwen's mission in the same pack. She's largely defenceless, with only a few skills based around speed and even feigning death with a few safe spots to hide in. Between her and freedom: An entire Charr legion. Gulp.
  • The escape from prison in Chrono Trigger was intended as one of these, but the guards are easy enough to kill that it's easier to do just that. Your only motivation for taking them down stealthily is they drop mid-tonics, which are far more valuable at that point in the game than the experience and gold you get from the battles.
    • The unarmed escape from the Blackbird later in the game is a forced stealth mission, unless you happened to put bare-handed fighter Ayla in your active party before your capture. Failing stealth before one of the party members gets a weapon equipped throws the group back into the cell.
  • Chapter 8-2 of Valkyria Chronicles finds Welkin and Alicia trapped in a forest at night with none of the rest of The Squad around to help them, and Imperials converging on them in every direction. On top of all that, Alicia sprained her ankle and can only limp. The goal is to get from one corner of the forest to the other while avoiding, or at least stealthily taking out, any soldiers, spotlights, or mortars they come across. Not as bad as most, as on-foot-Welkin (he's usually in a tank) and Alicia are both Scouts and have high mobility (even considering her sprained ankle), but that also means their defense isn't that great. Which isn't usually a problem until you run into Shocktroopers, who wield machine guns.
  • Golden Sun has a portion where the party has to sneak through a thieves' base in order to rescue the mayor of a large city. The second game has a similar mission where the party must sneak past tribal guards.
  • Lunar Knights has an enemy known as a Spotter. It has no direct attack and simply hovers around your position while a spinning crosshair and a number float over your head. The number is a timer, and you have to get out of the Spotter's sights and hide somewhere safe until the countdown expires and the Spotters return to sentry duty. They also take inordinate amounts of punishment, and fighting one as an underleveled Lucian is suicidal. Also, every time the reacquire their target, the crosshair countdown ticks down faster. What happens when it runs out? Take a wild guess.
  • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days has a couple missions where you have to stay out of the sight of characters (with one mission also adding the challenge of keeping the character within your own sight). However, the only penalty for failing is getting sent back to where you started.
  • Kingdom Hearts coded has some in Wonderland (depending on how many times you choose to enter certain rooms) where you must sneak past the Card Soldiers, though the only really thing you need to worry about are the Card Soldiers actually catching up to you which isn't all that hard to avoid (especially if you if have the ability Haste equipped).
  • World of Warcraft features some stealth-based quests, specifically for the Rogue class, as they are required to combat special monsters that can only be defeated via attacks from stealth. Being in stealth is also required for Rogues to disarm traps, something that comes in very handy in certain dungeons. Similarly, while not precisely a mission, stealth allows Rogues and Druids to sneak past many encounters, allowing solo or duo completion of many quests that would otherwise require a larger group. For these reasons, learning to use stealth properly is greatly advised for any Rogue who wants to be taken seriously in the game.
    • Cataclysm offered several high-level, high-difficulty stealth missions for rogues, requiring them to avoid numerous enemy patrols in order to reach and assassinate the most ambitious of the surviving black dragons.
    • The first third of the Well of Eternity instance is a pseudo-stealth mission. The central courtyard is being used as a staging area for the demon invasion, and being spotted by the demons will result in near-instant death. Instead, you must use the stealth buff from Illidan to reach and destroy the crystals powering the portals, which will stop the demons from spawning.
    • During Mists of Pandaria, after the night elves capture an ancient superweaponnote , Horde players, with the help of some mages, sneak into Darnassus to steal it. This is open even to those classes that don't have stealth themselves, as the mages will cast a spell on the player that puts them in stealth. By the way, it's not an instanced "copy" of're really sneaking into an enemy capital city.
  • The Lord of the Rings Online has stealth-based missions for the Burglar class. The Burglar also becomes extremely powerful if attacking in Stealth, and is able to kick off certain Combo Attacks in stealth only.
    • The quests in the Shire involving mail or pies are stealth missions available to any class, though you don't have to avoid everybody, only specific types of hobbits (Nosy or Hungry, respectively). Some of these missions more frustrating than others (Hungry and Nosy hobbits often tend to loiter near choke points like bridges and passes, and the missions are timed so you can't usually just wait for them to move on).
    • The "Chicken" quests (also starting in the Shire) aren't pure stealth missions, but since you're a chicken with only a few HP, your only real options for passing hostiles are to avoid being noticed or to run and hope you're faster than they are. On the longer chicken runs, it gets worse, since you can probably survive one hit from things in starting areas (i.e., most of the Shire) but once you get outside that if anything even touches you you're dead.
  • Lost Odyssey features your party getting captured. After memory-wiping the guard and convincing him to let you out of your cell, you must sneak around the enemy Cool Ship until you find your weapons and can fight back. Getting caught gets you thrown back into the cell, from which the amnesiac guard will dutifully let you out every time.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, the Prince orders you to investigate the submarine and the museum unseen and without casualties. Stealth is an option on other missions, but no more or less than brute force.
    • Inversion when playing as a Nosferatu; stealth is required between missions, and the game justifiably penalizes you for letting your character be detected.
  • Dubloon has a short sequence where Riley and Ricky have to sneak past the lowliest mooks in Navy base. Getting caught sends player back to the start, but after a plot event, they can be fought for cheap experience.
