Disappointing Last Level

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
"I realise it's the endgame, but it still feels like too much. Just because it's 'endgame' doesn't mean it should turn into russian roulette."
Raocow, In a description on a Let's Play video of A Super Mario World Central Production

The gameplay/design equivalent of A Winner Is You to some degree. You can be playing a great game, things are building up to the climax and you can only imagine how awesome it could be with how great everything before was, then the game goes to hell (sometimes literally), such that it almost seems like it was outsourced to another, far less competent developer for the final levels. The game is suddenly full of crappy levels, bland scenery, horrible stealth and escort missions, Trial and Error Gameplay around every corner, badly placed checkpoints, interminable Back Tracking (and general blatant Filler), and either a sudden increase or decrease in difficulty. The climax should be everything great from before and more, yet in this case it leaves you with a very bad taste at the end of a great (or even average) game.

Many developers have admitted to paying far less attention to their climaxes than they probably should, as most players don't get that far. Even some professional reviewers admit they don't play enough of the game and many reviews are based off of the early-mid parts of the game. This initiates an obvious vicious cycle of players who would otherwise finish being put off by terrible ending levels. That means this trope is a Video Game variant of Ending Fatigue in many cases and can often be attributed to budget and time constraints, Executive Meddling to push the game out at a season more convenient to sales figures, (often resulting in an Obvious Beta) or Author Existence Failure. This stuff is basically the most rushed, since after all, more attention is put to the first half of the game. A lot of the time this also stems from a desire to make the ending very dramatic and different from the rest of the game, in order to make the emotional impact stronger. When it works, it's not an example of this trope, but it fails hard when it does so.

If you really want people throwing their discs into a fire, then it can be combined with an A Winner Is You or No Ending as a "reward" for the player's perseverance. In a lot of cases (namely story-focused games) this can lead to a Cosmic Deadline situation. The opposite of It Gets Better, but there's nothing stopping a game suffering from both.

As this is on the verge of being an Ending Trope, beware that there may be things you consider unmarked spoilers up ahead.

Examples of Disappointing Last Level include:


Action Adventure

  • God of War's ending loses steam with the spike pillars of Hades, that require you to climb two pillars of spinning spikes with one hit sending you right back down to the bottom (and each of these takes about a minute to climb if you're going fast), this could also be extended to the entire Hades section, with several jumping puzzles, dull scenery and very little of the action or puzzles from the best sections of the game. The developers themselves have said this section was thrown together in a hurry with little time to properly test it. As an amusing sidenote, since Kratos is essentially in hell at this point, some people have theorized it may have been intentionally playing with the concept of an "action gamer's hell". For many, the pseudo-escort mission in the middle of the final boss falls under this too.
    • Before you even get to Hades, there are the rafters in the Hades section of the temple. Combining an annoying game mechanic with a platforming area that's essentially an instant-kill if you get hit? Glee!
    • God of War 3 falls into this too. Most of the game is a fast-paced, heart-pounding thrill ride from brutal boss fight to awesome boss fight. Then, after the death of Hera, you're put into a big cavern to solve a bunch of puzzles and fight a bunch of standard enemies (and That One Boss) that manage to be more difficult than the gods due to cramped spaces and a fussy grab mechanic.
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night: The inverted castle, beyond the initial novelty factor, was basically a huge copy-paste of the main castle, only turned on its head, and with less narrative and plot than the already fairly bare-bones story of the first half.
    • It doesn't help that the rich musical variety of the first half of the game is largely absent in the second. No fewer than six map areas use the track "Finale Toccata," three use "Lost Painting," three recycle the tracks from their first-half counterparts, and only two have original/unique tracks.
    • Nor does it help that by this point, you have no more mobility upgrades to find. Unlike the first half of the game where progress is defined by slowly unlocking new areas (and thus, the difficulty is linear), the latter half can pit you up against extraordinarily difficult foes before pitifully easy ones, because the order in which you fight them is essentially random.
    • The difficulty problem was the culmination of poor balancing on the part of the designers. As the game (and Alucard's level) progressed, the balance was more and more tuned towards having barely leveled up at all, to the point where the bosses in the Inverted Castle are painfully easy to anyone who did any exploring or backtracking (which is the point of the game). The only challenging foe of the second half was a bonus boss who had a trick that made him even easier than the others.
    • A further problem is that because of the music being repeated a lot, the areas felt less unique and varied. Almost all of the little secrets, easter eggs and setpieces in the first castle (like the cannon in the alchemy lab, or the lift in the outer wall, or the oarsman in the caverns) are not present in the inverted castle, making each area lack identity compared to its original counterpart.
    • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin: Before the last battles, you have to go through four final portraits one after another. These portraits are recycled from all of the earlier ones in the game, and get really repetitive for that reason.
  • Legacy of Kain : Blood Omen 2 - The game starts promising, and most stages are true to the "gothic", pseudo-medieval flavour of the games in the series, with some steampunk technology introduced to show that centuries had passed in the plot - an enjoyable and credible fantasy setting. Then, the last few stages are set in a pseudo-sci-fi facility that would look more at home in a futuristic FPS than in a Legacy of Kain game. A game where its fun-factor was playing as a vampire, exploring atmospheric gothic/baroque architecture, attacking human guards and knights, was turned into a messing of genres where you have to find the switch to progress in bland similar corridors with little lights on the walls.
  • Zelda II the Adventure of Link. Although the final dungeon had awesome music and a bunch of cool new enemies, it was plagued with completely unconventional mechanics compared to the rest of the game, including horrid dead-ends, endless loops, and monsters with increased hitpoints relative to what they have when encountered elsewhere.
    • In The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker, the player must find all the fragments of a Triforce piece. To do that, you must first find all the maps detailing where the fragments are (which, in itself, takes a lot of time). They aren't decoded (and look like they were drawn by a pre-schooler), so you must take them to Tingle, who will decode them for you... but only if you have enough Rupees to cover the cost (more than 3,000 for all of them). After that, you have to sail around the world again finding the shards, and only then will you be able to get to the final area of the game. Keeping in mind that sailing around is generally considered the most boring part of the game as there is little to nothing to interact with and simply a lot of time spent being certain you're steering in the right direction with annoying breaks to change the direction of the wind.
    • In Skyword Sword, the final dungeon has nine total rooms. Most of the challenge comes from how the dungeon is laid out as a slide puzzle, and only 4 out of the 9 rooms have the console that moves the rooms around. The disappointing part? No boss whatsoever, the final bosses are fought outside (and after a lengthy cutscene). And before you even get to the final dungeon, the game throws one more Silent Realm at you, which puts off many players from even attempting it.
  • The final battle in Star Fox Adventures. You've played through about 20–30 hours of gameplay in adventure-game style. You've had a total of maybe 1 hour of shooter-style gameplay. Now the game expects you to fight the last boss shooter-style, in gameplay you haven't practiced, and at a difficulty that would be expected of a normal Star FOX final boss. Yeah, that's fair...
  • Chapter 7 and 9 (of 9) in Mirror's Edge are easily weaker than the rest, and also the only levels where some degree of enemy interaction is mandatory. It's not completely straight though, as 7 is still notably worse than 9 (which at least doesn't completely necessitate fighting, unlike 7), and Chapter 8 is arguably one of the best chapters in the game.
  • Uncharted: Drake's Fortune goes into this right at the very end, where there's an enemy who can kill you in one hit (although easy enough to avoid if you learn the pattern) while you fight off waves of other enemies on what amounts to a timer due to destructible cover, and then it ends in a trial and error QTE fest.
    • Similarly, Uncharted 2's final levels are not nearly up to the standards of quality of the ones before. While some of it is pretty awesome (the opening scenes of Shambala and the fight in the storm drain while its, y'know, storming. However, the game starts sending frustrating firefight after frustrating firefight at you as soon as you cross the collapsing bridge in the Monestary and never really stops, feeling like the 1st game again. The awesome vehicle battles and chases don't return, with the exception of the collapsing rocks in Shambala but that's for all of 5 seconds.
      • The devs mentioned somewhere that they had a time frame and had to do the last areas more quickly then the first, the final boss especially. This becomes obvious when you consider the train level took the entire dev cycle to make (and is arguably the best level in the game, while Shambala was made in the last two or three months
  • Dantes Inferno starts off very good: Varied, detailed locals with plenty of action going on in the background and creative use of the scenery to enhance the mood. Then when you get to the bottom levels of hell you're treated to...a desert. Not a special torment-filled desert like you'd imagine in Hell, but just a normal, every day desert. In Hell. The final rush to the last boss consists of going through the same exact dull arena room 10 times to complete "challenges" (aka padding completion time).
    • While in fairness, the 'abominable sands' are very true to Dante's original vision, the desert does mark the point where the game's physical design takes a dive; everything up to and including the Wood of Suicides is an incredible reimagining of the Inferno, but the Malebolge is monochrome, monotonous and dull. At least Cocytus is as desolate and dreadful-feeling as it should be.
    • This is also the point in the game where the gameplay ceased to be innovative and boiled down to kill everything, walk, climb down, rinse and repeat. To make it even worse, all your skills are filled out by this point, so the game screeches to a dull grind.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum: The first 90% of the game is completely aces, and by far the best piece of interactive media ever to feature a superhero. Then you get to Killer Croc's lair, a boring, repetitive maze of a sewer level where you have to be vewy vewy quiet (read: walk vewy vewy slowly) or face Killer Croc, who tries to jumpscare you about 27 times in always the exact same way and who goes down each time with a single, auto-aimed batarang. Then, you have to backtrack through that entire section and back across half of the game's map to a fun, if protracted, boss fight, after which you're inexplicably teleported BACK to the vicinity of Croc's lair and have to run to a series of elongated mook fights, until the final boss, which is essentially one overly long mook fight. Though it does get some points back for the party, a (completely optional) fight with the largest number of Mooks in one place, and a great place to show off just how much better you've gotten at the game.
  • Ecco the Dolphin for Sega Mega Drive/Genesis was an incredible game - atmospheric, beautiful, slightly challenging but (usually) fair - and owed a large portion of this to being set in the ocean. Guess what happened when the action shifted to a spaceship? The last few levels have Trial and Error Gameplay, hideous environments, enemies that are entirely ripped from the movie Alien, frequent instant death...the list goes on. Still an excellent game, but the last levels would struggle to be more Scrappy.
    • The PlayStation 2/Dreamcast game, Ecco the Dolphin: Defender Of The Future, suffered from this as well. The "Domain of the Foe" levels were riddled with Fake Difficulty, respawning and unkillable enemies (which rarely popped up in earlier levels), and environments that seemed incredibly barren. The latter was likely on purpose, to show what a desolate place Earth had become, but compared to the beautiful, lush environments of earlier levels, the whole final chapter seemed like the design crew just stopped trying.
  • This is probably the biggest complaint with Brutal Legend: after the battle of Lionwhyte's palace, the story picks up at a nearly uncontrollable pace. The game slams rather suddenly into the final battles with Emperor Doviculus right after defeating Drowned Ophelia's Black Tear army. You never get a proper fight with Drowned Ophelia herself, and Doviculus and the Tainted Coil don't have the due attention that was given to Lionwhyte and Drowned Ophelia. The game has been described as feeling like "two acts of a three-act story." On the other hand, if one looks at the outside circumstances—namely, Activision suing EA and Double Fine to halt production of the game on extremely flimsy bases—this may become explainable.
  • Minor example in Darksiders. Right as you're ready to go kick the Destroyer's ass, the game makes you backtrack to a bunch of places and get a bunch of pieces for a sword. It does have a cool boss fight in the middle of it, but that's the only new thing it adds, and the boss could've easily been placed elsewhere.
    • Said scavenger hunt (hope you remembered to find all the warps in the game beforehand, or else you're in for fun) takes place soon after the game's resident That One Dungeon, the Black Throne, which swiftly became reviled by many players for the sheer repetition and excruciatingly Guide Dang It puzzles it puts War through.
    • Alternatively, the developers are pointing out "okay, you have all your abilities now - go back through and find the rest of the Heart Containers and bonuses while you reassemble the MacGuffin".
  • The last two Atlantis levels in Tomb Raider Anniversary: The original game's Atlantis is considered on par with the rest of the game, and even a high point for many people, but not so with Anniversary: at least 75% of the content of the original levels have been cut, and some apparently very buggy jumping puzzles have been added. The general theme is also arguably less interesting (with feel of being in a living creature replaced by a more standard sci-fi theme). Even people that have no knowledge of the changes from the original game have slammed this section. Although the boss fights and very few puzzles that have returned are improved upon.
    • While not as extreme as in Anniversary, the other Crystal Dynamics Tomb Raider games arguably suffer this to some degree as well; while Legend doesn't really drop in gameplay quality, Nepal, the final "real" location (the last being a boss fight) feels extremely short and is over before it even really gets going, and Underworld shifts towards this someway around three-quarters in, with the last locations being much shorter than earlier ones, with a shameless example of Copy and Paste Environments and the varied colour schemes of the earlier locations being replaced by a mulch of grey and blue. It does just about carry through on the gameplay though, with the end areas still having a few great set-pieces.
    • Cairo onwards in Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation. While the whole game is set in one country the earlier parts generally do a good job keeping things varied; Cairo, however, is one of the longest segments of the game and almost universally bathed in the same colour scheme throughout, the ability to swap between levels also gets way out of control and makes things far more confusing than anything earlier when combined with the samey-looking environment and higher difficulty level. The Valley of the Kings is arguably an improvement, but still weaker than the earlier sections of the game.
    • The final two levels in Tomb Raider III qualifies as this trope for many. The game is already Nintendo Hard for the most part, but the last two levels are so notoriously difficult that some may simply either give up or use a cheat code to skip the levels. The 2nd to last level has a ton of deep pits with bad camera angles and tricky jumping as you get chased by glowing wasps and there's 4 areas that are mostly a Death Course where you'll be redoing sections of them again and again (and this is made worse on the Playstation version where saving is limited by how many Save Crystals you have left). The Final Boss in the last level can one hit kill you with its attack and the whole arena is filled with lava and the mystery goo from the meteorite that will also kill you instantly if you fall in either of them. When you do beat the boss, you have to climb your way up and out of the impact crater to escape and shoot down some flamethrower guys before they can light you up (being on fire is pretty much death unless there's water, which there isn't in this example). Once you reach the helicopter, you're treated to an FMV of Lara hijacking it and narrowly escaping. That's it. PC players don't even get the ending FMV at all!
  • Aquaria has a bit of this; it's more on the story level than on the gameplay level, but it's there nonetheless. At the beginning of the game, Naija's natural curiosity, and fear that she's all alone in the world, is a powerful motivator to drive her forward through the exploration-driven plot. However, once she gains a companion, so relieved is she to be rid of the second that she is perfectly willing to settle down with him for the rest of her days and never again concern herself with the fate of these extinct civilizations that she has hitherto been investigating. At this point, the story loses its thread, because Naija is no longer going anywhere because she's curious about what she'll find; she's going there because she's a character in a video game, and there is a cursor telling her to go that way.
  • Okami has shades of this to most people. As opposed to previous dungeons, which had numerous puzzles to solve, treasures to find, and (usually) a brush god to obtain, the Ark of Yamato was nothing more than a Boss Rush and the place where the player fought the final boss.
  • Primal lets you explore multiple dimensions, each with their own story that ties in to a much bigger story arc. It is a big, atmospheric world that has won the production team multiple awards. The final battle, with Jen as the force of Order versus her boyfriend Lewis who she was trying to save throughout the entire game as the force of Chaos is terribly clunky and underwhelming. Your opponent, for one thing, never transitions beyond his Ferai ("Earth") form, even when in water. The final cutscene has suddenly terrible graphics and the story simply falls dead with an immensely unsatisfying conclusion.
  • The main complaint about Devil May Cry 4 is massive Back Tracking. Specifically, after the character switch you're going right back through Nero's levels - in reverse.
    • Once you get back to playing Nero you have to do it all again! You fight the bosses in a row, and the only way to get to them is to complete the dice puzzle which gets harder at each "step" of the level. Mission 19 and 13 of DMC4 are truly a crappy couple of levels, especially on Dante Must Die.
  • No More Heroes has some annoying levels later on, especially # 3, when you have to fight waves of enemies on a somewhat cramped bus, # 2, where you have to run over a lot of enemies on your bike (it gets very tedious since they just keep coming, and if you fall off, you have to fight a lot of enemies with guns), and # 1, where most of the beginning is a bike chase and then there's a forest maze filled with Goddamned Bats. They try to buck the trend of levels full of enemies to kill, and don't quite succeed.
    • The sequel has this going for it too, but it manages to pick up again just in time for the climax. Right after Henry's dream, the build-ups to the next three assassination missions consist of an unbearably long, monotonous fight in a parking lot that isn't even remotely difficult, a drive to the spot with the number three assassin - a drive which doesn't have any enemies or obstacles whatsoever and culminates in a weak boss, and an extremely long maze without any real sense of direction to it. The final level then picks things up, but the ones leading up to it are a big step downhill.
    • The final level often gets a venomous reaction from some players. It consists of a fairly monotonous 30+ minute run through a mall, and nearly endless swarms of Mooks that pose almost no threat to Travis and are just there pretty much to serve as a distraction. It culminates with a Nintendo Hard showdown against Jasper Batt Jr..
  • Gungrave's last level fits this trope like a glove. The first 5/6 stages have you facing off against gangsters, soldiers, and other human enemies in a bunch of cool futuristic urban environments. Stage 6 has everything go to hell. It starts with a very cheap boss who loves to recover all of his health when he's bored. Still, the boss is kind of a Badass, so it's somewhat forgivable. Then it moves to a bizarre climbing-the-tower area, where you fight a bunch of floating pus sacs that spew purple humanoids with scythes for hands and who have a nasty habit of shooting you with a rocket launcher so you fall off the stage. After you make it to the top, you fight a boss, who gets swallowed by a Giant Space Flea From Nowhere, who you have to fight. After that you think you get to really punish the Big Bad, but you end up offing him in an interactive cutscene and don't even get to have a proper fight. Although in Harry's case, he never used the Seed drug on himself and politely accepts his defeat.
    • The end-game of the sequel doesn't fare that well either: you're running through some kind of weird spaceship bay...thing, which is actually the second part of a previous level and doesn't have much of any inanimate objects to blow up like the previous eight stages, scooping up the Orgmen and boppin' 'em on the head (and those Rocket-shooting ones? Yep, they're back), then an out-of-place (and annoying) jumping/platform "puzzle", fight Fangoram and kick his ass, then you confront the Big Bad. While the boss fight with him is highly enjoyable (unlimited D. Shots!)
  • The last "official" world of Super Meat Boy has five double-length levels where you can only use the standard character, and ends with a quadruple length level instead of a decent boss battle.
    • Worse, it's the only part of the game where you can't skip any levels—in the entire rest of the game you could fight the boss after beating only 18 of the 20 levels in a world and move on to the next after that. Though the fact that you're barred from using all the unique special characters you've been unlocking for the entire last world probably bears mentioning twice.


