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Permanently Missable Content / Action-Adventure

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  • Cave Story contains numerous easily missable one-shots, many of which are required in order to reach the secret hell level, which leads to the game's best ending. The worst of these moments: if you don't search the corners of a certain room before triggering a cutscene, or search it after the boss fight and before your air supply runs out, the tow rope, Curly Brace and the ability to obtain the best ending are lost forever in one fell swoop. You'd naturally assume that you would want to save Professor Booster when he falls to the bottom of a pit in the Labyrinth. However, if you do that, two items necessary to get the best ending (and one necessary to save Curly's life) are lost. Also, a little bit after that, there's a rest point that can easily be missed, as you are flying past it in a high-pressure stream of water. Even if you followed all of the other steps, if you don't go into that room, sleep in the bed, read the computer monitor, read the bookshelf, read the computer monitor again, talk to Curly, then talk to her again and choose to take her with you, she will die and you'll miss out on the best ending. Cave Story 3D extended the ledge you need to jump on to make it to the Cabin, however, so it's easier to reach. However, it only gets worse from here: you need to find a hole in the ground in one of the last levels (however, you do need to move past it to advance at one point), and you find out about a mushroom that cures amnesia. To find said mushroom, you have to remember a door near the very beginning of the game that's very possible to look over completely, go through a somewhat confusing questionnaire, make sure the thing you just got is useless, and then you have to fight the mushroom you feed to Curly to cure her amnesia. After you feed it to her, you have to talk to her so that she'll give you the Iron Bond. Then, once you beat the normal Final Boss, as you flee the falling island, you have to enter the shed that, in all other scenarios, would be locked, and then jump down the pit in the floor. Better hope you saved.
  • Not only can you not revisit the first two continents of Illusion of Gaia after you've left them, but you can miss some of the collectible red gems just by mildly progressing through the game a few steps - they just aren't there any more!
    • Also, one of the red jewels is accessible only in the first town, which isn't that bad except that it's randomly generated, and even then, still hidden making it a pain to find. If you're lucky, you may only have to enter and leave the seaside cave where you meet your friends a few times. Often, however, you have to do it close to 100 times before the fisherman appears at the other end of the dock with the bottle (containing the Red Jewel). The game comes with a walkthrough, but it doesn't specify that this is random — if he doesn't spawn in the right place, you'd likely assume that you already missed your chance.
    • And this doesn't even begin to describe the rare and easy-to-miss herbs. There are only a small number of them in the whole game, and you naturally use them when you get low on health. Don't. You'll need them to fight the Bonus Boss.
  • One of the most fun side quests in Terranigma is expanding the towns, but watch out! If you vote for the conservative candidate in Loire, the town will never progress to the next stage. And if you lie to Bell about his girlfriend, he'll never invent the telephone and Freedom will be left in the dark ages. To make things even worse, not upgrading those towns means that Nirlake and Suncoast will never be able to progress, either!
    • In it you can also lose the town of Neotokio after you revive Beruga, potentially costing you... well not much really, just a Majirock and an Easter egg.
    • Furthermore, there are two islands in the game (Polynesia and Mu), which only appear if you've completed two entirely optional and missable side-areas in the first chapter of the game. If you never completed said area's objectives before the game's first chapter is finished, the islands will never appear on the World Map, and whatever items and treasures were waiting for you on said islands will never be accessible.
  • The Legend of Zelda games are by and large aversions of this trope — Miyamoto has actually said in an interview that he always tries to avoid Permanently Missable Content and Unwinnable scenarios in his games. The following games have exceptions, however:
    • In the original The Legend of Zelda, a couple of old men would give you your choice of either a Heart Container or a Red Potion. If you choose the Potion, the Heart Container becomes Lost Forever. Similarly, the Nintendo Hard second quest has rooms in certain dungeons that require you to leave 50 Rupees or one of your Heart Containers to proceed. If you don't have the cash, one of your Hearts is gone for good.
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    • There are some experience bags and one one-up doll in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link that can be missed because they're in palaces, which become inaccessible after you collect the palace's item and restore the crystal to the palace.