  • The beginning of Mass Effect 2's "Arrival" DLC is one of these. Or, at least, supposed to be. There's no benefit to sneaking through the prison (there's an achievement for getting through it undetected, but that's it); all of the groups of enemies are so easy to kill that it doesn't particularly matter.
    • Before the DLC was released, players speculated that the Infiltrator player class (whose special power is an Invisibility Cloak) would have an unfair advantage, but it doesn't for two reasons: first, the enemies are so easy to sneak past that there's no advantage to using Tactical Cloak anyway; second, even if you do try to sneak past enemies using it, if you enter the area in which enemies would detect you uncloaked, they will automatically attack Shepard once the cloak wears off, even if there's no possible way for them to know you're there.
  • In a similar vein, Dragon Age II's "Mark of the Assassin" DLC contains an extended stealth-based mission that involves sneaking through a mansion, but it's very merciful if you fail (only sending you back a short distance...with whatever goodies you swiped on your way!) It's also entirely optional - fighting your way in gets more random loot and XP, being stealthy nets an Achievement and a few specific goodies.
  • At least three instances in RuneScape, all during quests. During Eadgar's Ruse the player must sneak through a heavily guarded storeroom that has the last (until the next quest in the series) supply of the trolls' favourite seasoning herb, getting sent back to the storeroom entrance if caught. In Branches of Darkmeyer the player has to sneak through the lowest part of the vampyre town in order to find the pieces of clothing they need to disguise themselves as a vampyre, without being caught by the residents or guards who will teleport them back to the entrance. And, finally, during Ritual of the Mahjarrat, the player has to sneak around the plateau where the titular ritual will take place, planting the beacons and heart needed to give their side the edge in the oncoming fight, while avoiding the sniffer beasts that will summon an unavoidable mage who will teleport players to an easily escaped cell.
  • Ziggy does this in Xenosaga initially planning to infiltrate MOMO out using a stealth device but it breaks. The game uses line of sight for all enemies so it doesn't really matter if you sneak past the guards or beat everybody up.
  • In Terranigma, you have to sneak past the guards to successfully get into Dragoon Castle. It's just a matter of avoiding their searchlights.
  • In Divinity: Original Sin, you can kill anything that has hit points with the right stats and buffs, so its stealth gameplay systems rarely see extensive use, however, on two occasions, you are forced to get past enemies with functional invulnerability to everything: the Death Knights in the Luculla mines and the Void Demons guarding the Giant Blood Stone that bombards your Homestead with fireballs. Thankfully, even if you don't have a dedicated Stealth Expert on your team, the game contains plentiful Invisibility effects to get past those sections.
  • The Bakumatsu chapter of Live A Live gives you the option of playing the level as one of these to avoid killing humans, as Oboro is able to run faster than any other protagonist and can cloak himself so enemies won't notice him. The other main option is to kill everyone possible, which requires much less stealth.
  • During Shido's palace in Persona 5, some rooms contain a statue which will turn all of the party members into (adorable, costumed) rats. In those rooms, you are forced to sneak past any monsters because you are incapable of fighting back and any any enemy which does make contact with you will immediately take out a chunk of HP.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm has a very brief one as you're escaping the YouTube jail. If the patrolling guards see you, they'll send you back to your cell. Later in the same chapter, it becomes necessary to fight the guards instead, as they're holding the keycards needed to progress through Partnership Towers.
  • The Closer: Game of the Year Edition: At one point, the party must infiltrate Twitter HQ to salvage the Closer's media reputation so that he'll come out of the abandoned PEZ factory next door wherein he locked himself up. To do so, they must sneak around Twitter's employees and generally stay out of their sight. On top of that, a few of the employees are Living Motion Detectors, so moving willy-nilly is not always a good idea.
  • Grandia II: The Bonus Dungeon appears to be set up this way. It's full of powerful monsters who can wipe your entire party with a single spell, but for end-game mooks they don't give a whole lot of XP, and they move in predictable patterns with limited line-of-sight. You can fight your way through it with enough skill and luck, but it's far easier to just avoid them and grab the loot.
  • Paper Mario 64: The Princess Peach segments. Peach, locked up in her bedroom by Bowser after he takes over her castle by uprooting his castle into the stratosphere, can sneak out via a secret passage in her fireplace, then when going out into the hallways of the castle, has to avoid being caught by Bowser's guards. If Peach steps into the light of the guards' flashlights, she is quickly returned to her room.
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse Earthblood: Most missions revolve around espionage and infiltration, with the ideal sequence being to sneak into the bad guys' heavily defended base, accomplish some goal, and sneak back out. Cahal spends most of this time in either Homid or Lupus form: as a human, he can interact with technology to sabotage or turn off automated systems, silently assassinate guards, and snipe distant enemies with his crossbow; as a wolf, he moves much more silently, has a lower profile, can bark to lure guards from their posts, and can crawl through narrow passages such as air vents. Should he be spotted, the guards will raise the alarm and start calling in waves of reinforcements; at this point, gameplay shifts to straightforward brawling as Cahal enters his hybrid Crinos form and tears his way through hordes of enemies as a huge, berserk Wolf Man. Cahal can viably just carve his way through most of the game, although using stealth can still serve to set up the battle to his advantage.
  • Underhero: In Long Woods Manor, if you don't have a blue flame, then encountering ghosts will have them throw you outside. There is one section where you have to climb up the mansion's tower while avoiding ghosts, or you'll have to start from the bottom. When you go back there later on, you'll have to avoid the ghosts again not just on your way up the tower but in the areas leading to it as well, and this time they move differently so you'll have to be even more careful not to touch them.

