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That One Level / Super Robot Wars

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From tens to over a hundred levels to beat for every Super Robot Wars installments, it goes without saying that some stages qualify as That One Level which can frustrate players to no end.

NOTE: Final Stages cannot be That One Level without being overly hard by their standards (Easy Levels, Hard Bosses, for example). And depending on the players' compentence and/or play style, some tropers may disagree others' nominations, but remember someone else may share the same feeling, so it's inappropriate to delete others' choices. Also, since some of the following games comes with sequels, there maybe some unmarked spoilers regarding later games of the same series. You have been warned.

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  • Scenario 23 of the Earth route, the Macross Plus stage, in Super Robot Wars Alpha 3. You begin the stage with only two units, both of which have fairly low HP and damage output. Your enemies include a rather large number of units, particularly the infamous Ghost X9s, a new type of plane which has downright insane dodge rates, possibly the highest in the game, bar a few bosses. Normally, this wouldn't be much of a problem, as your characters can usually cast buffs on themselves in order to increase their own hit and dodge rates. However, for the beginning of the stage, you not only have no access to your buffs, but your morale is down, meaning an overall decrease in stats. Despite having two of the fastest pilots in the game out, you rarely get above a 30% chance to hit. Even when backup finally arrives, you still have no way of increasing your chances to hit for a good while, so getting through the stage even at that point is an exercise in luck, frustration, and lots of soft-resets.
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  • That One Level is OG Gaiden Stage 15. Not only does it pit you against a horde of (thankfully not reinforced) enemies which have crazy dodge stats and high morale values, it later features one win condition that requires a certain character to do it. Then, a Player Punch occurs, then That One Boss appears... And that was the final product. When all we had was the bonus section of OGs... for some reason you're not allowed to bring really big heavy hitters like Dygenguard and Aussenseiter...
  • Let's go for a classic: Super Robot Wars 3, "true" final mission. You're on a map with a grand total of THREE enemy units, two of which are the infamous Valsion (the final boss mecha of SRW2), and the other being the Neo effing Granzon. Now, count the facts that in this game Focus (increases own accuracy and dodge rate for a full turn)and Hot Blood (greatly increases the damage of your next attack) were RARE seishin, you couldn't upgrade your unit's mobility or weapons, morale raising seishin had a prohibitive cost and the two Valsions were weak enough to die in a few hits without effectively raising your morale. Furthermore, the final boss's morale went up by at least 15 for each turn due to your characters hitting him (not counting those it eventually shoots down), he could attack TWO times for each turn (so could your units, but it was more like a 'get twice the chance of getting shot down'), had insanely high HP and Armor and his morale could cap at 200 which meant EVERY SINGLE ATTACK WOULD KILL YOUR UNIT RIGHT AWAY....
  • Super Robot Wars Destiny. All of it. It starts out as a great game, with a lot of anime getting their introduction into the franchise, such as Megazone 23, Godmars, Daltanius, Macross 7, and The Big O. It also explores the idea of what would've happened if the Earth had been sealed away, Irui Ganeden's goal in Super Robot Wars Alpha 2. And it ALSO features the OZ and the Neo-Zeon Movement as allies, simply because they're the only groups left that have the manpower to save the Earth, meaning Haman Karn arguably makes her debut as a Super Robot Wars protagonist. Then things get sour, fast. The Original Generation mooks are unbelievably fast and accurate to the point that, on the last stage, they're more dangerous than the final boss, every Super Robot has abysmal armor to the point where even if they're fully upgraded they're useless by the halfway point of the game, and you'll probably be using Fire Bomber as a blatant crutch.
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    • You want That One Level, Try Mission 23 of that game, You cannot destroy the Adrasteas in that mission or it is game over, and you cannot allow the enemy to advance to the other side of the map which means you have to box in 2 Adrasteas and reduce their HP to 20% while knocking off the enemies flunkies, And THEN the reinforcements... do not get us started on them, because you have to fight a THIRD Adrastea in addition to the flunkies that it brings, and even before that you have to fight 6 Garland GR-2's (Garlands have high evasion rates), which means you will be spamming Seishins out the ass just to keep up with protecting the area you are ordered to guard.
    • Another mission that will piss the hell out of you is Mission 37 which is a two part mission but the second half is what will reallly drive you mad! In the second half of that mission you have to hit 4 switches, one every 8 turns, the real problem is that the enemies have high evasion/accuracy and can respawn if you don't leave 6 of them active. So mentioning the Fire Bomber Units being a crutch, yeah you will need them for this.