    • The compass and map found in the dungeons of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past can be passed up rather easily. With all of the main dungeons, a completionist can come back to claim them even after defeating the boss of the dungeon (even though they only have any kind of effect in that dungeon). However, for some reason, the doors to Hyrule Castle will permanently lock themselves up at a certain point, sealing the map and compass therein away forever. If you reenter the sewer section using the headstone in the far upper left corner of the graveyard in an attempt to check whether or not you have them it doesn't even show that you have the big key, a required item. So on top of being potentially lost forever, you may never know if you've got it.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX on the Game Boy Color has 12 photos to collect throughout the game. Three of these are during the short time that you are with Marin. Go to the cliff face at the extreme lower left grid space on the map for one, fall down the well 5 spaces above that space, and go to the Rooster statue in town. There is also another missable photo where you need to approach a gate to a castle (from the outside) after you start the quest to invade that castle but after you finish the quest the gate is opened by a switch so the photo is gone. (If you complete the quest without opening the gate, it is still Lost Forever because the NPC will not check on your "progress" due to it already being over). There is also a cave not far from the castle that is only visitable with the flying rooster, which will leave you after it's no longer quest-important.
    • Also from Link's Awakening: If you steal from the shop in Mabe Village, aside from getting killed by the shopkeeper if you come back, your name gets lost forever; the game renames you to "THIEF". Furthermore, while dying to the shopkeeper will let you re-enter the shop after dying, this will lock you out of the extended ending since it requires zero deaths. You need both the shovel and the bow, which are found only in the shop, so if you steal one without having bought the other you can't get it. Oh, and one of the photos added in DX is of you sneaking past the shopkeeper, which means you have to steal something (thus losing your name) if you want a full photo album.
      • Also, a Moblin in a cave by the beach will swap any item of your choice with his boomerang. If you give him an item which you can later re-acquire (such as your shield, bombs or Magic Dust) you will be one slot short, meaning you'll have to permanently give up on one of your items to finish the game.
    • A glitch causes one opportunity to upgrade Deku Nuts in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time's Lost Woods to be rendered Lost Forever once the player obtains the Poacher's Saw, an item in the future era's trading sequence. This glitch is removed in the Nintendo 3DS remake.
    • Although The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker didn't have any permanently missable items that mattered, if you wanted to achieve 100% Completion on your pictography you needed to take a pictograph of everyone alive within the game; enemy, ally, NPC and boss alike. This is alleviated somewhat by the New Game+ and the Boss Rush near Ganon's Tower near the end of the game, but it's difficult to get a photo op of certain subjects (like a random Rito NPC that inexplicably disappears after a plot event), so they can eventually become Lost Forever anyway. The Video Game Remake for Wii U averts this thanks to Miiverse, from which you can receive pictographs (from players worldwide) of the missable targets. At least until late 2017, when Miiverse itself was shut down.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap features this trope for the Light Arrows, which can only be found if the player "kinfuses" with a seemingly random, arbitrary person to unlock a teleporter that leads to a location later in the game, where they must save an NPC named Gregal from an evil spirit by using the Gust Jar, who will then give you the arrows once he has fully recovered much later in the game. Otherwise, by the time you can reach said location normally, Gregal is dead and the item is lost. There are also a handful of kinfusions that are lost if you progress too far into the game. Especially irksome since some of them become unavailable as a result of other kinfusions, meaning they have to be done in the right order too.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
      • You must collect the wooden Ordon Shield before Midna will take you back into the Twilight-covered Faron Woods. Should the shield get burned up by fire, you can only replace it with the plain Wooden Shield from shops, which is functionally identical but lacks the Ordon Shield's unique goat-horns design.
      • Two of Oocco's letters can be accidentally skipped if, respectively, you use the warp feature in the first dungeon, and you don't use it before completing the sixth one.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you can use a Link amiibo to summon Epona into the game as a mount. However, like every other horse in the game, she can be killed in combat. While horses can be revived by the Great Horse Fairy, you can only bring back horses that you've registered at the stables, so if you summon Epona and let her get killed before registering her at the stable, you won't be able to use her at all for the rest of that playthrough.
    • Another two examples in Breath of the Wild are the Kite Shield and Forest Dweller's Sword. These aren't one offs, but they're found in only two or three non respawning chests in the entire game, so losing or breaking all of them will make it impossible for you to find/keep another one.
    • Similar to above, there is a feature of the game where enemies will eventually upgrade to stronger versions of themselves when you kill them enough times. Because their equipment also upgrades, it's possible to lose out on certain weapons to fill out the Compendium, particularly with the Lynels, whose equipment is unique to them. Thankfully, you can buy any missing images for your Compendium from an NPC; you are only missing out on the chance to use or take photos of those weapons yourself.
    • You can also permanently lose the Thunder Helm and Champion's Tunic by having a full inventory when you speak to Riju or Impa respectively. For other non sellable armour pieces (like the Zora Armour and Zora Greaves), the Non-Player Characters who give it to you have special dialogue that tells you to come back once your inventory is freed up. This means an unlucky or particularly dye/amiibo obsessed player could lose either or both of these before realizing they're meant to be mandatory collectibles.