  • A similar experience with Shenmue II: After being worn down to the limits of boredom and tedium by an interminable mountain climb coupled with an inane conversation, people put down the game, only to discover later that was right at the game's ending.
  • Lucasarts' adventure The Curse of Monkey Island suffers from this trope. Whilst the majority of the game is of the highest quality, the final two acts see a noticeable drop in plot and characterisation, and a sudden sparsity of cut-scene animations. Most of your interaction with the villain LeChuck is limited to a very long, drawn-out conversation in which he explains away plotholes from the last two games, and the ending is very abrupt.
    • Not to mention the fact that the last two chapters have absolutely nothing to do with the plot of the rest of the game. Earlier chapters focus on a quest to travel to Blood Island to find a diamond ring to lift the curse Guybrush has accidentally placed on Elaine. This ring, along with Blood Island itself, turns out to have a rich history behind it, involving a jilted lover, a line of soup chefs and a band of smugglers. But then as soon as you find the ring you're whisked away to Monkey Island, and suddenly the game turns into a half-arsed parody of Disneyland (which had been foreshadowed by precisely two very short cutscenes earlier in the game), and the writers decide they're more interested in tying up Monkey Island 2's plot than bothering to finish off the plot of the game itself! Mood Dissonance much?
      • To be fair, the Blood Island subplots are pretty much resolved by then - Minnie and Charles have passed on to the next life, Griswold's business has been saved thanks to the volcano eruption, and while the smugglers haven't been caught, they have been dealt a significant blow by the loss of the diamond.
    • Escape from Monkey Island was even worse about this - the final segment of the game featured "Monkey Kombat", a Rock-Paper-Scissors style game looking visually like a fighting game. The kicker? You have to find out which of the four "monkey stances" beat which and then have to fight enough "battles" in order to win more bananas/HitPoints. After this segment you fight the final battle of this game which is really a Trick Boss since you can't hurt each other - you have to emulate the last boss' "stance" three times. Keep in mind that this is a item-collecting point-and-click style adventure (well, minus the click), and that the rest of the game has nothing to do with this. No wonder this game falls under Fanon Discontinuity...
    • Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge is this immediately after you find Big Whoop on Dinky Island. Elaine turns up, somewhat undercutting the whole quest by the reveal that she already knew where to look without the rest of the map. And then you fall into an underground tunnel for the last section of the game involves a time based puzzle in a grim corridor with LeChuck randomly popping up on you and sending you to another area. Once you've done this bit, then there is the notorious ending. This area is livened up a little by Guybrush's helium voiced interpretations of disco songs (something he can also do in Curse, though not with music), LeChuck's girly underpants and Guybrush finding his parent's bodies. However it definitely didn't need to be in the game especially as it breaks the Suspension of Disbelief a little too much (it even has a door open onto an unused door from Melee Island in the first game).
  • The final case of Ace Attorney Investigations. The pacing becomes very slow, and it starts to drag out after Shih-Na's reveal. Unfortunately, you'll still have several more confrontations to go.
    • The main problem is that the game's length isn't balanced by the emotional tension. Unlike the previous antagonists, Edgeworth had no personal connection to the Big Bad, only an ideological one. This can make it hard to care at times.
    • Some fans consider the final case of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney to suffer from this, mostly due to the confusing and illogical MASON System, as well as the hero being sidelined and the series' original protagonist taking over temporarily.
  • The secret treasure from Zack and Wiki Quest For Barbaros Treasure. After the main game is finished, finding treasure shifts from solving elaborate, thought-provoking puzzles to doing arbitrary things such as walking around the same area 5 times to make a chest magically appear. In addition, you have to repeatedly send a crewmate off to find more for 100% Completion, which can take hundreds of trips.
  • In Fable 1996, the last couple parts of the game are relatively dull, and they add such a nice backstory right beforehand...however the ending is the true slap in the face.
  • The second disc in Toonstruck is a bit of a drop in quality from the first disc. The first disc is a lot more open-ended and not as straightforward, whereas the second disc is a lot more linear (But Darker and Edgier) than the first half. The ending also just...well, seems to be there to give a Sequel Hook.