    Simulation Game 
  • Ace Combat shows that you can have "stealth" in flight action titles; 3, 5, 6 and X have missions where you have to either fly a plane below a certain altitude, avoid circles on the Enemy-Detecting Radar representing radar coverage, or both. Getting your style cramped like that naturally makes for annoying levels. The radar circles in 5 however, decrease in radius the lower your altitude is, so it does encourage something resembling real-life stealth tactics.
    • 2 goes for Optional Stealth in the mission "Dead End" - you're told to stay below a certain altitude to make a sneak-attack on an enemy base, but you can go above that altitude at the very start of the mission, and the only real difference made is when the music switches from downbeat to action mode. The reward for doing it the stealthy way is that you, naturally, take the enemy base completely by surprise and have an easy shot at almost all the enemies as they're taking off - including a pair of cargo planes which, if destroyed, unlock access to an alternate mission.
    • Ace Combat: Assault Horizon has a stealth mission on the first half of a Bomber mission when you play Janice Rehl. Not only the radars are placed in very awkward positioning, it is mandatory for you to do so even when you select the already stealthy B-2 bomber.
      • It should be noted that the B-2 is only as stealthy as it is thanks to a combination of factors. For one, the shape, and coating reduce the radar cross section, while pilot training and sophisticated systems tell the pilot where not to fly so as to avoid detection. A B-2 and F-117 can still be detected, especially if the pilot is stupid enoughnote  to fly directly in front of a radar dish. Considering the mission in question takes place in Russian airspace, and is set 20 Minutes in the Future, you can bet money that the Russians will have further developed their radar systems to pick up aircraft like the B-2 and F-22.
  • Dangerous Waters and other games from the same series recommends that you remain undetected (as enemies tend to use torpedoes for a quick and accurate kill). The game maintains the stealth-based secondary objectives even when flying a P-3 Orion, although this vehicle is generally expected to be detected.
  • Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader has the "Imperial Academy Heist" stage, or, rather, the first third of it. You have to sneak into an Imperial base by flying low through a canyon. The catch is, you also have to disable a bunch of sensors with your ion cannonsnote ; flying too high or flying too close to an active sensor results in a Game Over. Destroying the sensors also results in mission failure.
    • The first Rogue Squadron had the same canyon at the beginning of the Imperial Construction Yards mission. Only this time, you could destroy the sensors.
  • Some missions in Vietcong require the player to sneak through an enemy base/camp. Getting detected just once will instantly fail the mission. This can be problematic if you're not equipped with a silenced pistol, which itself is useless against long range targets. At least the missions in Fist Alpha are a hell lot easier with the addition of the silenced Sten SMG.