  • Beyond Good & Evil has a particularly irritating example - the final animal that you need to photograph is a Space Whale hidden in an asteroid you need to shoot while on your way from Hillys to the moon. If you get to the moon without destroying the asteroid and photographing the space whale, you lose the photo of the space whale forever, because your space engine stops working once you reach the moon.
    • The Sarcophagus DomZ are fought exactly four times during the course of the game, and they don't respawn. The first time is in the intro, before you even have a camera. If you miss them the second and third times they spawn, they still appear once more—but only during the final boss battle. Which you can't save after (there's no Playable Epilogue), so the cool prize you get for getting all the animals (a catalogue of all your animal photographs) is totally useless.
    • Also, if you don't get Pey'j's boots while in the factory, you have no way of knowing the code on the boot's underside that gives you access to the secret spaceship Pey'j built with Jade's father. Without it you have no way of getting to the moon, and thus cannot fight the final boss or complete the game.
  • Ōkami
    • In order to achieve 100% Completion, you must find and feed every animal (or cluster thereof) in Nippon. Of the hundred or so animals that litter the game, one is missable, which is found during a one-time trip 100 years into the past. If you forgot to feed that one dog, you won't get another chance.
    • Any clover in the Moon Cave, Oni Island, The Emperor's Palace or through the Spirit Gate, although their only rewards are Praise.
    • The unripened fruit on the sapling in North Ryoshima must be gotten with the help of the archer who will permanently leave the area after a certain point. It only contains Praise though, making it effectively just another clover.
    • Fire and Ice Doom Mirrors inhabit one specific room in the one-time-visit Emperor's Palace. Unlike their Wind and Earth counterparts they are optional battles, so if you prefer to avoid demon scrolls then these bestiary entries are Lost Forever. Thankfully they can be gotten in the New Game+.
    • Thankfully averted with the Fishing minigame. If you progress far enough, the Agata forest fishing spot becomes unavailable, but it is replaced by a new fishing spot near the Imperial Palace in Sei-an City, which contains the same species of fish.
  • Ōkamiden is much less forgiving than its predecessor, since it's not just praise that can be missed. Most dungeons are playable only once, and inside them are sheets that are part of the collection of Issun's Masterpieces. Completing the dungeons without grabbing these sheets will render them permanently lost.
  • Castlevania series:
    • Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow has the Chaos Ring, which increases your MP regeneration rate so much that it effectively gives you unlimited magic. To get it, you need to possess every soul in the game, including one-of-a-kind boss souls. This wouldn't be so bad (as said bosses are guaranteed to drop their souls), but if you use these unique souls to synthesize more powerful weapons, the Chaos Ring cannot be collected. Thank God for New Game+ (synthesize for the weapon(s), or get the ring first before the weapons)...
    • The same ring is a pain in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, but for a different reason. You can't miss a boss soul in Dawn, but in Aria, there's exactly one you can miss — and it's easy to do. You must destroy Legion's entire shell before killing him if you want his soul. Again, New Game+ is your best recourse if you miss it.
    • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin has the same item, and the same problem. To get the ring, you must complete all of Eric's quests. However, many of them require you to gather specific items of which there are only one in the game. Thankfully, there is a new game + option. There's also the ability to buy items from other players via Wifi. It's telling that you are more likely to find a store selling thick glasses, amanita mushrooms and nun's clothing than a store selling the best weapons and armor in the game.
    • Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia maintains the dubious tradition! This time you're collecting glyphs (basically the same as souls), and two of them come from bosses. The Globus glyph can be grabbed from a regular enemy later, but if you fail to grab Acerbatus in the battle with Albus, you'll never get another shot.
    • In Circle of the Moon, there's a secret item crush accessed by using the DSS technique with no subweapon equipped and at least 100 Hearts in reserve. Since you can't unequip subweapons after the first time you pick one up, this technique is easily lost forever. Combined with the other requirements, it's also Awesome, but Impractical.
    • Symphony of the Night:
      • Richter Belmont has an obscure Item Crush ability that can only be used while he has no sub-weapon which covers his whip in flames. He had the same Item Crush in the previous game, Rondo of Blood, but unlike that title, there is no way to drop a sub-weapon in Symphony due to the RPG-like nature of the game. (One death and it's Game Over.) Fortunately, it's not nearly as great as the Rondo version this time around, so there's no real reason to keep it, especially since the sub-weapon Item Crushes are much more useful.
      • A few bestiary entries are permanently missable:
      • The bestiary entry for the Mudman, if you kill the Lesser Demon (boss) without waiting for him to summon a Mudman. While the Lesser Demon becomes a Degraded Boss later on, those only summon more Lesser Demons and nothing else.