Card Battle Game

  • Metal Gear Acid! The Powerhouse and the meaningless sidequests in FAR! FAR is irritating but at least changes the pace. The Powerhouse, however, is just terrible level design and very, very long. The final battle is strong, but mostly down to the excellent music—it's also very slow, awkward, and hardly challenging.

Edutainment Game

  • The raft ride on the Columbia River in Oregon Trail II. Fortunately, you can avoid it if you have cash on hand and aren't a greenhorn. Also, if you're going to California or the Rogue River Valley, you must cross a large, unskippable desert.


  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl's "Subspace Emissary": The Great Maze. It's pieced together out of rooms already seen during the adventure, and most players will have to re-tread parts of the maze to find and destroy all 40+ bad guys, and can take upwards of two hours to get through even on the easiest difficulty. Just let me fight the Big Bad already!
    • Although there are some people that still like the stage (sometimes even more than the rest in the Subspace Emissary) because they enjoy the non-linearity. It really comes down to whether you like Super Mario Bros.. or Metroidvania more.
      • Even for big Metroidvania fans, a giant retread of the entire game you just played can be a tedious and padding heavy endgame. Its almost as if they didn't know which style to do, so they did both, but with the exact same levels, enemies, and bosses.
  • The final level of King of the Monsters 2. You face all of the bosses you defeated previously which, considering the boss fight vs actual levels ratio, essentially makes you replay through the whole game all over again, and that with barely any health recovery items or the throwable objects found in the earlier levels. And after you're done with the Boss Rush, you have to face a ridiculously long and overpowered SNK Boss.
  • In Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, the bonus gameplay mode Labyrinth is set up as a series of interconnected rooms grouped into "cloisters", and each group has a gimmick on what types of treasures and enemies you encounter and what you need to do to unlock the door to the next room. However, once you hit Floor 50 the cloisters become longer, the enemies more difficult, and the final stretch to the boss from Floor 71 to Floor 96 is just one long string of powerful enemies. And, by the rules of the Labyrinth, if you die you lose all the equipment and items you won up to that point and have to start over from scratch. You're allowed to enter at checkpoints on deeper floors, and hypothetically can go right back to Floor 71, but will be deprived of all the equipment you will need to combat the high level enemies.

First-Person Shooter

  • Xen from Half-Life, the former Trope Namer. With annoying jumping puzzles, extremely unbalanced gameplay and extremely unbalanced gameplay during annoying jumping puzzles. Which is unfortunate, as the Xen levels have the best art style in the entire game, and if the lack of playtesting had not made it repetitive and boring, it could have been a very satisfying conclusion. However, subjective trope; it's not uncommon for players to report enjoying the Xen section.
    • It's as though Valve fundamentally forgot what made the previous experience in the earlier Black Mesa part of Half-Life so fun and full of life. Xen has no scripted events, no NPC interaction (though this can be forgiven for the nature of Xen) and no puzzles with the depth of the ones found earlier. It also lacks the immersion Black Mesa had. Despite that Black Mesa was now decrepit and hostile, the world was lively and interacted with you; immersed you. In contrast, Xen feels like you're playing through a poorly designed level in a video game; the immersion was lost. Progression is tedious and possibly driven solely by the urge of the player to finish the game, rather than the player progressing because the game just flowed as was the case during Black Mesa.
    • Xen does have its qualities. It's quite a 'creepy and eerie' place, it enhances the sense of solitude for the very final battle that's fast approaching, it gives us a nice look at the Alien world (for too long, however), it helps fulfill the foreshadowing that came before and does give us a few new set pieces. That said, it doesn't really make up for its flaws.
    • The Half-Life expansion, Blue Shift, averts this in a long Xen level that features far less jumping puzzles and many more, much larger areas than its predecessor. The areas are also accented with more set pieces like waterfalls and new rock structures, giving it much more detail.
    • Half-Life 2 does a similar thing, with the final level being set in the Citadel with a largely different aethetic, and all of the player's weapons are gone, save a supercharged gravity gun. Valve however learned from Half-Life 1, and instead of being widely panned, the finale is hailed as being a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines goes massively downhill at the end, even becoming near-impossible if your character is not built for combat (in a game that generally makes non-combat characters very viable).
  • Metroid Prime 1 and 2 both require massive amounts of Back Tracking for artifacts before the final area (although it is possible to preemptively acquire some if you know what to do), putting many people off of getting to the final area. In Metroid Prime 1, the final location itself was also quite frustrating and felt a little thrown together. More annoying, particularly for replays, in Prime 2, due to the fact that so many of the keys are not available unless you get the last upgrade in the game, the Light Suit. So even though you've been through the room where a key (sometimes many times) might have been, you likely were not able to get it at the time. By contrast in Prime 1, you could get 11 of the 12 artifacts before completing the Phazon Mines, and the last artifact is only 4 rooms away from the Omega Pirate boss fight. Add to that the unfortunate fact that Prime 2's world is seriously lacking convenient shortcuts, and has many rooms, particularly in Torvus Bog, that lock you in for a mandatory fight.
    • Metroid Prime 3 averts this, not by not having an artifact/key hunt, but by making it essentially impossible to not get 5 or so of them before reaching the point where you need 7. Indeed, 3 of them are direct obstacles that you must remove (and thus collect) in order to progress at all. Except for the last two, the others are in fairly accessible locations that you will often have to travel to. While you don't need to remove these ones, the game is an exploration game, and the batteries are not things it is hiding from you. That said, the final area of the game can be considered a down point for many players. Once you head to the final level, you can't go back. On top of this, Samus' suit freaks out from overexposure to the Phazon in the area and forces itself into Hyper Mode, which makes the last area a Timed Mission whose "time limit" is dependent on how many Energy Tanks you collected so far. Because the corruption meter is always building up over time and it rises faster if you get damaged, you literally have to speed run the level without being able to go at your own pace or at least explore (not that the last level has anything interesting to look at). And because there are no Save Point areas, if the level isn't completed in one run it has to be restarted completely.
    • Metroid: Zero Mission, for 90% of the duration, is an exceptional remake that both honours and goes above and beyond the original game. But after the Unexpected Gameplay Change and the game moves into its climax, the flaw of the game's item placement is revealed: you only get power bombs a few rooms away from the final boss, and you don't even need them to kill that boss, so the only purpose of power bombs is to use them to go back through the game world and get 100%, including more and more power bombs that you won't actually need. It changes the fundamental Metroid principle of stocking up to prepare for the tough final battles, to stocking up for the sake of stocking up; you're not even doing it as preparation for the final boss, because he's almost insultingly easy until you come to him with 100%, at which case he gets a difficulty boost. Getting 100% involves completely ruining the triumphant, climactic mood that came once the stealth section ended, and having you go back and forth through the final area more times than you'd think would be necessary.
      • On top of that, the stealth section itself plays like a bad attempt to do a sidescrolling Metal Gear game, and it has some of the worst features of 2D platformers of older eras like Trial and Error Gameplay. What's more, you go from a blaster-wielding, missile-shooting, high-jumping powerhouse to a wimp of a thing in a skintight suit that dies as few as six hits (and that's if you have all of the energy tanks to that point). You do get a light reprieve of cool before the suck mentioned in the paragraph above this one, but it seems like the creator of Zero Mission were straining to tack on the extra content.
  • Far Cry throws any semblance of balance out the window in its final two levels. After a series of expansive, yet challenging levels, the game designers hit you with the "Volcano" stage, which can only be described as this: One man. Limited weapons and ammunition. Trying not to fall in pools of lava. Every type of enemy (human/non-human). And they're all trying to kill you, regardless of how much they hate each other. The game throws the unique cover system right out the window, and forces you to run, run and run some more through a gauntlet of enemies and natural hazards. After putting up with that (and running through a literal killscreen that is all but impossible to see in advance), you may think the worst of it is over once you defeat the "final boss". Not so. The designers decided to throw a dozen of the strongest enemies in the game (that is, armor-plated brutes and acrobatic hybrids who can jump to any level at any time - all with rocket launchers) in a small, bland and circular arena that will kill you almost as soon as you walk through the door. And then one of the villains has the gall to tell you that you're cheating when you decide to spam his control center (where even MORE enemies are waiting) with rocket ammo. The only way to survive this intact is with an exploit that props a door open for you to get back to an armory. And that's not even mentioning the ending that lasts less than a minute....
  • The first two thirds of Crysis have players traversing a vast open-ended environment populated by intelligent, squad-based human enemies and filled with side missions and numerous possible means of reaching mission objectives, and variable battle tactics that give players various options aligning with either stealth or aggression. Everything changes when the player enters an alien warship in the seventh of the game's ten missions: first they must complete a zero-gravity level, which is frustratingly difficult to control and easy to get lost in. After that, the player character emerges back into the same open world he had been exploring before; only now the level design is strictly linear, corraling you down a single path with no significant deviations, and all the human enemies are gone, replaced with flying, hard-to-hit aliens who take far more bullets to kill and against whom stealth is practically useless, all leading up to two long final boss fights that essentially amount to shooting a giant target a ridiculous number of times without dying. The game is still decent, but given the drastic, unexpected and above all completely unnecessary change in style, it's easy to see why fans tend not to think highly of the final levels.
    • The expansion, Crysis Warhead, addressed these complaints: the spire's opening in Warhead occurs halfway through the game and is not the end of the human enemies, with the player finding his way out of the ice sphere long before the game ends. The aliens themselves have redone AI routines that have them jumping around less and using squad tactics like the human enemies (arguably better, considering how silly the enemy AI can get sometimes,) except they're squads of technologically superior alien battlesuits instead of Koreans with AKs
    • The flying sequence is pretty much made of this trope, though. Warhead deals with this, too, by lampshading how awful it was instead of having another one.
    • The last levels draw a lot more hatred from players who like to play stealthily. While run-and-gun players will merely find themselves more challenged as the aliens are more resistant to damage, stealthy players will find stealth no longer plays any role whatsoever, and will be forced to adopt a guns-blazing gaming style that they probably don't like.
  • BioShock (series) does really well until about 75% of the way through the game. Then an escort quest, frustrating missions, and a cheesy boss await you, as well as the story becoming far more typical.
    • The major cause of Bioshock's Disappointing Last Level is that the emotional climax is already passed, and you have to play quite a bit more without really caring about it. The slums are a fairly interesting level, but then you have to go on a Fetch Quest while your plasmids freak out, and then you go to the Little Sister facility, which just drags on and on and on...
  • Over-the-top Back Tracking also reared its ugly head in the original Halo. The other two games had their fair share of Back Tracking. Halo number one, however, had the entire third act as most of the first half of the game in reverse! Oh, and this came right off of The Library.
    • Halo 2 had an exciting beginning involving the invasion of Earth, prompting Master Chief to hijack an city-destroying Scarab to stop the invaders, and using his own body to steer the enemy's bomb back to their own ship in space. After this very fun opening, the game gradually loses momentum, especially after the first boss fight. Most of the game's playing time is spent in unskippable defense points, where the player must wait and pick off invading troops for several minutes at a time.
      • What makes matters so much worse, is that the whole New Mombasa and Metropolis levels are very weak remnants of the amazing E3 2003 demo. Some dialog from it remained, in a very weak narrative and pace compared to how the levels were ultimately supposed to be. Other levels lose pace due to aforementioned unskippable defense points.
    • Cortana, the second to last level of Halo 3, falls squarely into this. After 3 entire games of action-packed tactical combat against the Covenant army, you end up fighting wave after wave of Flood zombies in pitch-blackness inside the unintuitive, confusing corridors of what's essentially a giant city-sized colon.
  • Many players complain about the final level of Medal of Honor: Airborne, which is an entirely fictional campaign (an assault on a Flak Tower, which was actually never attempted by the Allies) that introduces extremely unrealistic enemies (Gas Mask Mooks with rocket launchers, and ridiculously unrealistic Super Soldiers who wielded heavy machineguns and could survive a couple dozen bullet hits before dying) in a series which otherwise has always tried to be at least reasonably historically accurate.
  • The Rainbow Six series has suffered from this on several occasions, in tandem with Anticlimax Bosses:
    • The final mission of the original game, "Mystic Tiger", takes place in a massive biodome (where you must stop The Phoenix Group once and for all). Unfortunately, the fact that it consists of long, repetitive hallways and massive open areas without any cover whatsoever means that your team(s) will be forced into a linear path filled with snipers and open rooms. Yes, you can and will lose most of your team in this mission, and for no good reason. The cover system so deftly executed throughout the game is completely tossed out. Disappointing Last Level also rears its ugly head during the original game's two back-to-back stealth missions. Infiltrating an office building to get sensitive data, sure, but sneaking into a woman's house to download information from her computer while she's awake and moving around? Why didn't they just wait until she fell asleep?
    • Vegas rehashes the "Mystic Tiger" mission with the climactic "Secret Labs" mission, where you must take a circular route through a dam to get to an underground lab and stop Irina Morales. Whereas many of the preceding levels featured expansive, open areas, you (the player) are once again locked into a linear path. Coupled with a vague Sequel Hook and ending dialogue (three characters stand around having a conversation that amounts to nothing more than "well, that's done...what's next?"), it quickly approaches Scrappy Level status.
    • Vegas 2: when you get to the final level, it devolves rapidly from more of the tactical-action that the game has been made of to an old fashioned boss battle with a Hind helicopter.
      • Hell, the level before that is already going this way - since story-wise your teammates have to go help the previous game's protagonist after that point, you're left entirely on your own, with a useless NSA agent who isn't even on the ground with you as your only support, trying to shoot your way through massive groups of enemies who cannot be stealthily picked off and will instantly kill you if you get up out of cover for more than a few seconds to find and shoot them.
  • Somewhat with Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2. Since the AI is freaking stupid, what could have been a really challenging firefight, isn't.
    • Similar problem with Advanced Warfighter 1, the final boss can often be finished off by your teammates before you even get there. He's standing right out in the open. Would a tank be too much to ask for, or perhaps a panic room that you have to C4 your way into to kill him?
  • Sumeria, the final time slice of Clive Barker's Jericho, is a collection of extremely short levels, most of which consist of one boss fight after another, and, unfortunately, they aren't all that challenging (although one level is very good for racking up head-shots and disintegrations for unlocking extras, which is a bonus). The penultimate level is simply one long cutscene (although a rather good one), before it drops you into the final boss fight, which is also unfortunately not very challenging. And then there's the ending... or severe lack of it...
  • In System Shock 2 the Rickenbacker and Body of the Many feels particularly rushed compared to the rest of the game.
    • The final level even more so, being little more than a copy-paste of the previous games textures into the environment of the training levels and a boss fight that can easily be beaten in moments.
  • In the last 3 levels of Soldier of Fortune: Payback, enemies receive a massive spike in the damage they do, so that they could kill you in just 1 or 2 shots, compared to the rest of the game where you could soak more than a dozen hits before dying. This turned the game from a standard action movie-style shooter to a frustrating Nintendo Hard crawl with lots and lots of having to reload from the last checkpoint.
  • A common complaint about the final level of Condemned 2: Bloodshot is the sudden jump from fighting crazed hobos in frighteningly run-down versions of real-life locales (i.e. a subway, a library, a house just like the one you might be sitting in right now) to fighting alien-like dudes inside a bizarre metal structure that looks like "something the Combine might throw together if they were all totally wasted".
  • Perfect Dark initially started out as an upgraded version of Golden Eye 1997(shooter with some degree of stealth) with more weapons, more interesting levels and the freedom associated with having an original story instead of a movie's plot. The last two levels are essentially backtracking-laden missions on an alien ship and an alien homeworld in which Joanna shoots her way through many enemies and eventually fights the final boss.
  • Clive Barker's Undying has a fast pace and well-plotted story for most of the game. But then it reaches "Eternal Autumn", a level that's actually a mystical Dream Land with the hero trying to fight his way back to consciousness. And it keeps going. And going. And going. All the creepy, gothic atmosphere's thrown aside in favor of a prehistoric setting with caveman enemies, there's no story progression at all while you're in Eternal Autumn, and it takes almost a third of the gameplay time just to get through it and defeat That One Boss. And if you're looking forward to getting back to exploring the Covanent estate afterward, your hopes will be dashed... though you weren't warned in advance, Eternal Autumn is both The Very Definitely Final Dungeon and the Point of No Return, and from there it's straight on to the last boss.
  • In the last twenty minutes of F.E.A.R. you go from being a time-slowing badass fighting really clever AI soldiers, to being in The Grudge fighting waves of copy and paste "ghosts" whose AI is "See the PC; run directly at PC", making the end section quite tedious despite its short length.
  • Star Trek: Voyager: Elite Force. After a fairly competent shooter in reasonably diverse environments, you've gone nearly the entire game without ever running into a cliched boss level. Then, right outside the final room, you find a charge-up that arbitrarily increases all of your ammunition counters to 999. That's ... not ... good. What follows is one of the most tedious boss fights ever designed: the boss is a huge, generic tentacle monster which is incapable of moving, and the only way to defeat it is shoot it until it dies, which uses up nearly all of your ammunition. To cap it off, you're treated to one of the most cheesy final cutscenes ever written - Tuvok praises your actions, and Janeway responds "Why Tuvok, is that a note of pride I detect?". Tuvok emotionlessly responds "Captain, there is no need to insult me". All onscreen characters: "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA".
  • Deus Ex's last level. You find yourself deep underground in a military base surrounded by combat robots, human enemies, and magical monster generators that won't stop pumping out monsters until you close the vault doors in front of them. All of Deus Ex's more interesting gameplay goes out the window as there are no people to interact with through any means besides combat. There are no interesting secrets to find or interesting atmosphere to enjoy. Just your standard metal-corridors-until-you-reach-the-ending. Although, the entire section in Paris is as much of a soul-sucker as the last level (outside the mansion level). It's simply not as well designed or in-depth as any of the other city areas.
    • The lackluster design of the last level is embodied by the "blue fusion reactors," impressive-sounding and ultra-classified (possibly even alien) devices that basically amount to four office water coolers tucked into random corners around the base.
    • Likewise the sequel. All the major story twists are resolved in the Trier level. The levels which follow this are all almost entirely "action based", without any of the more immersive touches seen in the earlier levels of the game.
    • The prequel but 3rd in series game Deus Ex Human Revolution falls into the same issue. The mission hub based design of China and Detroit goes out the window once you hit Montreal due to the developers not having enough time to make Montreal a full hub with side-quests, and the Final Dungeon is basically a zombie avoidance game or a zombie massacre depending on your playstyle, and the final boss is an Anticlimax Boss especially if you have upgraded your augmentations to be immune to electrical damage. Your only interaction with people in this level is the ability to buy some augmentation upgrades, and to get two of the four choices for the Multiple Endings. The choices you made in all the preceding parts of the game have no effect on the ending except to slightly change the tone of your final monologue. Although it's not as jarring as the other two games, because the first two hubs are about getting closer to the truth and finding out what happens, and once you do, there's no real point in doing anything but going to those specific locations, all of which have no ability to be anything but a single level or compound.
  • The last three levels of STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl strip away the open, organic world of the rest of the game while suddenly raising the difficulty well past its normal (already high) level. The run to the sarcophagus is just a straight line filled with enemies. The building itself is entirely made of cramped corridors that force the player into crossfires where all of the enemies have the game's most powerful weapons and armor equipped (that's six people on each side, who only need three shots to kill you). Tactics are less relevant than exploiting AI glitches. Finally if the player picks the true ending they have to follow yet another linear path filled with enemies, though it does have a much more interesting look.
  • Blood Harvest and Swamp Fever in both Left 4 Dead games. Taking place in a forest and a swamp, respectively, makes it difficult to both see and evade any attacking infected, as well as being darker than a lot of other campaigns due to the lack of lighting. Blood Harvest also features some of the tougher crescendo events (with some gauntlets thrown in the sequel port), and Swamp Fever has a fairly difficult finale featuring two Tanks attacking at once.
  • Kingpin: Life of Crime has it's last level take place in a skyscraper with the final boss at the end. While the level design was declining steadily after the first episode (Skid Row), at least the other levels were fairly open and featured lots of NPC and sidequests as well as interesting architecture. The skyscraper however, throws all of that out of the window and is just a series of bland rooms and hallways with ammo and health stashes alternating with groups of mooks.