    Sports Game 
  • Golf Story: One mission in Coldwind Wastes tasks you with going to a thieves' hideout to retrieve golf balls and other items all while keeping out of sight from the thieves in the mazelike layout.
  • Featured as two goals in Tony Hawk's Underground. First time around, you have to grab pieces of Eric Sparrow's skateboard while avoiding being caught by the local drug dealers, while the second time around you have to avoid guards in Moscow while transporting some unknown illicit package so that you can get a plane ride back to New Jersey. Both are somewhat frustrating, but go by quick and only take a little bit of trial and error.

    Survival Horror 

    Third-Person Shooter 
  • About half the missions in the Syphon Filter series. In Rhoemer's Base, unlike most, getting spotted doesn't cause an immediate Game Over, but puts the base guards on full alert, making your task much harder. Another "stealth not explicitly required" mission is the Aljir Prison Escape level, if you alert the guards in the last part, Gregorov will most likely be killed, causing mission failure. In Omega Strain's first Yemen mission, you are disguised as a civilian and must keep your weapon holstered to avoid blowing your cover, also, one of the optional objectives requires that you stealth-snipe a certain terrorist.
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction is an Actionized Sequel where stealth is mostly optional, but there are still a few mandatory stealth missions, such as the amusement park level.
  • In Warframe, most objectives can be completed simply by killing everything fast enough with your vast array of guns, melee weapons, and powers. But certain missions, particularly Spy missions, emphasize the use of stealth to sneak past enemy security without tripping alarms and offer bonus affinity if successful. Certain Warframes such as Loki and Ivara are particularly suited for these kinds of missions.

    Turn-Based Strategy 
  • Wild ARMs XF has obligatory stealth sequences. Fortunately, the game establishes the guards' logic instead of forcing you to trial-and-error it (I'm looking at you, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker), graphically highlights whichever hex tiles the guards are currently observing (I'm looking at you, Fahrenheit), and knows you might have to fall back on trial-and-error, and makes that easy.
  • In the Fire Emblem series:
    • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance has a stealth mission in Chapter 10 where you must rescue the prisoners and escape without getting detected. You will be rewarded bonus experience if you manage to get through without getting detected; otherwise, you'll have to fight some enemies in order to do it.
    • In Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation Chapter 24, you must get past the guards and open the blue doors. Should you not be detected by the guards, you will get several rewards, including Boots.
  • Battle for Wesnoth: The scenario "Hide and Seek" from Liberty has you sneaking your heroes through a heavily-guarded city, staying out of your enemies' line of sight since you have neither the time nor the troops to fight them all. If you're careful, you can complete it without ever engaging in combat.