      • Richter's entry, if you save him without hitting him at least once.
      • On a lesser scale, the Wargs are only present at the start of the game, and vanish forever from the area later. They're extremely hard to miss, though.
  • The PS version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is downright brutal to anyone trying to get 100% completion. Certain wizard cards can only be obtained by getting a perfect score on a certain minigame. But you have to try again and again until you get the card, without stopping, or else the door locks itself as you exit. So much for that card, eh? Luckily, the PS version of Chamber of Secrets averts this entirely by letting you go back to places once you lose access to them. But in the case of the Knockback Jinx upgrade in Chamber of Secrets, it can only be obtained near the end of the game, but go too far and it's lost forever, AND you can't get 100% completion. Ironically, when you get the upgrade, a speech glitch occurs.
    • This is also true of the PC version of Philosopher's Stone; treasure chests containing certain cards or other items are available only at certain times and cannot be recovered later. Chamber of Secrets was much more forgiving in this regard. This version of the game primarily had this as a symptom of its extreme linearity; the game progressed one-way in levels, and you couldn't go back to previous levels (in many cases, you couldn't even go back one room within the same level) leaving absolutely no margin for error regarding things like house points or wizard cards. The cards you care about; the points don't even do anything in-game (finishing with fewer points than Slytherin and they'd end up being disqualified). Chamber of Secrets allowed you to replay any spell challenges for more house points or to obtain wizard cards, and essentially had much of the game take place in a massive hub, where most wizard cards were in the hub itself; Quidditch matches were also replayable to increase house points gained, and any time you went through an area you couldn't go back to, any wizard cards you missed went into shopkeeper circulation, allowing you to purchase them at your leisure. Granted, Quidditch matches were more fun in Philosopher's Stone, when you could fly anywhere you wanted to on the pitch; Chamber of Secrets stuck you on a rail where you had to maintain speed while smacking around the opposing Seeker.
  • In the NTSC version of Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy, one of the monsters necessary for the Collection Sidequest, the Smiling Burble, can easily become Lost Forever. It only appears twice: The first time, it's part of a Multi-Mook Melee that you can't replay, although three of them appear at once. The second time, it's in a tiny nook in one portion of a late-game dungeon, and if defeated, the monster that appears there does not respawn. If you don't catch it during one of these appearances, you won't be able to, and thus can't get 100% Completion. The PAL version, however, has the monster in the late dungeon respawn.
  • In Brave Fencer Musashi, a longevity berry can be missed if you didn't talk to the mayor after saving Steamwood. You won't receive the berry from the mayor after chapter 2 preventing you from getting max hp.
  • You are given only one shot at obtaining either of the two whip upgrades in La-Mulana. The upgrade in the Inferno Cavern can be sealed off by two rising stone pillars, and the entrance to the upgrade in the Tower of the Goddess permanently seals off behind you once you enter it. Additionally, the penultimate area, the Shrine of the Mother, will disappear forever along with any items you missed in there (most notably the final life upgrade) after all eight bosses are defeated.
    • The Life Jewel in the Dimensional Corridor can be easily made not Lost Forever, but difficult to get to if you defeated the miniboss before you went up to the Life Jewel's location. It's possible, but very difficult to do, to get it after killing the miniboss, but it requires using the knockback from the enemies. Also, the Angel Shield (in the Dimensional Corridor, again) can be lost forever if you only have 1-2 minibosses left.
    • Hell Temple is also permanently sealed off if you screw up the unlocking process, which is quite easy to do. Given the general nature of Hell Temple, though, this is probably something of an act of mercy.
    • Averted in the WiiWare remake. There is one NPC in the game which can reset some of the puzzles if you screw them up after you beat the boss of the Dimensional Corridor.
    • The game's "normal mode" is forever lost if you read the "don't read this tablet again" tablet in the Mausoleum of the Giants twice, which permanently triggers hard mode.
  • The Tower of Druaga is really evil about this. Guide Dang It! if you don't know how to get the treasure on a floor (while paying mind to the time limit), but if you don't you might not be able to get some later, necessary treasure.
  • In November 2012, Atari shut down the servers for the PC and PS3 versions of Ghostbusters: The Video Game, making the ten achievements/trophies only obtainable online impossible to get.
  • Yakuza 0 has a minor but potentially annoying example: if you don't pick the black box at the end of the substory "Miracle in Maharaja", you'll miss the Encounter Finder for Kiryu. It is not required for 100% Completion, but it's a nonetheless valuable accessory; it makes finding Mr. Shakedown much easier, and thus makes it a lot quicker to gain money from him.

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