    • The final battle map is aggravating for one reason. Before you fight the Final Battle, you have to fight two Original Generation bosses, who will always recover their full HP unless you kill them in one shot from around the half HP mark, and have considerably high HP... coupled with the fact that if your machine can do enough damage to them to kill them, they will enter the battle in defence mode and cut your damage in half. Effectively, you're forced to go into the battle doing enough damage to almost kill them, and have another unit support your unit to finish them off, as they won't factor support attacks in to whether they defend or not... and support attacks do half damage on their own.
  • There is also Super Robot Wars 2's final stage. Similar layout to 3's, with you against the Granzon, Valsion, and two Punch Clock Villains from Gundam ZZ of all series. Things go sour fast if you want to beat the Granzon for the Bragging Rights Reward. The game, as long as you know what you're doing, isn't impossible or even very long... but by GOD that level is hard since the Granzon is immune to all projectile attacks and has armor three times as thick as the Valsion's.
  • Pretty much the meat of both the Super Robot Wars Original Generation games on GBA fits this trope if you're going for the skill points.
    • Speaking of which, the introduction of the Inspectors in Original Generation 2. "But it's a Hopeless Boss Fight," you say. "you're supposed to lose!" No, not this one. This one is Hopeless only in that it's damn near impossible to win. The challenge of that stage is surviving. With only a battleship which you have had few to no opportunities to upgrade (depending on the route split) and three mid-level mecha, which have had no opportunities to be powered up (if you were able to get a certain Secret weapon, that's about it). Against a bunch of Mooks, a couple enemy battleships, and three end-game bosses that can probably kill your mecha in a single hit. And you have to escape through the far side of the map. That is to say, right through them.
      • Oh and get this: One of the game's super-special secrets requires that you not escape the battle, but you have to beat them, while leaving the most dangerous for last. And due to the set-up of the stage, it will be tough every time, even with the bonuses normally gained though a New Game+.
    • One mission in Original Generation 2 requires you to defend an annoyingly large base from annoyingly fast enemies. Not only is it game over if they so much as reach the outside line, but you're going to be using one set of mechs you haven't upgraded (since it's on the Earth Route, you won't have had a chance to upgrade Katina's stats so she can dodge better than a paraplegic whale, for example), the third wave comes from the back, your most durable starting robot isn't allowed to move until the third wave, the Shirogane battleship and the allied NPC Barrelions will be contributing jack shit (at least the Barrelions are trying), your reinforcements deploy to the west so you can't use even the fastest of them to secure the east, and every time you fail (which will be often), Captain Lee Linjun will insult your troops despite the fact that he was The Load for the entire mission.
    • In Original Generation 1, there's a mission on Kyosuke's path where you have to escort the Hiryu to a certain area so that it can blow up the enemy base. The first half isn't so bad... but then you actually get there and the plot kicks in. Now you're looking at half of the game's bosses, including the Hiryu's more-powerful sister ship, sitting around the exit. And you have to get every one of your units (except the Hiryu, which was crippled and cannot move) into that exit. And if anyone dies, you lose. This includes the Hiryu. And for the secret point, you have to kill the aforementioned sister ship... which can one-shot pretty much anyone. Pray you spent your cash wisely.
  • The final stage of the PSP remake of Advance. Tough grunts and ridiculously high HP bosses with HP regen are nothing new, especially if you took the Nadesico route at the last path split and had to fight Don Zaucer... but unlike most levels in this game (or in the non-skill point using installments of the franchise in general,) there is a TURN LIMIT. You have 10 turns to wade through the strongest grunts in the game, backed up by TWO overpowered bosses, one of whom as far as I can tell has an automatic 0% chance of being hit (and not the type that goes away after one attack,) with the only ways to even HIT her being to use accuracy boosting spells (and SP is rather limited in this game overall, though by no means as bad as in certain other titles,) and her own counterattack range and accuracy being ridiculously huge. Thankfully, she's not REQUIRED to be defeated to clear the stage (though have fun clearing it with her sniping you constantly)... but the actual boss is so much worse. Some 260K HP, of which he regenerates 10% a turn, exceptionally high EN, which he also regenerates, and his attacks use far less of it than they ought to (not that you can really hope to drain his EN even without the regen, due to the turn limit), a VERY powerful and accurate MAP attack, and the ability to move and attack TWICE per turn. Oh, and while not guaranteed, he is surrounded by high HP/Armour grunts, some of whom have HP regen, all of which if they are right next to him can Support Defend (take a hit for him for half damage) THRICE PER TURN. It might be worth noting that this is also the game where enemy accuracy increases with each attack - if you dodge an attack, the next attack aimed at that character will be at a cumulative 15% accuracy boost, meaning that with enough attacks at any one character, eventually they WILL get hit (and there are more than enough enemy units for this).
    • Speaking of Advance Portable, Stage 8 can be a total nightmare to players. Where to even begin with this one? The set-up is that you have to defend the Argama while it's taking off into space from the Devil Gundam. Sounds easy enough right? Well... you are forced to use a much smaller loadout, with only the Shining Gundam, Getter Robo and Dragonnar units. A horde of mooks starts heading towards the Argama and cause an instant game over if they so much as set foot on the base, which is absurdly large. You have to keep them at bay for no less than 8 turns. But hey, once that's done it should be smooth sailing right? Wrong. The Devil Gundam needs to be destroyed before you can continue, and Master Asia suddenly decides to spawn once the Argama takes off. Oh did you think he'd flee once you defeated the Devil Gundam? Nope! He sticks around with not one but two forms, both of which are nearly impossible to hit without accuracy boosting skills, hit like a freight train on steroids and are insanely durable to boot. It's then that the Grados forces from Dragonnar choose to attack and swarm the board. Oh and if you thought you could skip the game by not sending out your original, you're dead wrong. In fact you just made this stage even worse. The closest things to any kind of mercy are the fact that you're joined by the rest of the shuffle alliance and the Dragonnar enemies will flee once the Devil Gundam is gone. But those really don't help against Master Asia.
  • Super Robot Wars K has several of these.
    • First, there's missions 5 to 8, Those Four Levels.
      • Mission 5 pits you against every single bad guy in the first half of Overman King Gainer, including Brunhilde, who in the series attacked friends and foes alike, yet here only attacks you. Fortunately, to beat the level you just need to kill Brunhilde... except it has 10000+ HP (At Stage 5 it's pretty good, mind), and you've got like 7-8 Fragile Speedster bosses attacking you at the same time as well. At least the Mooks are easy.
      • Mission 6 has the beginning of GUN×SWORD, only Van is being attacked by a lot of Darius Empire Mooks instead. You basically have to survive for two turns until the Daiku Maryu crew shows up to aid him, which is easier said than done.
      • Mission 7 is a mix of the two before: It starts with Dann of Thursday, plus El Dora V (that guzzles EN like crazy), Brownie and the Original Generation main character being attacked by a bunch of Overman King Gainer mooks and bosses (again). Again, you have to endure a few turns until the other heroes show up, only the enemies also get two tough bosses as reinforcements: OKG's Cynthia Lane and GXS's Ray. And like Brunhilde above, neither of them were with the Siberian railroad, but on their own team, yet here, they only attack you again.
      • Mission 8 is MORE Gainer bosses/mooks, PLUS Cynthia again, plus GXS's Diablo of Monday. This one is slighty easier, but if you want the GXS secret characters, kill Diablo with Van or they're lost. Fortunately, after this hell, the next mission is a very easy Breather Level playing the beginning of Zoids: Genesis, only with more Darius Empire mooks showing up chasing Zoids' Kotona Elegance so there's an excuse to get her without Garaga and Ron showing up as well.
    • And besides that, there's all the Virtual-On missions (The first two are long, boring missions set in corridors against mooks with Map Attacks, the last one is on an open field with more Mooks like that AND Elite Mooks with huge HP supplies AND the Attack Combo skill that allows them to crush your support units)) and the one playing Gundam SEED Stargazer (A "don't let the bad guys get to this point" mission... IN SPACE. On a game where everyone who doesn't goes into space in-series has a B as its Terrain Rating for... well, space, and terrains matter A LOT. See: King Gainer getting hit easily and missing often.) Ouch.
  • Super Robot Wars Judgment has the attack on Hell Island, which could end up spelling the end for you if you don't know what you're doing. You start the level facing several fairly powerful mooks and Zaied from Full Metal Panic!. After beating him, Gauron shows up in the Venom (very dodgey, very accurate, lots of HP and equipped with a Lambda Driver, which more or less halves all damage inflicted upon him), along with more powerful mooks and a couple of Giant Mooks. Then, after after defeating them, you're forced to take on Zeorymer's Ritsu and his Rose C'est la Vie of the Moon, who has a fair amount of HP and is capable of dishing out a decent amount of punshiment. Then, after defeating him, the real final boss of the level, Baron Ashura, appears in his Mechabeast-ized form along with a group of even more powerful mooks, but before fighting him, you'll ALSO have to fight and destroy a possessed Diana A TWICE (which ITSELF has an inordinate amount of health points BOTH times). But of course, just fighting Baron Ashura himself isn't enough because, after ALL of that, he still regenerates all of his HP after you've defeated him, forcing you to fight and kill him AGAIN before the level is finally over. Sheesh. The only saving grace that keeps this level from being an absolute nightmare to slug through from beginning to end is that you get to see Mazinkaiser recieve its final upgrade during a mid-game event. In conclusion, this level (and SRW J as a whole, for that matter) isn't hard, per se, but rather is incredibly long due to the sheer abundance of high-powered bosses, which puts you in danger of consuming all of your resources prior to the FINAL, final confrontation due to a lack of foresight.
  • Being one of the harder handheld titles, Super Robot Wars L has quite a number of tarpits that even veterans may fall for:
    • Stage 17 is Operation Yashima from Rebuild of Evangelion. As suggested, you have to deal with Ramiel (aka the 6th Angel) but at the same time Mimetic Beasts are standing in your way. Since Ramiel gives a nice amount of cash and a rare Part, it's common for players to rush up with all their forces in order to destroy it at least once before the stage forcefully ends on Turn 6. The problem is that Ramiel (in addition to HP and EN Regen as well as an AT Field) has its Will maxed out at 150 already, and in case of players who forgot after watching the movie, this Ramiel actually has a sweeping MAPW around it. That will certainly hurt. But it doesn't end there: on turn 4 Eva-00 and 01 finally show up at where the stage begins— and enemies spawn to the left and right of them. If Shinji gets attacked even once, GAME OVER. That means one have to leave some units behind to prepare for such a scenario, but that also mean you can't attack Ramiel with your full force.
    • Stage 30A: Little Queen, Little Sister. You have to last 9 turns against never-ending waves of Vajra while Ranka gets ready to sing them all away. But one has to make sure the Vajra don't reach the building before she does, which is easier said than done since you don't have enough units to protect all the tiles (which becomes worse when one of them leaves the map on Turn 4). Even with Brera flying off to one corner of the map and holding off part of the wave, it's still going to be a nightmare.
    • The worst example of this trope, however, is Stage 37 where you resolve the ending of Linebarrels of Iron, which would be the biggest Moment of Awesome of this game if this stage doesn't annoy players so much. First off, you have to protect all 6 Machinas from being destroyed, which would be easy if Koichi (in his Linebarrel mode-C) wasn't a NPC and didn't rush headlong into the enemy formation, chopping up anyone in his way (that includes Soubi, in case if you want to recruit him). Doesn't help that the enemy force is made up of Original Mooks with armour-reducing weapons and they're more than happy to use it on him. Worse, since Koichi WILL attack anyone if they're in range, Linebarrel's energy and ammo will eventually dry out, leaving it as a complete sitting duck. The catch? You have to defeat Masaki (in his Naked) to return Koichi back to your control. This is just the first part of the stage.
      • The second part of this stage involves protecting all 6 or 7 if all conditions are fulfilled Machinas (who'll just stay idle in the middile of the stage) from being destroyed in 4 turns, in order to begin the Final Phase. Remember how fast and hard those Mass-Produced Machinas are during the first half of the stage? You have to deal with an unlimited number of them. From both sides. This immediately happens after you defeat Masaki's second form, so there're basically no breathing room nor redeployment time in between. Many who manage to protect Koichi in the first half may actually fail on this part.
  • Although stages in Super Robot Wars UX are more forgiving than L, it also has quite an amount of crazy stages, especially late game.
    • The most well-known but unexpected That One Level happens on Stage 23, The False Songstress. This is your usual "defend a certain area" mission (except half of the field is a sea), and it's mostly easy......Until Ranka Lee is captured by a Hound Vajra and the objective "reduce Hound Vajra's HP to 10%" is added. First off, it only has slightly better stats than other Vajra (it's one of the late-game grunts), so accidents may happen for those players who don't notice. Second, if you accidentally summon Tobikage to the field, due to his AI pattern, he'll directly go for that Hound Vajra and kill it in one hit! Third, even you don't summon Tobikage, Brera Stein, who is supposed to help you as an NPC, will do the same thing to Ranka if you don't act fast enough. This stage is so frustrating to the point that it has created numerous new memes, like "Killing Ranka without mercy", "Victory Condition Thief" for Tobikage, and "Ranka Slayer" for both Tobikage and Brera.
      • Except Brera can't really deal enough damage in one hit, and the Hound Vajra has an Energy Field so if you leave it to Brera, he will lower the Hound Vajra's HP below 10% himself with the pattern he uses. Two problems do exist though: First, Brera's strongest attack, even the Hound Vajra has an Energy Field, is capable of killing it in two hits. Second, because Brera comes with boss-like stats, the Hound Vajra will also target him (again because of the AI pattern) if he's in range, so the situation isn't much better. And that's not even accounting for Critical Hits......
    • Stage 46, The Beautiful Dystopia. Successfully landing Pretender on the designated grid is one challenge in itself, and after your reinforcements arrive and kick some Mass-Produced Machinas' butt, Deus ex Machina will pop out and reduce all your units' will by 30 (except Kaidou and Magami, they will either gain +30 Will, lose only 20 or be completely unaffected). At this point if you don't act fast enough, your units and battleships will be surrounded and being slapped to death due to the enemies' Will bonus. Deus ex Machina also moves twice, has Override, a MAP weapon and HP/EN recovery. Have fun.
    • The next stage, Heaven and Earth is also insanely frustrating, as 70% of the stage consist of water terrain, which limits your options to Air units and units with Sea Adaptation. Which make those red Festum much harder to deal with due to their ability and, in case of not having enough units for Sea Adaptation, terrain bonus. If you want to save Kurusu, all Fafner units must deploy, and each must fight him once, but only a few of them can deal with such situation. Oh, and your reliable Festum buster, Kazuki and his Mark Sein? He won't show up until you beat up Kurusu enough.
    • In Stage 48 we deal up the last of the ELS. As mentioned in Demonic Spiders, lots of ELS means big problem to your units, and now they come without limits. You think ELS is your only problem? Zerokage will also pop up with his force, probably enough to distract you. And all those big bad ELS twin units around the designated area after Setsuna arrives. In the meantime, you have to be cautious that random ELS may race down to the south edge of the map, or gangs of ELS suck up all EN from one of your battleships, while you have five turns to send Setsuna to the designated point. Talk about a race against time and a war of attrition.
  • Super Robot Wars Z isn't a particularly difficult game, if you understand how to abuse the TRI System, but some of the SR Point requirements are BRUTAL for anyone not in a New Game+, and sometimes even then they can be crazy! A few definitely stick out, though.
    • Rand's 6th scenario, The Night of the Festival. The mission itself is a reasonably difficult one - you start out with an unupgraded and very badly gimped Turn A Gundam facing an enemy horde. You DO have reinforcements on the map, but they're far enough away to not be able to get at the grunts until Turn 2. The problem here is that you need to start dealing damage immediately and not stop, because the enemy grunts are spread out and will not entirely convalesce by Turn 3. To twist the knife, you're not allowed to end it at the actual end of turn 3 for the SR point - no, you have to end it on the player phase, which means you can't hope the enemy will come to you on their phase and run into your well upgraded units.
    • One of many secrets that's easier to get in one protagonist's story over the other is keeping Aki alive. Want to do it in Rand's story? Well, understanding how the first mission (that gives you the first two requirements) works is important, and you will fail without knowing that, but even assuming you do that you may end up running headlong into trouble on the Gallia Route's mission 18 - you start with the Zambo Ace (the main component of Zambot 3) alone against an army of Mechaboosts, and it must kill two enemies before Turn 3 begins. This means you get four phases to kill the enemy, one of which will be spent getting to the enemy no matter what, and one of which will only have you attacking a single enemy unless you switch Zambo Ace into its Fighter mode, in which case you can't deal damage fast enough to win. And if you forget to upgrade Zambot's weapons (which you might end up doing: there's a lot of units that need your money more), you are stuck hoping to get at least 3 criticals on an attack that rarely gives them out.
  • Super Robot Wars T is not a hard game, no, but Scenario 34 is called one of the hardest stages for a reason. It's basically the finale of Magic Knight Rayearth season 1 and the beginning of a Marathon Boss stage. You first had to contend with Rabaan and his Aura Battlers squad, and at one point, a squad of Kikaiju appears and shortly after, there comes Zagato and his Rune God. If you want the SR Point? Well, you first need to wipe out everything, Rabaan included, within 5 turns and you have to leave Zagato for the last. Because of this, Zagato would have accumulated enough Morale to activate his Guard L3 skill, which greatly increased his defense and you might have wasted some SP to clean up the other enemies, and at this level, you might not have people that has Valor to get past his Guard, so trying to clean up his 80,000 HP will take REALLY long, and the TacP bonus require you to have Hikaru deliver the final blow. But after that? Here comes a pissed off Emeraude able to act THRICE in a turn, and will make a beeline towards Hikaru and she is powerful enough to kill Hikaru off in one blow, which is one of the Game Over conditions. And she also has Counter, so you have to prepare a defensive Spirit Command to even attack her, hopefully you haven't burnt all of them out after fighting Zagato. All while the events in the anime get played as straight as possible, so your gut is also being punched around by the game in the same time.
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