    Turn-Based Tactics 
  • In Jagged Alliance, some maps have special triggers that activate if the player's mercenaries are detected. For example, when assaulting the military prison in Alma, being detected will send an enemy soldier running to a switch that will flood the cells with mustard gas, killing any of your mercenaries who are being held prisoner there. Another prison allows the mercs to turn this back on the guards; by first talking with a civilian in a shack outside the prison (which itself involves sneaking undetected onto the prison grounds) a key and instructions to activate a tear gas system within the prison can be found. By then sneaking into the office of the Warden, the mercs can trigger a gas release that will knock out every guard inside the prison. If they're detected, the alarm will sound and all the guards will equip gas masks. The game also has plenty of options for "stealthy" play, with characters who have the ability to sneak around, silenced weapons, night-vision gear, and a mechanic to silently kill guards with throwing knives. Because of the open and freeform nature of the game, nearly any battle can be turned into a stealth operation with the right mercenaries and preparation.
  • Phantom Doctrine is a generally sneaky game, but has Achievements for completing a kidnapping mission without raising the alarm, and for completing any infiltration mission without hurting anyone.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • Despite ostensibly being a Stealth-Based Game, Assassin's Creed is essentially an action-adventure game with light stealth elements which are enforced only in a handful of missions. These missions are often the most frustrating in the game, as as soon as a single guard sees you (which can happen in under a second if e.g. they turn around when you're moving in for the kill) you're booted back to the last checkpoint after a lengthy loading screen.
    • One of the worst abuses of the trope comes in the form of the Bonfire of the Vanities DLC for Assassin's Creed II, which consists of nine such missions where the aim is to assassinate targets who are generally surrounded by several guards at all times, with even more at most angles of approach. If you don't get the 'trick' for each one, it's an incredibly frustrating waste of time that takes all the wind out of the sails of the game's finale.
  • Overtime mode in Dead Rising has the mall be invaded by Special Forces who's mission is to kill every zombie and survivor remaining, and they avert Militaries Are Useless like absolute champions by wiping out nearly all the zombies and being a serious threat. They're smart, tough, armed with assault rifles, and will slaughter you in seconds if they or one of their security drones spots you, forcing you to keep quiet and stick to the shadows. They also brought along a missile-armed helicopter to patrol the courtyard which will kill you if it sees you, and "dying" at this point of the game (even to the few remaining zombies somehow) has you captured instead, forcing you to sneakily escape while the two guards look the other way.
  • Fallout 3 has this for the first leg of the Operation: Anchorage simulation, where you must sneak up the cliffs and take the Chinese guards out with a rather weak silenced pistol.
  • Fallout: New Vegas:
    • The peaceful resolution for the quest "Come Fly With Me" requires you to avoid being seen by the Nightkin in the REPCONN test site basement, who are themselves almost invisible, as they are cloaked with Stealth Boys.
    • Stealing the Gun Runners' manufacturing specifications from their factory for the Crimson Caravan Company, which their head Alice McLafferty explicitly states she wants done without killing anyone.
    • The Dead Money DLC, which will often actively penalize you if you run around willy nilly and fight any enemy you want. Late in the DLC, you have to use stealth to disable Dog/God's traps or he will subject you to a gruesome Non Standard Game Over.
  • In The Godfather: The Game and its sequel, there are some of these. Getting spotted usually doesn't instant-fail you, though, but instead forces you to kill the offending guard within a time limit. They are actually rather forgiving and fun.
  • Grand Theft Auto:
    • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has a couple of these. Scrappiness is averted somewhat by how fun the throat-slitting Back Stab attack is.
    • Grand Theft Auto V, on the other hand, has quite a bunch. Stealth is required if you want those gold medals. Additionally, Online has some missions that fail you if an enemy sees you such as one in Lamar's Lowriders questline where you and a partner have to drive to the other side of town without getting spotted by the cops that spawn on every block.
  • In Saints Row IV, rescuing Asha from Zinyak's personalized VR prison turns into a parody of stealth games like Metal Gear and Splinter Cell, and the Boss snarks at Asha's instructions to shoot out light fixtures ("Why would I waste two bullets on the lights when I could use one on the guard?") and creep around in a cardboard box to sneak past guards ("Fuck it, I'm killing this guy.").
  • Several missions in True Crime: Streets of LA involves sneaking and knocking down guards you pass by. Being spotted for too long results a mission failure. Lampshaded by Nick Kang: "Gotta do this... ninja style!" Stealth missions are fortunately brief enough to stay fun, and always end in alerting every Mook in the place, making a wild shootout necessary anyway...

  • Endling - Extinction is Forever revolves around protecting your family from being discovered by humans as you search for a safe place to raise your cubs. Things like traveling at night and hiding from light help.
  • The fanfiction Fallout: Equestria is a crossover between My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and Fallout. Occasionally the heroes will try to solve things sneaky-like. This inevitably fails because either the mission changes halfway through or the group's laughable attempts at stealth mean they have to change tactics to blowing things up. It's still a viable tactic, since many of their enemies are powerful, and being able to get a free barrage off, or vital intel, makes all the difference.
  • Hero House has Solid Snake performing another impossible mission, as he infiltrates Castle Doom itself.
  • In Intelligence (2014)'s episode "Secrets of the Secret Service", Gabriel infiltrates a Syrian Republican Guard-manned prison to rescue the journalists held prisoner. Since he was under the guise of a USSS agent, it meant that he needed to avoid being caught by Republican Guard soldiers or the prisoners could be executed. CYBERCOM was on hand to help him out.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh 5Ds: Stardust Accelerator: World Championship 2009, you get your Deck and Duel Runner confiscated, requiring some stealth to get back. Thanks to your security guard disguise, getting caught just gets you sent back to the central room, but it can still be quite annoying to figure out when they can or can not see you, especially since one of the things you have to do is get past a hall of guards to unlock a door in another part of the building for a few minutes, requiring you to traverse two sets of guards within a time limit without being caught.

    Real Life 
  • Many is the time in life you'll need to forego regular behavior and conventions and temporarily unleash the Solid Snake: Taking off from school or work early, escaping from a mandatory fun event while in the military, sneaking into or out of the house after curfew without alerting your parents, or even sneaking contraband past your folks. We've all done it; don't lie.


Video Example(s):


Lamination Suit testing

During the testing of the invisibility-granting Lamination Suit, Mario has to avoid being caught by Folded Goombas in his path.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / StealthBasedMission

Media sources: