Absurdly High Level Cap

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Why level 9999? Because we can.

In many games with Character Levels, you'll probably never reach the highest level possible. Maybe this is just because of scaling and pacing of experience, and the game simply isn't long enough for you to naturally reach the maximum level. Can make a player wonder why the developers bothered to make such a pointlessly out-of-reach level cap.

The common "endgame level" tends to be around the "halfway mark", usually. In some games, this is actually where your stats begin to max out anyway.

Note that this is not just about games with really, really high level caps, but for games where poor pacing of experience means you won't get anywhere near it without absurd amounts of Level Grinding. A game can have a level cap of, say, 30, but if you reach about 15 by the end of the game, it counts. (Likewise, if the level cap is something like 999, but is easily attainable by the end of the game, this trope does not apply)

Note that Tropes Are Not Bad. This can be a useful gameplay feature for games with very open-ended and sandbox-like gameplay. It makes it hard to predict what level the character will be by the time they get around to finishing the main storyline or simply get bored of exploring. If the player reaches the maximum level beforehand, a part of the game will have stagnated, thus taking away from the experience. After all, what is the point of receiving a reward in experience from a quest or mission if you have already maxed out your level? In addition, some players see a rather high level cap as something to accomplish before they are truly finished playing, provided it does not require days of repetitive grinding for little to no payoff.

Contrast Absurdly Low Level Cap, although the two are by no means mutually exclusive.

Examples of Absurdly High Level Cap include:

  • The original MMORPG example was Asheron's Call—the level cap was logarithmic, with the hard cap on experience being 4 billion at level 127. Given that the game was launched at the same time as EverQuest, which had a level 50 cap, this was rather jarring for the time. It took most of a decade for any character to actually reach the cap, although MMORPG inflation made it easier a few years after that. A later update changed the cap again—to 4 billion experience points per skill, putting the actual level cap near 300.
  • Hyperdimension Neptunia gives you the option of this. The default level cap is 99 and you'll have opened up every purchasable item and be strong enough to pound all the foes if you hit it. DLC gives you the option of bumping it up to 999, so you can max out every stat for every character and improve your odds at the DLC dungeons.
  • Last Scenario. You end the main storyline around level 70, though you'll likely have a hard time defeating the final boss at that point. However, there are tons of endgame Bonus Dungeons, and you'll always be at the proper level to do them linearly. For example, there's one that you're at the perfect level for by the endgame, and after that buffs you up to level 75 or so, you'll be ready to do another one, etc. If you do all of them, you'll have no trouble getting to level 95.
  • Exit Fate. You'll end the main storyline around level 80, and though the Bonus Bosses will require you to grind a bit, you won't have to do a lot of it.
  • Most of the Metroidvania iterations of the Castlevania series end with the main character around level 50 (and the max being 99).
    • In Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, the hardest respawning enemies in the game, the Guardians, only give 1 exp when you get to about level 70. After that, there's no point in grinding anymore. You take out the last boss in a few hits way before you reach 70.
    • In Harmony of Dissonance, once you hit level 53, all non-boss enemies are worth 1 exp (and all bosses get to this point at level 59).
    • In Order of Ecclesia, after you beat Hard Mode Lv. 1 (the level cap is set at 1), you unlock the highest level cap, that being Lv. 255, as opposed to merely Lv. 99. Once one reaches around Lv. 80, even an entire run through the story won't get you even one level.
  • In Diablo II, the pace of experience slows down to a crawl by the mid-80s. A handful of people do reach 99, but it takes an insanely long time. Most characters will have attained optimal skills long before this.
    • This is because shortly after it was released, Diablo II ended up with hundreds of Level 99 Hardcore Barbarians on Battle.net, much to the chagrin of the game designers who were certain reaching level 99 in Hardcore (where dying even once permanently ended your game) was impossible. Several nerfs to the signature Barbarian skill (Whirlwind) were applied, only for other game-breaking abilities to be uncovered in other character classes. Finally, they simply applied a patch that set all experience gains for level 80 or higher characters to be 1/10th normal, all past level 90 to be 1/100th normal, and past level 95 to be 1/1000th normal (most non-boss enemies, even on Hell difficulty, give only one experience point per kill at that level). By mathematically guaranteeing that players would need to kill 10 enemies per second, 24 hours a day, for nearly a year to go from level 98 to level 99, they finally succeeded in killing off interest in attaining the maximum level.
  • In the Pokémon games, you're likely to beat the Elite Four with Pokémon around level 50 or so. Later generations have added endgame content that will probably bring your Pokémon up to level 60-70, even though the level cap is 100. Of course, Red and Barry have teams in the 80s.
  • In Phantasy Star Online, you can plausibly play through the entire story on even the highest difficulty level at about level 80 or so, especially if you're playing online or multiplayer. The level cap is 200.
    • It isn't as bad as it seems. There's no diminishing return. Rather, people rarely hit 200 because you have SO MANY CHARACTER SLOTS
  • Golden Sun's last level for learning is around level 54, with the maximum level being at 99. However, the Bonus Boss in the second game is a challenge no matter what level you are. This is because the first two Golden Sun games were originally intended to be one, but were split to fit on the cartridge. The "Final Boss" of the first game was originally intended to be a Disc One Final Dungeon boss.
  • Nippon Ichi games like La Pucelle Tactics have ridiculous level caps where you can get to 9999 even though the maximum level needed to win the game is around a hundred. You actually do need huge levels to kill the Bonus Boss, however.
    • Disgaea is a great one for this. Level cap is a whopping 9999, but you can easily finish the main storyline around 80-100. Of course, no one really goes straight through the main storyline, so levels are usually 200 or so for endgame. The other 9799 can be gotten with New Game+ fairly easily, though, since you get access to some awesome high-level areas.
    • Phantom Brave escalates since you can level both weapon AND character, meaning you can beat the final boss (and probably the first bonus boss) if you have the optimum skill/weapon/created character loadout for such a task at around 40/40, some have gotten it as low as 30/30 (Pump those weapon HP skills!) And not only is the max level 9999, but, while the highest character re-creation level in Disgaea gives you 10 extra skill points per time, Phantom Brave can give you as many as *255* skill points each time. A character that has gone to 9999 twice at 255 points each will likely hit the 'true max.' It also supports an extra digit in the stats column. (at this point any attack resembles the scores from Gigawing) Here as an example is a 9999999 attack mage.
  • In Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, you can complete your main quest within a few character levels if you wish. The majority of the games are effectively side-quests. Because the game world levels with you, leveling and quest completion is almost entirely divorced. The best weapons and statistic caps are relatively easy to obtain before completing roughly 2/3rds of the content.
    • Fallout 2 plays the trope straight with the level cap being set to 99. That is outright impossible to reach with a character not geared for it (high Outdoorsman skill and all related perks) because of the in-game time limit of 13 years. Without Level Grinding, it's entirely possible to finish the game before reaching level 24 where the two best perks become available - or if you go for Sequence Breaking, you can finish the game at level 2 (not counting the tons of XP gained during the final mission). Oh, and all skills max out at 300% which is Awesome but Impractical as nothing in the game have skill checks above 150. Finishing the game has one NPC rewarding the player with a cheat item that can be used to powerlevel.
    • In Fallout 3, the cap of 20 can be reached simply by doing every sidequest and exploring the whole world map - you don't even need combat XP to max out, except if you have the Broken Steel DLC that raises the cap to 30; unless you have terrible starting stats, every single skill will be maxed out at 100 before you reach level 30.
    • In Fallout: New Vegas, the starting level cap is 30, which can be reached fairly easily. Then came the DLC (Dead Money, Honest Hearts, Old World Blues, and Lonesome Road), each of which raises the level cap by 5 levels, setting the level cap at 50. To put that in terms of experience points, it takes 66,700 XP total to reach Level 30, while it'll take 186,200 XP total to reach Level 50. About the easiest way to get them is to use the console command to advance your levels, or download a mod that alters EXP gain[1]...and even then, it doesn't make the game any easier since the enemies will just get tougher. However, with proper planning, it is possible to max all 13 skills, thanks to the increased level cap.
      • The DLC quests give XP based on your level; if you're above the initial cap of 30, you can gain over 1,000 XP from completing one. On top of that, most (if not all) enemies you encounter are worth 50 XP per kill (the maximum any creature will give), and it'll quickly add up if you seek out groups of enemies.
      • As well, the normal course of gameplay for each DLC will usually grant at least five levels, so when combined with the main game, it's very, very common and easy to build a Level 50 character within 50–60 hours of play.
    • Morrowind and Oblivion are something of an odd case, as you only level up if you improve your main skills, which you pick. Thus, it is perfectly possible to acquire ludicrously high combat skills while remaining at level one. This has the added advantage that, upon leveling up, you'll get very healthy multipliers for your stat increases. However, it is worth pointing out that any non-main skills are likely to start out pretty low, so if you use this trick, you'll have trouble beating up rats at the beginning of the game. This also means that the level cap doesn't need to be hard-coded. Eventually, all of your primary skills will be at 100 (and thus, incapable of increasing), meaning that you will never level up again. In theory, at least; there are a number of methods which lend themselves to unlimited leveling.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim continues this tradition. While there's an achievement for reaching level 50, you can go beyond that if you keep increasing your skills. However, all your stats max out at 100, meaning that while there's no level cap in theory, in practice, you're not getting past level 81. And even the cap of 81 is absurdly high; you can finish most of the game's quests long before that, after level 40 or so that level-up bar moves at a snail's pace, and the enemies' levels usually cap somewhere between 40 and 50 (the Volikhar Master Vampire has the highest possible cap at 53).
  • In Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, the Final Boss is beatable before level 80, but levels cap at 255. There are three Bonus Dungeons containing numerous enemies and bosses that can help you get to 255. There are even battle trophies for doing this.
    • 255 is the typical level cap in the Star Ocean series. The Last Hope breaks this tradition by dropping it down to 200; however, earning half of the Battle Trophies of a character bumps it right back up to 255. Then again, when you're trying to defeat bonus bosses with millions of HP, and earn Battle Trophies that require inflicting max damage, you'll want every last stat point you can get.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and the Mario & Luigi series play this straight. In both cases, the cap is 99, but it's not needed to achieve 100% Completion.
    • Bowser's Inside Story also about halves the effect of each level up after 50, making it even more pointless. Doesn't help that you need to keep resetting the final dungeon to even find enemies worth fighting for more experience. However, once you get to "rainbow rank" you can kill most bosses in one hit.
  • In the Kingdom Hearts series, you'll likely reach the end of the storyline around level 50, while the level cap is 99. There are usually a few Bonus Bosses that require you to level grind a bit, however.
    • Birth by Sleep takes this even further. The game is split into three storylines, in which each protagonist has to Restart At Level One whenever you start their story, regardless of how many playthroughs you've already finished. In order to avoid having to grind back up whenever you start with a new character, the storyline is meant to be finished by the time you're in your low 30's, even though the maximum is still 99 like the previous games. Even then, one of the game's bonus bosses can be beaten quite comfortably at level 50. The other, not so much.
    • Kingdom Hearts Re:coded has a level cap of 99. While that's not unusual, the amount of EXP required for higher levels is. In total, about 10,000,000 EXP is required to get all the Level Up chips.
    • In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, it's possible to beat it at level 40 and 25 fairly easily with Sora and Riku respectively. The level 99 cap is made worse with the absence of bonus bosses.
  • The Tales (series) usually has a level cap of 255. Game content typically lasts you till level 50-60, EXP modifiers notwithstanding.
  • In Digimon World 3, the level cap is 99, but most Digimon can achieve their unnecessarily powerful top-level Digivolutions by about level 60-70. While the final boss does require massive offensive and defensive power to beat, by that point in the game you have access to items which can boost your attack power and other parameters without having to fight, so it's entirely possible to beat him at level 30.
    • In Digimon World 4, the cap is 999. Even playing through all three difficulty levels, you're unlikely to reach 300.
  • While Guild Wars has an absurdly low level cap of 20 (reachable in some campaigns in the starter area), its sequel has a level cap of 80, although levels will allegedly take about the same time no matter how high or low.
  • In The World Ends With You, you end the game around level 50, and the max is 100. You'll probably have to do a lot of grinding to finish the post-game content, though levels aren't very important. (They only increase your HP, Bravery, and ability to adjust drop rate by temporarily lowering your effective level.)
  • Mass Effect trilogy:
    • Mass Effect 1 has a level cap of 60, which is impossible to achieve in one playthrough (because levels 51-60 are unlocked by beating the game) and difficult to achieve in two (because of the ridiculously high amounts of experience needed to gain the last 10 levels[2]).
    • Mass Effect 2 averts this, though; the level cap is 30, which is easily reached in one playthrough. Plus, if you import a level 60 character from the first game, you Restart At Level Five, making it easier to hit the cap, especially if you have the DLC.
    • Mass Effect 3 increases the level cap back to 60 (once again impossible to achieve in one playthrough), but with a twist. Your Mass Effect 2 levels carry over into Mass Effect 3, meaning that a max-level character from the second game will start the third game at level 30. However, this trope still applies; a level 30 import Shepard that does everything possible in the game will end up somewhere in the mid-50s, meaning you still have to start a New Game+ to reach the cap.
  • Dragon Age: Origins has a level cap of 25, which is impossible to reach without the Elfroot grind or Ostagar exploit. Getting to level 20 gains you a class-specific achievement, while new characters in the "Awakening" expansion start at level 18. "Awakening" itself is an aversion, however; if you import a level 25 character, it gives you just enough content to go up to the increased cap of 35 before the Final Boss.
  • Dragon Age II plays it utterly straight again. The level cap is 50, which is currently reachable only through a (now fixed) bug exploit; in a single playthrough, you can go up to level 25, tops, which is about one fourth of the XP needed to reach the cap. The likely explanation is that the cap was set with future DLC campaigns in mind, but even with all the DLC, getting to the cap is impossible without the aforementioned bug.
  • Since the release of the Epic Level Handbook in Dungeons and Dragons 3.0 there literally was NO level cap. You could make a level 1 million wizard if you took the time out to do it (although it would be useless cause no sane Dungeon Master would ever let you use it, or put the time into running a campaign where it could be used), but still technically possible.
    • In practice, its difficult to get a character from level one all the way to twenty. In a pencil and paper rpg, real life tends to disrupt the game before that point and if you're lucky you have a group that can play once a week. Be grateful if you have a DM motivated enough to keep the game going that long. Also, modules and monsters written for this level are less common. For this reason, Pathfinder hasn't yet released rules that go beyond this level (aside from a brief few paragraphs for just in case.) And their adventures paths take characters from level one to about level sixteen.
  • Bots, before it got taken down, had a level cap of around 2900.
  • Knights of the Old Republic had a level cap of 20, which could easily be reached halfway through the game if no experience was missed. Complaints of this probably led to the second game having a max cap of 50. Of course, it was very rare for players to hit 30 before the end of that game, making the extra twenty somewhat superfluous (it is possible the level cap was set with some of the Dummied Out content in mind, especially as the developers were quite willing to finish up some of it and release a patch re-adding it).
  • Clash of Heroes: Depending on the campaign, you'll be around level 7 to 9 when you reach the final boss after completing all the sidequests, out of 10 possible. If you want to get experience, you'll have to find an area with random encounters and walk around until you trigger them. Random encounters rarely are higher than 7, so this takes a while. Better yet, you might have to do this for your units as well if you need to use one you haven't used much before (or simply haven't had access to yet).
  • Gauntlet Dark Legacy had a level cap of 99, even though the game could be beaten by level 60 or so.
  • "Planescape Torment" seems to have NO level cap, though it's pretty much impossible to get an insanely high level without exploiting glitches. You're only supposed to beat the game at the high 20s (and if you don't use glitches you won't get much higher). With an hour of glitch exploitation, one can go as high as level 200. The experience for one level up caps at 250000, and very late level ups won't give much more than increased health.
  • If there's a level cap in Kingdom of Loathing, no one's found it yet. At around level 130 even the Hopeless Boss Fights are doable. Of course, generally players with levels that high have automated level-grinding.
    • For those who think 130 is on the low end? The game was originally designed to be beaten at level eleven, with a major overhaul in 2007 increasing that by a whopping two. As for actual ability, let's just say a properly-prepared player could beat Her Naughtiness well before level 13 if the game let them try.
      • They have actually been nerfing the naughty sorceress' actions and priorities and such since, but players keep plugging away and finding ways to 'beat the system' so they don't need to use the wand. One of the more interesting discoveries was that bleed damage carried over from the second battle. One person ended form 2 with heavy amounts of bleed. At the time only two bosses had multiple forms, and so this wasn't ever really looked at. By using bleeds up til round 28, and keeping the NS from removing the buffs with a potato, then attacking to beat the form before the 30 round limit, one player managed to 'roll over' the damage into the 'first round' of combat vs the sausage, the round you typically automatically lose before you can make a move. Bleed damage was applied first. And cumulativity was a bug. These are no longer the case.
    • The several highest-level players are all level 256, so that's probably the level cap. Not that it counts for much, since you can dominate almost anything the game can throw at you with a primary stat of 845 (level 30); level 256 requires a mainstat of sixty-five thousand and takes years of powerleveling to attain.
  • In Lost Souls MUD, the maximum level is 675. According to developers, the limit only exists because of integer overflow problems on XP values, and if anybody were to actually reach level 675, experience would be re-implemented using floating point math, removing the cap.
  • Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, with its XP cap of 8,000,000, which means level 31 to 40 depending on class. Normal finishing level is maybe a bit under thirty, and the cap is so absurdly high for 2nd edition Dungeons and Dragons rules that even the new special abilities introduced in this game can't make for meaningful content for so many levels. Wizards cease to gain any new powers at all long before the maximum.
  • The Final Fantasy series tends to play this straight, with the exceptions of Final Fantasy II, Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XIII, as they don't have the traditional level-up system. Otherwise most games have a Level cap of 99, and can mostly be completed fine by a party at Level 50.
    • Final Fantasy X plays this straighter than the rest, given the nature of the Sphere Grid. And that's not even considering if you want to start replacing nodes with the HP needed to max out your counter while using the "Break HP Limit" weapon skills.
    • Final Fantasy XI is currently capped at 90 and will be raised to 99, though for the majority of the game's lifespan the cap was 75. And boy, did you need all 75 of those levels.
    • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance had its max level cap to 50, so the average level for an end game party was about 30 to 35. The sequel had the level cap to 99, so most parties would be around level 50 by the final boss.
    • Final Fantasy XIII was both an aversion and a straight example. The game capped the crystarium and expected you to be at said cap at the points it got moved up. On the other hand, it eventually opened up side portions of it that you weren't expected to use until the post-game, and the post-game complete cap removal requires grinding to take advantage of.
    • Final Fantasy XIII-2 on the other hand, is a complete aversion. You will max out your characters in the process of getting One Hundred Percent Completion without ever needing to grind for it.
  • For Nethack, the experience level cap is 30. This sounds reasonable for a fifty-floor dungeon; but, around experience level 12, conventional methods of level-gaining - kill stuff - are no longer efficient. A more regular interval emerges for experience levels 20+ but getting from 12 to 20 looks daunting on paper. A wily player has to develop other strategies to compensate for the growing violent horde while scraping together whatever other experience levels they can for the endgame.
    • NetHack's monster-scaling algorithm means that avoiding leveling past the minimum required (you have to be level 14 to unlock part of the main quest) is a viable strategy.
  • Etrian Odyssey played with this trope just a bit in its first game; The player's level cap is 70, but beating the story final boss can be done at slightly lower than 60. However, its Bonus Dungeon pretty much demands you to use all those 70 levels. However, this is played even straighter in the sequels: The level cap has been increased to 99, but not only you should be able to beat the main game at 50-60s, your characters' level cap is also 70 at natural, but can be increased by retiring those characters which resets their levels but ultimately increases their level cap by 1 per retiring. Yes, you need to retire your characters 29 times plus one last time to give a maximum stat bonus to finally reach their level cap.[3] The third game is slightly more merciful - defeating each of the Bonus Boss dragons increases your level cap by 10 (or 9 for the third).
  • Played straight in the story mode of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, but averted for many of the optional areas. Just like in the main series Pokemon games, your level cap is 100. It's entirely possible to beat the main story at level 40 or lower, and the post-credits storyline doesn't require you to be much higher than level 60. But there are still a lot of dungeons even after that, and you will need to be at or near the level cap for some of those.
  • The earlier Rune Factory games had a maximum level of 99, far beyond what you needed to complete the game. Rune Factory 3 bumps this up to 10,000.
  • Zoids Legacy has a level cap of 99 despite the game being easily finishable in the low 20s.
  • Present in the Suikoden series as a whole. In fact, it may be one of the more extreme examples. You see, in the series, each new level requires 1000 EXP to reach—the catch is that the amount of EXP awarded to a character after any battle is calculated based on the character's strength/level vis-a-vis that of the defeated opponents. Fairly soon, monsters that gave a good chunk of EXP required to reach a level will give out a mere pittance, and even the hardest encounters in the game will eventually yield a mere 5 EXP per encounter (the average minimum possible EXP). When, precisely, this happens depends on the individual game in the series, but it's usually somewhere in the 60s or 70s, for a game where the level caps at 99. Only the most determined Suikoden players will see characters that have reached level 99, and probably no one has done it legitly with the large number of playable characters (since not all of the 108 are playable) ...
  • The level cap in Legend of Legaia is 99. Even with extreme grinding, the levels granted are stingy, and you'll probably beat the game somewhere between levels 35 and 40. If you want to beat the obnoxiously difficult Bonus Boss, you'll want another ten or twenty levels on that. If you want to complete That One Sidequest and actually get usable Juggernaut magic, you are required to be at level 99. Even grinding every single day for a few hours, that can take years.
  • In Chrono Trigger, the level cap of 99 is impossible to reach without serious grinding, especially if you want to do it in a single playthrough. It's possible to reach about 50 to 60 if you complete every single sidequest in the game and exploit time travel to run through the Dark Omen several times. Lavos can be beaten at this point without too much trouble. Grind your way up to 99, however, and you'll be basically unkillable. New Game+ is the most fun way to grind, but Crono will probably max out far before everyone else.
  • In Mabinogi, reaching the level cap is most likely impossible, as the ideal way to level is by rebirthing back to level 1 every week or so, adding to the total level. Some say the total level cap may exceed 9000.
    • Apparently, the "current level" cap is 200. The exploration level cap is definitely 25. But all that really matters for are those who seek to gain as much AP as possible in as little time as possible. The maximum you can get each week while still having a life outside the game doesn't even get close to the cap until your total is many thousands high and your character a veritable engine of destruction already.
  • Name any Idea Factory/Compile Heart game. Any game they made. Chances are, the level cap is going to be at 999.
  • In Ys VI, the highest level is 60, but the EXP values drop to 1 for all enemies at level 55, so it takes many hours of grinding to reach the cap, which you need to do to beat the Bonus Boss.
  • In Dragon Quest I, the level cap is 30 at 65535 EXP, but you can curbstomp the Dragonlord well before then, around Level 24 (you need a minimum of Level 20 to have the least chance at beating him).
    • And in Dragon Quest IX, the level cap is 99; you'll be needing over 65535 XP per level when you get much past 50! Oh, and did I mention that XP is not shared between vocations (classes), so you could be a level 99 warrior but only a level 1 mage? And you can reset back to level 1 if you want, in order to get more skill points and a "special" item related to the vocation...
  • In Heartache 101 Sour Into Sweet, the player's stats can be raised up to a cap of 100. The three uses of stats are to pass storyline checkpoints (which use a simple "Is the stat higher than this value" pass-or-fail check), to give correct advice to girls when asked (where points in the relevant stat increase the chance of Ferdinand's advice being correct), and to determine how many relationship points are gained when spending time with girls. Storyline checkpoints never require any value higher than 50, advice will reach 100% chance of being correct somewhere between 50 and 60, and it is possible to max out relationship values for girls without any stats ever even reaching 50.
  • The power level stat in Exalted, Essence, has an absolute cap of 10. Most magical beings (including the majority of player characters) begin their existence with Essence of 2 and have relative caps. The most common way to increase Essence is through age and extensive meditation—until a character is 100 years old, they may reach up to Essence 5 with each increase taking months equal to the new rating. To reach Essence 10, the character must be several thousands of years old and devote a year of nothing but meditation for the final enlightenment. Characters can go on world-saving (or destroying) adventures even at Essence 5.
  • Both Cursed Treasure flash games have a very high level cap, but the highest level you'd ever want is Level 41, as that's the minimum level needed to max out all the skills. However, the most EXP gained from a single map is nearly 1,700 (at least, that's the case for the Level Pack), and since EXP needed for the next level is current level x 100,[4] that means repeating that map many, many times. Worse, you'll likely get a Brilliant rating on all the maps way before maxing out all your skills!
  • Cheaters in Progress Quest indicate a memory-allocation-based level cap of 2^31, possibly amended to 2^15; a lower one for non-cheaters might exist, but reaching level 99 requires over 20 real-life years of continuous "play" (in a game launched in 2001), so it doesn't make a whole lot of difference.
  • In Third Person Shoot MMO "S4 League" reaching level 100 and "S4" rank requires 63,703,100 EXP. The most experience you can gain from a 30 minute match is 1280 exp so it is estimated that you would need over 1036 days of continuous nonstop optimal playing. Of course, Alaplaya has included an Anti-Poopsocking that would cut off all exp and pen gains after playing 8 hours per day. Luckily levels don't matter at all obtain weapons which are given out for free or purchased at the shop for extremely cheap prices. The only things that are affected by levels are the channels players can participate in and clothes that change the appearance of the player. All clothes give the same bonuses so levels stop mattering at all after level 20.
  • In Anachronox, the maximum level is 99. Reaching this level, however, is nigh-impossible. Enemies don't usually respawn, so you can't kill them over and over for experience. Add on to that the fact that the game uses Dynamic Difficulty, and it's basically a useless cap.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles has the usual level cap of 99, but the endgame level is around 80, higher than pretty much every other game with that cap. You'll also want to hit the cap for some Bonus Bosses.
  • The Witcher has a level cap of 50, yet reaching this level requires far more experience than you would get from completing every quest and killing every boss. Getting anywhere above level 40 in a full playthrough is not only time-consuming, but unnecessary, since you gain less experience from killing enemies per level and you'll have gained enough talents to comfortably finish the game well before then, anyway.
  • Halo: Reach, while having the average-ish 50 ranks, requires 20 million experience points to hit the level cap, the distance between rank 49 and 50 being 3 and a half million alone.
  • Both Demon's Souls and Dark Souls have a level cap in the 700s range (712 and 792 respectively). Demon's Souls has a requirement of 8,844,424 souls to make the leap from 711 to 712 and Dark Souls has a requirement of 11,938,030 souls just to make the leap from 791 to 792. Both games have you normally ending your first playthrough in the low 100s with their 60,000+ soul requirement. And due to the Diminishing Returns for Balance of raising stats in both games, it is utterly unnecessary.
  • Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale has two level systems: Merchant, and Adventure. The game is designed to take advantage of the New Game+ system that sets in if you ever finish the storyline or fail to pay the required amount of money needed each week. Each adventurer can level up to 99, which can take many playthroughs of the story, and even being level 99 is no guarantee that your adventurers will survive the Bonus Dungeon's Boss Rush mode. As a merchant, you gain more perks such as larger inventory, a larger store, and other benefits to help you make more money. The merchant level cap is 99, but the added privileges stop at level 50.
  • The obscure PS 1 JRPG Guardian's Crusade had a level cap of 65535, even though you'd probably be facing the end boss at around level 50. The reasons for this have been lost in the mists of time.
  • Played with by the Call of Duty franchise, starting with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (well, the console versions). Players are able to level up (the cap is different for each game), unlocking new weapons, support equipment, and Perks as they go. At the maximum level, the player has the option to "Prestige", reverting to level 1, essentially starting again. Later games use this to unlock unique cosmetic elements and extra Custom Class slots, but the early games simply let you start climbing the ladder again, up to five times, not really gaining much of anything for your trouble.
  • If there is a cap in Dungeons of Dredmor no-one has found it yet , you can comfortably beat the game in around the mid 20 range and you stop gaining stats from your levels if you don't have anywhere to spend your skill points, so even if you grind, your level ups become pointless at around the 30+ mark. At ridiculously high levelslink, the XP bar will begin freaking out and demand more XP than a player is ever likely to gain across all their characters and then start rolling back to zero if you keep going. The jump from 98 to 99 alone takes 197828720 XP. The game just was not built with anyone reaching those kinds of levels in mind.
  • Labyrinth of Touhou can be beaten with characters in the 100+ range. The post game Plus Disk content will probably require a level upwards of 500. The actual level cap is far higher than that.
  • EVE Online has close to 400 skills, which while only have 5 levels each, can take upwards of a month or more to max each skill.
  • In Sequence the Bonus Boss is typically beaten and the game 100% completed around the mid to late twenties depending on your luck with item drops. The technical level cap is 34, after which it takes ten billion experience points to reach the next level and being insane enough to actually reach it would probably cause the game to crash.
  • The level cap in Soul Blazer is 50. That sounds low, but the amount of experience required to get there is impractically high; you have to reach the cap of 99,999,999 (that's one less than one hundred million), when the strongest enemies give a mere 4,000. For comparison, level 25 requires a total of 150,000 experience—and at that point your attack and defense are the highest they can get without accessories, and your HP bar has already reached its maximum length and changes color instead to signify additional HP.
  • Parasite Eve has a weird case of this. The cap is 99, but you learn your last ability in the early 30s, and the high 30s require a ridiculous amount of EXP (around 200,000!). However, once you reach level 38, level requirements become far, far lower (a mere 4,500 EXP).
    • It's also and odd case since leveling up only increases your HP and other base stats by a few points. The majority of your stats come from tweaking your weapons and armors, which they can all be capped to 999.
  • Sailor Moon: Another Story has the typical level cap of 99. Hitting it without cheats takes ages, as higher levels require progressively larger amounts of EXP. However, you only need to be around level 40-45 to survive the last few battles, and anything above 50 makes most characters almost godlike (in fact, at level 48-49 some of them start to hit the HP cap, which is 999).
  • Mugen Souls has a level cap of 9999, similar to Disgaea. However, it's not made by Nippon Ichi but instead, it's from Compile Heart in collaboration with G Crest.
  • Battlestar Galactica Online has a cap of 250 in a game where it takes weeks for all but the most dedicated or money-throwing players to hit 20!
  • Canonically, Rance himself has no level cap. Most of he games imposed a limit for gameplay balance, but Rance Quest does away with that. Good thing too, since you need triple digit levels to fight the True Final Boss and win (though there's nothing stopping you from having 4 or even 5 digit levels).
  1. Or pick up and drop a mantis leg a few thousand times
  2. fun fact: it takes more XP to level from 59 to 60 than it does to level from 1 to 45
  3. If you want to do the math, that means you need to raise your character to 69 + (29 x 55) + 69 levels...... that's 1733 LEVELS
  4. for example, EXP needed for Level 18 is 17 x 100 = 1,700