Hack and Slash

  • Diablo 2 arguably falls prey to this in Act 4. Whilst having the final chapter in the pits of Hell is pretty cool, there are far fewer areas in Hell than in any other chapter, only a handful of NPCs in the 'town' of the Pandemonium Fortress, and only three quests, two of which are needed to win the game anyway. Your blacksmith and healer in that town have noticeably been given fewer lines to say and have no discernible personality. "Hail to you, champion" will be stuck in your head after a while.
    • On close inspection, this sets in to a lesser extent much earlier. The first of the four acts has more things for your character to say, more bosses, more quest variety, more optional quests, and more optional dungeons. The rest of the game all comes down to enter dungeon, kill monsters, retrieve item, over several hours.
      • To illustrate how bad the game gets compared to the first act, the second one has a quest that's basically raid three dungeons to assemble the staff that opens the last dungeon (with the third dungeon being also appearing as a separate quest), two separate quests telling you to read a book and kill the guy guarding it respectively and the last quest which is given at the very end, just lingers there and occasionally updates as you complete the other quests. Act three has its first quest that's actually harder to trigger than to complete, two fetch quests that require you to retrieve items you probably find before even knowing somebody back in town needs them, and another quest requiring you to assemble the items needed to open the last dungeon. Naturally, the last item is once again guarded by a monster that has a separate quest linked to it. By the time you get to act 4, it's literally just killing things. Luckily, act 5 does its best to rectify that, but you may find yourself spending most of the time level grinding for the last boss fight.


  • City of Heroes initially suffered horribly from this, and still does in some places. The Sewer Trial and The Eden Trial, as well as the first few versions of the Hamidon raid, were slapped together from half-completed ideas to fill the high-level content checkmark. The Sewer Trial in particular is still an afterthought, hidden from all but the most cautious explorer, timed, filled with multiple copies of That One Boss, and until very recently could be completely outleveled. The rewards of both are really worthless. The Shadow Shard looks beautiful, but is filled with Scrappy Level after Demonic Spider after Scrappy Level, has had significant bugs fester for years, and lacks a lot of content that other zones do have. On the City of Villains side, Grandville was known for being a pain for superspeedsters and causing computer slowdown. Thankfully, these issues have been at least toned down over time, if not fixed.
    • The "Task Forces" (a chain of missions that once started, you can't do any other missions without abandoning) quite often turn into tests of endurance. Positron's task force was one of the first ones made, and is notoriously long and tedious. The newer ones are notably shorter and more varied.
      • The newer Taskforces (Issue 6 and later) as well as much of City of Villains shows how the developers learned from their mistakes. The team was very inexperienced when they started City of Heroes and made a lot of typical MMO development mistakes. Unfortunately, they haven't gotten around to going back and revamping much of the old and somewhat broken pre-issue 6 content. The Eden Trial and Sewer Trial rewards were great at the time they were introduced, but were made worthless by the level cap increase in Issue 1, until the introduction of Inventions - where, via exploits, they became somewhat valued again, until a system was implemented to make such exploitation not worth the reward.
      • The "old" task forces were designed with the mindset that a group of people would be willing to spend multiple play sessions together to accomplish the task. This wasn't a bad idea per se, but just one that proved to be flat out wrong in predicting player behavior and expectations. The Positron TF, mentioned above, was actually originally designed and two separate task forces that got merged into one, hence its length. In the Issue 17 update, it is being split into two separate task forces, although you have to do both in order to get the badge that completing the old single TF would grant.


  • The Meat Circus from Psychonauts involves a time-based escort mission and numerous leaps of faith in an otherwise easy game. The development team was in a time crunch near the end of production, so it's understandable, if still disappointing. One of the developers claimed to have dreamed of being trapped in the Meat Circus near the end of the development cycle.
  • Ratchet and Clank Going Commando sorta had this. After you finally freed the "love interest" of the game for Ratchet, and you are forced to deal with another larger, tougher, frozen wasteland that is mainly white and blue. Some players just go "eeeh" and force themselves through. And there is still 20% more plot to get through. Happens more often as you go through the game multiple times on a harder mode to get 100% completion...and that area gets harder. Happens again in the sequel, Up Your Arsenal, and pretty much the entire game for some in Deadlocked.
    • The Tundor Wastes, the vast icefield towards the end of Going Commando is mostly optional, and is beautiful and varied.
    • Up to that point in the game most areas could be gone through using one or two weapons, as practice. After that Ratchet starts to use all of his carefully developed firepower. This is especially true on the last two planets.
      • The Tundor Wastes are harder in Challenge Mode, but fully developed weapons can handle it. Finally being able to walk through the Tundor Wastes without fear, instead of fleeing in panic hearing Yetis breathing down Ratchet's neck, is one of the great experiences in the game.
      • That and the Tabora desert (pretty much the same thing, only with sand) are made much more bearable (downright fun) once you get the Charge Boots. You see, they don't run out of fuel, and you can still fire your gun while using them.
  • |Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 takes this to new extremes. pokecapn's LP of the game has five videos of about 30 minutes each for what should have been 12 minutes of gameplay, largely due to just how broken and unplayable the final sequence is.
    • These five videos, by the way, are named after the five classical stages of grief, and, not coincidentally, the commentary in each video matches up. "Depression" is dead silence.
    • On that note, how about Sonic 2? It was great, but the end levels were as follows: three Metropolis Acts, Wing Fortress, and the Death Egg.
    • Sonic Generations is receiving flak for this. The final boss is definitely a bit of a mess compared to the other bosses in the game and awkward to play. The final level, Planet Wisp, also has some awkward level design. This is particularly so in Act 1, where you must use the Spike wisp from Sonic Colors only it doesn't control as well as it did in that game. It is also a Marathon Level. Some reviewers go even further back than that, citing the difficulty spike that happens at the start of the Modern era (last 1/3 of the game).
  • A little known game for the Genesis/Megadrive called Pulseman suffers this as well. The final level is basically nothing but awkwardly realistic platforming over several bottomless pits and the occasional room throwing Goddamned Bats into the mix.
  • Corona Mountain in Super Mario Sunshine was essentially a trek through a volcano filled with deathtraps that was not as effectively designed as the Bowser levels in Super Mario 64 or Galaxy; that kind of dangerous platforming was rare apart from the parts where Shadow Mario steals your FLUDD.
  • Mushroom Kingdom Meltdown, a hack played by Raocow has a literal example of this combined with No Ending, the final world is basically an altered version of the first one, and then the game just ends right after the cut scene you'd expect to come before the final boss. No boss, just credits roll. Right when there's what seems like half the overworld not explored:
  • Speaking of raocow, he once LPed a Japanese hack called Scarlet Devil Mario. He gets past the fourth world, expecting that he'd continue through the EoSD bosses, when bam, the remainder of the game is just slightly harder rehashes of earlier levels.
  • The final planet in Adventures Of Rad Gravity is a long Death Course riddled with Spikes of Doom, Conveyor Belts of Doom, and a maze, then the True Final Boss fight takes place in zero gravity where you have to propel yourself with your gun and trick his homing missiles into hitting him, easier said than done.
  • The extra 120 green comet stars in Super Mario Galaxy 2 are a possible example of this trope, since the focus of the game shifts from finding exciting and interesting new areas to scouring old maps searching every nook and cranny or performing insane acrobatics to acquire stars that are visible but seemingly JUST out of reach.
    • It's not so bad if you view the green stars as an "extra", considering that the game would be complete enough without them.
    • After getting the green stars, you're treated to a brand new straightforward level, which is good. After doing that, you need to amass 9999 star bits in the star bit bank, which is bad. After that, you get a daredevil version of the secret level, which is tough but fair, though completing that doesn't do much aside from send a message to your Wii mailbox.
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii's final level is nothing but a couple of short rooms leading up to the final battle with Bowser. Compare this to the final level of the original New Super Mario Bros.., which was a Gimmick Level through and through (containing switches that flip the entire level upside down and a throwback area to the maze castle levels from the first game).
  • While many the later levels in Jet Set Radio Future may be cool-looking, they sure can be frustrating due to a combination of bottomless pits, confusing design, and the map layout doesn't help things, either.
  • Croc 2 has two quite detailed worlds being the Home world and the Ice world. It then has Caveman world which has a drop in quality, followed by the abysmal Inca world, which has only two levels, one of which revolves entirely around collecting 30 gobbos from a huge, dull pyramid. Possible reasons for this might be that the company was running out of budget at the time, but it ended up delivering far little than it promised.
  • Rayman 3: The last level is far from terrible, but it does feature a certain ammount of recycled elements (partly made up for with the flying sections). Additionally, it's never explained how Globox escaped from the Hoodlum HQ and found the flying vehicle (not to mention the nice shades). The best example of this, however, is the final part of the final boss, which quickly starts feeling long and dull (not made any better by the mediocre music and awful background).
  • Epic Mickey. It starts with having to go back to all the hub worlds and get rid of some Bloticles, a very easy task that feels like padding, especially since it means 2 more trips through the side-scrolling levels to get to the worlds. Then you get to Dark Beauty Castle, which is fine and exciting. The final area, though, inside the Shadow Blot completely falls apart. It's very hard-to-see, there's tentacles that require memorizing where they pop out if you don't want to die, swarms of enemies that either aren't fun to fight or are invincible...and you don't even end up fighting the Blot!. The whole thing feels rushed.
  • The later levels of Super Mario 64 are significantly less fun-and creative-than the earlier levels in the game. Some have nearly identical concepts (e.g. Tall, Tall Mountain is pretty much Cool, Cool Mountain without snow)
  • Limbo suffers from this too, the earlier parts feature a Lost Woods environment, Giant Spiders, and other children that try to kill you, all which contributes to the dark foreboding emotions of the game; then it switches to an urban and industrial settings devoid of life, the puzzle mechanics almost (but not quite) make up for it. According to the developer they originally had planned to feature the spiders in the last parts of the game, to serve as much more affecting boss encounters.
  • Even Mega Man 2, as legendary a game it is, suffers from this near the end. After clearing the Wily Castle's exciting and challenging first few stages, the 4th stage is where things start to falter. A puzzle stage outfitted with fall-through floors and line-guided platforms that, once you figure out how to master it, becomes very tedious. To top it all off, you must fight the Boobeam Trap, which requires ALL the Crash Bomber's weapon energy to defeat with (a fact made worse as the only nearby enemies to item-farm from are Tellies and Sniper Armors). After that comes the series' very first Boss Rush teleport room in the next stage, which doesn't even have a segment giving you the chance to restock your weapon energy beforehand. Meaning that you'll have to fight a battle of attrition with Dr. Wily once the Robot Masters are dealt with. Luckily, the last stage and its boss are far less brutal.
  • The original Super Mario was so Nintendo Hard on World 8 that many players would simply consider it beat because they would get so frustrated. The Unstable Equilibrium also gets much more intense as nothing is too hard with a fire flower, but if it's lost it's very hard to get back, and impossible to get back in the labyrinthe level 8-4.
  • In the first Donkey Kong Country game, Chimp Caverns. It doesn't feature much that you haven't already seen before, and the levels seem more like palette swaps of previous ones. It's really not much new, the boss is even another rehash of the second one.
    • Possibly due to the game being rushed near the end. Apparently some levels from Donkey Kong Country 2 and some comments from Rare themselves indicate lava levels may have once been planned, like in Returns but cut from the game for whatever reason. See this DK Vine topic for possible evidence of this.


  • The final true gameplay portion of Braid is regarded as being one of the best, if not the best, portion of the game. The portion immediately preceding it? Well...
  • The final level of Trine exchanges physics-based puzzles which may involve lots of character-swapping for a thief-only, Trial and Error Gameplay gauntlet that forces you to sit through a loadscreen every time you fail it. The creators later admitted that they had ran out of time and the final level was tested only by a single outsider. Fortunately a patch made it less frustrating.
  • The first third of Portal 2 sees you reawakening GLaDOS and going through much the same schtick as the first game before culminating in a dramatic escape sequence that sees you and Wheatley sabotaging GLaDOS's defenses and dethroning her once again. The final third has you racing through Wheatley's test chambers as Aperture falls apart around you. The middle third, however, is basically one gigantic Exposition Break wrapped into a Marathon Level where even navigating between test chambers is a chore, often requiring you to spot tiny portal surfaces from extremely far away. The awesomeness of Cave Johnson helps to alleviate the monotony, but not by much. Many players heave a sigh of relief when they finally make it back to modern Aperture and the pace picks up again.


  • Motorstorm: Pacific Rift has a racing game variant of this; in the earlier parts there is rubberbanding but it's small enough to still be perfectly beatable with a good route and smooth racing lines, but then in the last few racing ranks it drops any fairness and becomes more about exploiting the AI than racing skill.
    • The first game could be considered guilty of this too, but it's rather hard to tell if it is because the starting levels might be cakewalks or the AI honestly goes into overdrive cheat mode for the later courses.
  • LEGO Racers 2 has a rather Egregious example of this. After very tough bosses like Riegel and the Berg, which had you racing against an alien in a Humongous Mecha and an ice monster respectively who both can't get hurt by power-ups, you'd expect Rocket Racer to be very hard. You'd have even higher expectations after you see the tracks that surround this race; they are very complex compared to the others with jumps, loops, and other stunts. So what does Rocket Racer end up being? You race him on a completely circular arena with occasional jumps and walls, and he plays almost exactly like the other racers except he's faster. This way, he can actually be hurt by weapons. It does not help either that he goes up ramps, which clearly slow you down. Because of this, he becomes the easiest boss in the game, and it becomes even more of a total cakewalk if you continued to upgrade your car speed throughout the game.

Real Time Strategy

  • The campaign mode in Rise of Legends noticeably degrades in quality as the chapters continue. In the Vinci chapter, almost every mission has a special feature to it. The Alin chapter has a decent number of special scenarios, but the the occasional skirmish map. The final chapter, where you play as the Mayincatec Coutl, consists almost entirely of simple skirmish maps that.
  • Rocky Horror, the final level of LEGO Rock Raiders, was expected to be a huge monster horde in an epic and challenging level (especially after Back to Basics. There are very few monsters, your base is pre-built, and a giant crystal cache gives you everything. Karl White (the level designer) says it would have had hundreds of monsters, but it lagged on computers back then. Of course now it wouldn't, so...


  • DJMAX Technika's Specialist Set. To unlock it, you must clear Special 6, which consists of two doable-for-many-players charts and Son of Sun (SP). When you reach the final stage of Specialist, your boss song is either "Enemy Storm" (available on Special 5, which you don't need to unlock as long as you have Platinum Crew access) or "Son of Sun" (which you survived to unlock this damn course!) Arguably, the real boss song is "Fermion", which requires you to get less than 75% MAX judgments.
  • In Rhythm Heaven, the last third of Medal rewards and final post post-game game are all based around a That One Level that involves a Scrappy Mechanic. After you unlock Rhythmove Dungeon, there's no real motivation to collect Medals other than 100% Completion.


  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon is a major offender. After the main storyline, the player can explore dozens of new dungeons and recruit every Pokémon there is. This process, however, is incredibly tedious, depends largely on random luck, and often involves going through 99 identical floors with random traps with the added challenge of a Wizard Needs Food Badly system. Even hardcore Pokémon players tend to just consider the game finished after the main storyline ends.


  • While it is not too long or particularly hard, the penultimate dungeon, the thieves' maze, in Baldur's Gate is regarded as one of the worst areas in the game for its sheer dullness.
    • Not hard? Try guiding the party without at least three people going the wrong way or getting stuck. The Pathfinding ability is really, really horrible.
    • The Skeleton Warriors, man. The Skeleton Warriors!
  • Dragon Age: Origins was great for the first 90% of the game. But as soon as you hit the Landsmeet, one of the penultimate parts of the game, the amount of glitches, bugs, and ridiculous errors increases 100 fold. It wouldn't recognize who was the right king, female players started getting called by male pronouns, and much more. Fortunately, there are excellent mods available to fix these problems (ZDF and Qwinn's).
    • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon of Dragon Age Awakening was for the most part a marathon through endless hordes of Darkspawn, with a sudden conclusion to several plots (Velanna's arc, the Architect) after three loose arcs and some other sidequests...if you did it.
  • Disc 2 of Xenogears. The gameplay is replaced by a bunch of cutscenes interspersed with occasional boss fights and one or two lackluster, short dungeons. This was not what the developers intended, as they ran out of time and money.
  • Both Knights of the Old Republic games have ending areas that feel much less well put together than the rest of the game (particularly the second game, where the last areas were thrown together in a very short period of time).
    • Particularly galling is the bit at the end of KOTOR 2 where you have to play as Bao-Dur's remote (a level 1 character) to switch on some computers. It's either boring backtracking through places you've already been with your main character without anything much to do, or HOLY CRAP RUN AWAY RUN AWAY GET THAT THING AWAY FROM ME as you attempt to get where you need to go without being killed by any of the monsters. Said monsters are pretty trivial for the (level 25ish) main character. For the Remote? Two hits and you're dead - if you're lucky.
      • The fact that this is to set up a dramatic situation with no payoff at all doesn't help. The last-minute crunch is probably to blame here (the game was shoved out the door six months before its speculative release date).
      • Did we mention the sequence of generic bare rooms filled with generic enemies?
    • The Star Forge in the first game can be rather annoying, too, depending on what sort of character you're playing. All the diplomatic skills in the world don't matter when the game just throws seemingly endless waves of enemies at you. However, if you're playing as a Dark Consular, "endless enemies" means "all-you-can-eat buffet of delicious Life Energy."
      • Depends a lot on what allies you brought with you. Even the weakest PC will find it a cakewalk with an all-Jedi party if they have decent equipment.
      • Another frustration is all those endless mooks you kill most likely won't give you any XP because of the level 20 cap.
  • Chrono Cross loses track of where the plot is going somewhere after the Dead Sea area and never quite finds it again. Disc two is particularly bad; most of it is spent either wandering through Chronopolis or climbing Terra Tower.
  • The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind heavily suffers from this right before the final boss fight in the main story. The player, after traveling and fighting far and wide, must individually convince eighteen people (minimum) to vote yes on you being the Chosen One. "Convincing" fourteen of them means either bribing or hitting the Persuade button enough times, and if you're not willing to fight some of the baddies, this goes up to twenty-one. Mind you, this task of convincing the dozen involves the least amount of fighting possible, irritating and tedious fetch quests, and running around all ends of the earth. Right before the last boss, which is really a very simple Puzzle Boss. Most of the people that you have to talk to recognize the fact that, hey, they really ought to comply with you in order to save the world. But no. If you want to be named Nerevarine by one of the Ashkhan, who already admits that he should, you need to find him a bride. So first you go to another town (it should be noted that none of these destinations are quickly reached, nor is the journey exciting at all), buy a slave, go to another town to get her some nice clothes, go to another town to get her some perfume, and then escort the slave all the way back to the Ashkhan while tolerating some of the worst pathfinding ever. And this quest comes shortly after some fairly exciting and intriguing quests, too. What happened?
    • Apparently, general developer apathy combined with a lot of playtesting gaps.
    • If you gain enough levels and reputation (at least level 20 and 50 reputation), you can skip this quest altogether by talking to the right people: they'll send you straight to the Archcanon instead, which starts the final quest to defeat Dagoth Ur.
  • The Dharma Temple in Dragon Quest VII fits this trope to a T, as well. Dharma Temple being the place you typically obtain new classes and skills in Dragon Quest, instead you're thrown into an extremely difficult dungeon that you cannot exit while having your skills sealed away. Good luck if you didn't think to buy any Medicinal Herbs beforehand!
    • At least fighting your way through allows you to access the Temple's normal purpose.
  • Dragon Quest IX in a twist has this AFTER the game—the Post Game can in fact last much longer than the main game, yet the large majority of it is simply running though random dungeons over and over with only minor story additions in the downloadable quests. The non-story quests often have you searching for hours just to find a random dungeon with the correct enemy(s), and that is even WITH a guide. That's not even getting into the literally thousands of random ingredients one must find to get and alchemize all the items and equipment in the game (made harder by the best ones having a random chance at failure...and needing the failure items as well), and boss battles that you need to fight over and over (at least 99 times each) just to face their hardest forms. Combine all this with the only reason to reset your level more than once (and taking forever, especially if you don't get to have the King Metal Slime map which is only the result of a bug) is for the sake of....better chances at harder random dungeons. And even on top of all of THIS, the game practically begs you to spend all that time with its database, yet one could easily miss many items as a result of simply not connecting to the online shop in right week of the year....or even more, the randomize screwing you over even when you DO connect.
  • Tales of Symphonia: the second disc has about a third as much plot of the first disc despite taking half as long to go through.
    • Tales of the Abyss is arguably a bigger offender. The latter half has the characters going around the world to talk to people. Absolutely no fighting or leveling up...just plot, plot, plot. Even with instant teleportation to the cities, it still takes a lot of time to reach the people you need to talk to deep in the city. And you have to go back and forth through the same scenery for hours and hours and hours on end...why couldn't they have kept the "Do you want to zip there now?" option from the first half? Argh. It gets better later on, though.
    • Tales of Vesperia is split into three acts, as marked by the achievements you get for completing them. Parts I & II are both quite long and are very well paced. Part III, on the other hand, has the party dropping subplots and overthinking everything in order to destroy a giant space octopus, has a grand total of two dungeons (one particularly lazy in design) prior to the final, and drops a villain on you out of nowhere just to give you someone to fight in the end.
    • Continuing in Symphonia's footsteps, Dawn of the New World has everything after defeating Brute poorly arranged in a manner to stretch out the lack of dungeons, padding things out with several Exposition Breaks. You're then treated to a final dungeon that consists of a stairwell, a two-level "puzzle" that doesn't even require fighting (it's basically just hitting a bunch of switches you can get from a distance), and a bunch of boss fights separated by about two screens worth of enemies.
    • And the game that started it all wasn't exempt either. Dhaos' Castle has a monstrous number of floors, doors with unmarked switches, a maddeningly recursive floor layout and multiple teleporters with exit points which have to be memorized. Sure the backgrounds were as lush as anything else in the game and it was cool seeing the atmosphere drop away as the party climbed past those massive windows but one tends to get sick of the same set of murals and the same flights of stairs repeated literally ad nauseum. The Bonus Dungeon is much, much worse.
    • Tales of Legendia had this as well, primarily in regards to the 'bonus story' after the main ending. To clarify, it really was a second plotline, not just extra scenes. The plot, which had been good enough until then,changed focus to a thin problem regarding insane monsters and evil doppelgangers. More jarring, however, was the fact that while, for the entire main adventure, all major scenes had voice acting. After finishing the sort-of-final boss and moving past the main story, all of this promptly vanished, leaving everything feeling incomplete. It also heavily used backtracking and monster recolors...so, yeah. The character development for the other characters ups its ante there.
  • Most of the Final Fantasy series suffers from this. Somewhere after you get the airship but before entering the final dungeon you are left to your own devices as far as advancing the plot and basically thrown out there to complete side quests and level grind up to being able to fight the final boss.
    • Final Fantasy III DS definitely suffered from this, if only because of the differences in norms between modern games and the time the original came out. The conclusion is a long underground dungeon that leads straight to the final dungeon. Its not that you can't return to previous areas, you just really really don't want to because the trip is so long. The final dungeon itself is ludicrously long, leading up to a fake final boss, four more bosses, and then the final boss who is way too powerful compared to the last 5. And since you can only save in the overworld, that is at the very least an hour of action from entering the final dungeon up to the end, with no opportunity to save and pretty much an assurance of failing in your first attempt.
    • Final Fantasy IV, the Lunar Subterrane is a very long dungeon with twisting hidden passages, Demonic Spiders, and the last four floors have every random encounter being a Boss in Mooks Clothing.
    • Final Fantasy IV: The After Years begins its final tale with the characters heading to the final dungeon, which is a mirror image of the original game's final dungeon, which was long enough as it is, but once you get to the point with the mentioned last four floors, the dungeon changes entirely and eventually totals out to forty floors full of powerful enemies and entirely random boss encounters with no purpose but to pad out the dungeon and throw powerful equipment at your party. There's also no plot development at all during all this aside from Cecil coming to his senses a third of the way down, just short scenes to provide closure to character subplots.
    • Final Fantasy VI had the World of Ruin. While the World of Ruin offers a lot of Character Development subquests and picks up a lot of plot threads from the first half of the game, the overarcing plot completely halts and the game is pretty much just a series of unconnected sidequests until you run out of things to do. You can actually enter the final dungeon as soon as you get the airship, it's just you aren't ready yet and need to level grind and recruit party members.
    • Final Fantasy IX's fourth disc, the story runs out of steam with the destruction of Terra and Garland, and descends into Mind Screw territory with the introduction of Memoria as the final dungeon, an odd pocket universe made up of the accumulated memories of the world with numerous Giant Space Flea From Nowhere bosses, including the Final Boss and one of the most infamous examples of Giant Space Fleas, Necron.
    • Inverted in Final Fantasy XIII: The first half of the game feels like it was either extremely rushed or the management at Square Enix was overcompensating for the case of Quicksand Box XII suffered from. (One apt description being tossed around is "Final Fight the RPG".) The second half has much better design with actual side quests and dungeons that aren't just one long tunnel. This was even mocked in Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei, of all places.
    • Final Fantasy XIII-2 plays it straight, as Academia 500AF is a scrappy platforming section with enemies that can decimate the strongest of characters with ease. The final boss fight somewhat makes up for it, though.
    • This is one of the most common complaints about Final Fantasy XII. The first third of the game shows the party coming together to track down the relics of the Dynast-King to prove Ashe is royal blood and give them a leg up on inciting rebellion against The Empire of Archadia. However, once you get to the Jahara the game then sends you on a long trip to Mt. Bur-Omisace, then a dungeon, then a very long trip to Archadia through no less than four new areas and a dungeon, then a dungeon in Archadia after completing a short series of fetch quests. The plot picks up again after that, and the areas are at least Scenery Porn, but the middle stretch of the game is essentially one long Marathon Level with no real plot advancement or character development.
      • The climb in the tower near the end of the game is such a long haul that many players have quit before reaching the top. Not only is the climb to the tower's top is so damn long, you're also forced to go through several floors with an ability disabled at your choosing (no items, no magick, etc.). Once you do reach the top, you're treated to a lengthy cut scene and have to fight 3 bosses one after the other with no breaks in between, similar to the fight against the Silver Dragon, Garland, and Kuja from Final Fantasy IX. If you're aiming for One Hundred Percent Completion, you'll be forced to go back to the tower and explore the basement levels that aren't even on the map and are filled with Demonic Spiders.
    • And let's not forget Final Fantasy Tactics. To quote Pitchfork from Socks Make People Sexy:

"After constructing a thoroughly detailed and practically airtight plot about realpolitik, war, and ethics, Matsuno loses his nerve and throws magical gems and demons into the mix. By and by, the story devolves from something unusual and refreshing into the STOP THE EVIL MAN FROM AWAKENING THE EVIL DEMON spectacle that was already worn out as a hooker on New Year's morning by 1997. As the story becomes more dominated by the Zodiac Stone/Lucavi busness, it grows coextensively less interesting."

  • In the first SaGa game, you suddenly have to go through the tower again but this time through an escalator. You honestly could have cut the escalators in half.
  • Most games in the Kingdom Hearts series avoid this...with the exception of Kingdom Hearts: Coded or its Updated Rerelease Re:Coded, which consists of going around in Castle Oblivion (the setting of Chain of Memories), speaking to NPCs and solving very easy puzzles, reaching the final boss, watching the last scene and then having the game just...end.
    • The final jumping puzzle is opposite of very easy.
      • Justified as Coded was an episodic game, and the Castle Oblivion segment suffered from less funds. It also attempts to be very unsettling and markedly different, which to some extent it does manage to accomplish.
    • Chain of Memories and its remake unlock a second gameplay mode where you play as Riku. Though his style of gameplay is enjoyable, especially in the remake where it was made more unique and strategic, the progression of the game is the same system as the first playthrough—make your way through the rooms to get the gold card needs to unlock the next room so you can get another gold card to unlock the boss room. Most of the time there weren't even cutscenes, you just hit a checkpoint and were directed to the next goal. And ultimately, all the areas you explored were the same ones you just went through on the first playthrough, and the bosses are the same too.
  • Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader was rushed to market as Interplay needed a quick injection of cash to avoid bankruptcy, and it shows; after the fairly open-ended, Baldur's Gate-esque first act, the game immediately turns into a nonstop dungeon crawl with few sidequests or even much in the way of NPCs. Needless to say, the title did not save Interplay from going belly-up.
  • The Shadowrun game for Sega Genesis fell into the same problem as the above-mentioned Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines example—it was all-too-easy to build up a character who was perfectly capable of handling the entire game... except the Final Boss, who'd consistently kill you without a prayer of hope if you failed to raise your Magic Resistance sky-high, in a game where Magic-wielding enemies are usually very rare and very squishy. Deckers, in particular, were virtually impossible to win with, since they'd usually compensate for lacking combat-skills by having access to the best and most expensive weapons and armor in the game. Armor has zero effect on magical damage, and even the best weapon won't take down the boss before he's cast enough spells to kill you 3 times over.
    • The SNES version has this to some extent as well. After you've defeated the Big Bad, you then have to go destroy an AI super computer in a building that operates much like the one you were just at. The enemy guarding the AI computer is little more then an Elite Mook, and the sequence inside the computer is no different from the dozens of other Matrix segments in the game. The game ends somewhat abruptly right afterwards.
  • .hack Quarantine is one giant case of this. Let's see...where to start? Forcing you to go through the same dungeon three times, after which you must face a boss that isn't hard but is incredibly tedious - which is a shame as an otherwise decent dungeon turns into a Scrappy Level due to the plot. Giving you the best armor in the game and then ruining the feeling of "|YES!!! I AM INVINCIBLE!!!" by pitting you against the second of Those Two Bosses immediately afterward. Giving you 10 new dungeons to take on right around the time you think "I'm almost done!", 5 of which are mandatory. Of those 5, 4 of them require an obscene number of high-letter Virus Cores. These had always been scarce, but until now this wasn't a problem. So you have to item grind in the hopes of eventually finding that... one... missing... virus... core. Once you FINALLY get through those 4 dungeons, you go to the fifth one, which you just know will be The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. And it is... oh, is it ever. Nothing else even comes close. NOTHING. Not even the dungeon at the end of disc 1 (in which every enemy was a Goddamned Bat and the boss was one of Those Two Bosses).
    • Not to mention that the Virus Core hunt is made even MORE annoying by the non-standard Game Over of using Data Drain too much. Have fun balancing out mass-Data Drain kills and avoiding death by character corruption.
  • The last level of Dungeon Siege 2 is at least 40 minutes (possibly an hour) of fighting the same not-very-challenging enemies over and over and over without interesting scenery, before the game deigns to give you a teleporter location to save your progress with. At least it's not something you have to repeat if the final boss kills you.
  • Star Ocean: The first game was rushed, and the final dungeon seemed to come out of nowhere with an attendant Giant Space Flea From Nowhere. In the PSP remake, it was expanded to a few more events and dungeons, but it still completely changed the feel of the game, and what's worse, unlike the original, it refused to allow you to return to the main game after beating it, meaning you were stuck in a tiny overworld with little exploration to do.
    • In Star Ocean: The Last Hope, the final dungeon requires the player to fight every single previous boss without any chance to save. If played without doing all the side missions or grabbing optional gear, the entire chain of bossfights can take up to thirty minutes, making it rather infuriating if you happen to die before reaching the final boss.
      • You can technically avoid all the boss fights leading up to the final boss if you know what you're doing and where to go, but if you don't know this before hand you're in for an interesting surprise.
  • Lufia II - after a great game with lots of creative puzzles, just before the final dungeon you have to face three - THREE!!!!! - towers where it's pretty obvious that they never got around to adding the puzzles into the rooms they were meant to go.
    • The remake is better here; it's not until the final dungeon that the gameplay takes a dive. Said final dungeon consists soley of boss fights. One of which was difficult the first three times you fought it, but you've now greatly outleveled (not to mention that you likely never wanted to see it again). The next was easy the first time, and is now slightly easier. After that you have a survival boss, which is intensely boring. Then you have the final boss, who is possibly the easiest boss that wasn't designed to be an Anticlimax Boss. Then if you're playing a New Game+ you get a ludicrously difficult True Final Boss. The plot had problems a bit earlier; most of the end game is running through the towns talking to people, generally hearing more or less the same thing at each stop.
  • In The Force Unleashed, the early levels are chock full of interesting objects to smash, fling, and otherwise ruin with your Force powers. As you progress, though, the levels become less interactive and more likely to just toss you in an arena with some enemies and call it a night.
    • In particular, there's the scene where you pull down a Star Destroyer, which in theory sounds like it's the awesomest thing ever, but in practice, it's an annoying mini-game that's constantly interrupted by waves of hard-to-hit TIE fighters.
  • Rogue Galaxy is great fun for most of the game as you cruise around the galaxy picking up various characters for your small-but-varied cast, and search for Eden. Things start going downhill after you beat Seed about 60% through the game, with a couple of cliched twists, but all sense of pacing or real motive trainwrecks when you enter Mariglenn, the Eden you've been searching for. The game suddenly pulls a new Big Bad out of nowhere, the only way to beat it is to suffer through last-minute exposition for every one of your characters, and then trekking through possibly one of the longest and most repetitive final dungeons ever made. When you eventually fight and defeat the suspiciously easy "final" boss, suddenly the game's previous antagonist flies in to completely muck things up, requiring you to fight a series of one-on-one battles with every single one of your characters, in which losing will make you have to do it all over again.
    • To clarify, you have to start over from the initial final boss. Not from the start of the final dungeon again. It hasn't been exaggerated here.
  • It may be one of the best games ever in terms of plot, but there's no doubt that the ending sequence of Planescape: Torment is way too hard, especially since you're separated from your companions and must get through a massive slog of a battle against very tough enemies. It's also quite a badly structured puzzle section.
    • It's hard if you try to fight your way through the shadows; if you just run the fuck away then activating the switches isn't very difficult at all.
    • Although if your playstyle involves tanking, it can be tricky, especially considering the Infinity Engine's dodgy patfinding AI.
      • The shadows you need to outrun also attempt to intercept you mid-way instead of always travelling towards you. Nightmare Fuel, considering this never happens in these sort of games.
    • However, the main theme of Planescape: Torment, what can change the nature of a man and the emotion of its story what did the Nameless One's past lives do, and can he ever die? reached their stunning conclusion in the final level. It's only the combat that goes downhill, which was never the game's strong point to begin with.
  • The rush to complete Ultima VII Part Two: Serpent Isle resulted in the loss about the middle third (if not more) of its storyline. Certain NPCs still show evidence of what they had planned, but it was never finished. The last segment of the game instead consists of the same two or three puzzles repeated over and over again; the entire last dungeon has no NPCs and only a single group of monsters.
    • The Castle of Fire in Ultima III is even worse. Even with the marks to nullify the fire and force fields, you still face five tough battles against Griffons, Dragons, and Devils, and then in the final room you get attacked by the goddamn floor. The entire rest of the game can be completed at level 10 with starting stats, but to beat the Castle of Fire you need invest hours of Level Grinding to get to level 20 or so, plus max your stats at the shrines.
  • A Pokémon example would be Hoenn. You spend the first two-thirds of the game exploring beautiful environments like volcanoes, beaches, and rainforests. Then, what happens after Lilycove? Water. And a lot of Tentacool/Wingull.
    • Pokémon Black and White is an example too. The main plot is amazing, and the climax is brilliant... and then afterwards, while you do get to explore the other third of Unova, everyone there has Pokemon at a level you can't match unless you've done some serious Level Grinding, and there's no real plot to go on. Explore, catch some more Pokemon, hunt for treasure, play Collect-A-Sage... and that's it. You run out of things to do pretty quickly.
  • Mass Effect:
    • While the series in general manages to avoid this, the Pinnacle Station DLC for (and by extension the last bit of Mass Effect 1 many gamers played) is a cut-and-paste arena with boring enemy spam and the announcer from hell ("Get moving Shepard") made worse by being timed straight combat levels, so that level 60 engineer you have? Totally useless. Your lightly armored infiltrator? Too bad. If you were anything not a direct combat soldier some of the challenges are nigh-impossible. And as a bonus, your no-XP kills there count for no other achievements because it's all a hologram.
    • The final level of Mass Effect 3 is not as enjoyable as the previous sections for a variety of reasons. London is a wrecked Earth city that we've all seen in every other modern shooter, and the gameplay mostly consists of advancing through massive hordes of husks or holding the line against waves of husks. The last one is especially brutal, since it requires you to survive hordes of Marauders and Banshees while a Reaper destroyer fires a One-Hit Kill laser at you. Coming after Cerberus HQ, it's underwhelming and frustrating. The entire last level suffers greatly from Offscreen Moment of Awesome as well, with none of your war assets even appearing. There's no proper Final Boss fight either, just a Cutscene Boss that can be easily killed via interrupt prompts.
  • MOTHER/Earthbound 0. The game itself is very difficult and annoying with the sadistic random encounter rate it has (to be fair, running away is very easy). But in the end of the game, the enemies suddenly turn so strong that you'll need hours of Level Grinding or a Crutch Character just to be able to beat the game.
    • The author of the game admitted that this had happened because near the end of the production he got tired and wanted to finish the game as soon as possible, so the last bits have little to no balance.
    • It's worth noting that players who can survive Mt. Itoi long enough to get the last of the Plot Coupons are rewarded with one hell of a Wham! Episode, and the ensuing final confrontation with Giygas/Geigue/Gyiyg is near-universally considered to be the highlight of the game.
  • Valkyrie Profile: Silmeria nosedives right after the plot gets Hijacked By Lezard. The last two dungeons are overlong, mostly-linear trudges through tough enemies and annoying battle maps that serve no real purpose other than to deplete your stock of healing items. Even more annoying is that the game keeps monkeying around with your party. First you lose Rufus, after losing your other storyline characters earlier. You get a few of them back, but until then you're forced to rely heavily on your Einherjar. Then the Einherjar themselves become useless as you get no less than four brand-new high-level party members just for the last dungeon, making you wonder why the hell you bothered raising your Einherjar to be combat-capable all game. Then, just as you're getting used to fighting with them, three of the newcomers are removed from your party for the final stretch. Finally, to top it all off, the Final Boss can only be substantially hurt with the main character's Eleventh Hour BFS. Your party is just there to help charge up the Quad Soul Crush capping Nibelung Valesti. Oh, and by the way, those crafted weapons and armor you spent forever grinding for the components to? Antiquated by stuff you find just lying around in the endgame areas.
  • Albion, while not as bad as you'd expect with most examples here, has this problem. The first act is noticeably more detailed, interactive and immersive than the rest. The later islands being much larger in comparison only means that they have the same content spread out on six times the area, meaning that most game time will be spent walking through the featureless landscape, trying to avoid the repetitive, and rather illogically placed monster encounters. The alien elements that made the first act so interesting, are almost completely abandoned in favor of the more standard medieval fantasy setting, and the game stops encouraging the player from familiarizing themselves with the other cultures, while Nakiridaani gave plenty of opportunities for that. This mainly happend because the first act was used in the demo, and the developers would obviously devote more time to it.
  • Robinson's Requiem is a notoriously Nintendo Hard "Survival Sim" where the main challenges are managing your resources and solving inventory puzzles. The last level is a crawl through some volcanic caves where you battle robots. You get an infinite-ammo heavy laser to make it fair, but the real issue is that you have to go through nearly the entire thing (plus the desert immediately before) with no way to replenish your water supply, meaning death by dehydration on the last stretch is a very real possibility. Not to mention the OHKs from magma pools that look almost exactly like the normal floor.
  • Fable II doesn't have the best plot, but it does at least have pacing. However, the endgame comes immediately after you recruit Reaver with no warning, and consists entirely of one long fight against generic guards and a big rock, then you one-shotting the Big Bad in the middle of his Motive Rant.
  • The "Journey" portion of Persona 3 FES is a well-built and challenging JRPG with memorable characters and original gameplay. The "Answer" portion is a glorified Dungeon Crawl which removes the Social Links in favor of a Post Script Season story with Nintendo Hard battles and a bit of Fake Difficulty too.
    • The main game has some problems, too. If you succeed in finding the route to One Hundred Percent Completion, then midway through December you should have maxed all but two or three social links. It's very likely you'll have absolutely nothing worthwhile to do over Christmas Vacation. After New Year's Day, the plot is all done except for the last few battles, which can't happen until the end of January. January therefore boils down to an extended Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene where there's nothing to do except Level Grinding and wrapping up the last two Social Links.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey seems alright for the first five sectors. Then comes the last three sectors, which only have one new dungeon BGM—specifically, in the last part of The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. The rest of the BGM is lifted straight out of other sectors. It doesn't end there; the seventh sector is simply a mishmash of the first four sectors, narrowly Hand Waved by the endboss being a Master of Illusion. Oh, and remember the teleport maze from Sector Eridanus? You get to experience ANOTHER one!
    • On the plus side, the aforementioned last part of the Very Definitely Final Dungeon is, once you get past the Moon Logic Puzzle that you need to walk onto empty air, in the running for Best Level Ever.
    • As if the seventh sector wasn't annoying enough already, fully half of it isn't accessible until a New Game+... and that section is a long, boring, and incredibly infuriating linear "maze" full of teleports and pitfalls, which leads into a true maze of one-way doors in the basement. However, where the similar one-way-door area in the first half let you get from any of the entrances to any other point if you took the right route, one wrong turn in this one and you have to hike all the way back from the near the start of the dungeon.
  • Also, the very first game got to be ridiculously aggravating due to shoddy game mechanics, namely the map. The final level has one floor with a metric ton of invisible walls in a very large space, and you have no way whatsoever to tell if you're going the right way, as the dot on the map does not indicate your direction, and the game itself hands out so few clues it is possible to spend over an hour on this floor alone just trying to find the exit.
    • The sequel was slightly less painful in this regard since the map mechanics were vastly improved, but thanks to giving the player no hints whatsover, the final dungeons of Kether Castle and the highest floors of the Tokyo Millenium have some epic Guide Dang It floor puzzles that can make getting to the end more difficult than the bosses themselves. Given that this is Shin Megami Tensei- a series with bosses so ridiculously hard that the publisher is nicknamed "That One Company" on this site- that says something.
  • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn has a decently paced build up in the story and the conflict, but after the Grave Eclipse event starts, you are forced to go on a series of fetch quests for several pieces of items (all that are helpful for one of your party members and are her infinity plus one equpiment) and a MacGuffin or two. The story pretty much falls flat at this point and doesn't pick up again until the Final Boss fight.
  • Radiant Historia, in spite of an awesome penultimate dungeon, completely drops the ball in its endgame. For the 30 or so hours it takes to get to that point, you deal with interesting time travel puzzles and a grid based combat system. The final dungeon, on the other hand, is largely comprised of a single long corridor that is nothing but one big block pushing puzzle (with the added catch of having to kill the blocks beforehand), unavoidable, constantly respawning encounters loaded with immobile enemies which fly in the face of the most important elements of the combat system, Check Point Starvation, an absense of dialogue (a shocking contrast to the penultimate chapter) and a mandatory Boss Rush just before the Final Boss which is given incredibly flimsy justification and is, for the most part, comprised of bosses which already held That One Boss status. At the very least, the Final Boss and the ending are spectacular.
  • The final exam dungeon in Magical Diary: Horse Hall suddenly changes from being a free-roaming increasingly-complex RPG where you the player have to think and solve puzzles, to being "choose from a list of strategic options" with emphasis on your interactions with other characters. The majority of the playerbase is playing the game as a Dating Sim and is happy to get on with things. The players who were enjoying the RPG aspect, on the other hand, find the last exam a massive disappointment.

Shoot Em Ups

  • Solar Jetman: Hunt for The Golden Warpship, an obscure title available on the NES and a few other platforms, suffers from this. The 12 planets (plus one hidden planet) all have the same gameplay style. After the 12th planet, the one with the largest level area and most oppressive gravity, you are treated to a side-scroller spin in the Golden Warpship shooting asteroids, and facing off a lame asteroid with...eyes? The level is fiendishly hard as well. Basically, consider the game beat after you get the last Warpship piece.
  • RPG Shooter Starwish is a combination shmup/visual novel that isn't terribly good on either count. The first two-thirds at least has good pacing and likeable characters. But following The Reveal, a new Big Bad shows up completely out of nowhere and... sits around doing nothing while you run pointless Filler levels trying to clear a path to him. Between levels, you get Info Dumps from The Scrappy which boil down to a lot of pointless exposition and the repeated insistance that the Big Bad can't be deafeated and there's no hope. You eventually beat the Big Bad despite The Scrappy's protests by... shooting the Big Bad in the face. Really hard. And then the ending gives you a tacked-on Fantastic Aesop that the power to grant wishes is bad, which it immediately turns into a Broken Aesop by asking you to make a wish to choose your ending.


  • In the last level of Black and White, the game ground to a halt, as your Creature gets cursed and becomes almost useless (or even more so if you picked one with a low intelligence score).
    • The real nail in the coffin here was a notorious glitch that made this curse permanent, even after going through the steps to lift it. It made an already challenging game hair-pullingly hard, and at least one FAQ/walkthrough terminates at this point—not only because of the difficulty curve, but because your Creature becomes ruined for the entire file, with the weakness, intelligence loss, and alignment change infecting all modes of gameplay, including network games. Even if you complete the game, the file remains broken.
  • Freelancer starts off great, gradually revealing a vast conspiracy from the perspective of a few nobodies caught up in the action. It has all the hallmarks of an epic man-on-the-run political thriller, then the alien parasites show up and it becomes "hunt the Precursors in fast linear levels" like every other space game ever.

Stealth Based Game

  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Thanks to a combination of budget restraints, and massive re-editing thanks to 9/11, the notorious ending was considered a let-down by fans thanks to the very long cutscenes, and a fight that felt anti-climactic and incomphrensible.
    • It's a long series tradition, actually. The final act of Metal Gear Solid was spoiled somewhat by an annoying double-backtrack segment (essentially recycled from Metal Gear 2), while the plot-action moves away from Snake, Meryl, the Ninja and Otacon, and towards side characters most players probably didn't care much about on their first playthrough.
    • The Gamecube remake thankfully dodges the double-backtrack by being kind to players with good reflexes. That whole hot/cold sequence is sidestepped by players that can grab a ledge next to a set of pipes that can be shot...
    • In Peace Walker the 5th chapter consists of 6 missions in which you search for Zadornov in previous areas you have already been in the game. Obviously it gets very repetitive, and aside from the True Final Boss, this is the only thing you do in the entire chapter.
  • A great deal of the hype behind and appeal of Manhunt was related to the execution system, which encouraged the player to sneak up on foes with short-range weapons and then rewarded his patience by allowing the player character to slay his foes in gruesome and creative manners. Until the last few levels, that is, when the player is left with no real choice other than to shoot enemies from a distance. Plotwise, this is justified to some extent -- the player character is no longer killing for the sake of the snuff film into which he has been drafted, but is out for revenge against the man who forced him into it—but it still abandons one of the game's central themes and only appeals.
  • Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory has an amazing depiction of a possible modern Korean war and an otherwise memorable Japanese bathhouse level, after which the game throws three alert guards with IR vision goggles facing the entryway and blocking the exit of a room you absolutely must go through. If you were playing without gadgets or kills before (a perfectly legitimate thing to do, and encouraged) you'll basically have to nearly-exploit your way past using gas canisters and copious amounts of trial-and-error or kill someone. But that's nothing compared to the scene immediately afterward, where the game becomes a laughable episode of 24.
    • More a case of Guide Dang It than Disappointing Last Level. First, the three stooges and the bomb defusing stage are in the second to last level, not in the very last one. It is entirely possible to bypass the three guards with the thermal vision googles without them firing even a single shot, and you can also defuse the bombs without any of the guards finding even a single body. The trick is to use the stealth loadout and save your smoke grenades and sticky shockers for those two rooms. And it's meant to be hard, you are chasing the Big Bad and he is throwing everything he has at you.
  • A lot of people aren't particularly fond of the final level of Thief II: The Metal Age. Gone are the interesting scenery, storylines, characters and tasks of the previous missions, and all you're up against are a bunch of robots.
    • The second-last level is worse, since it's exactly the same as the third-last one.

Survival Horror

  • The second act of Silent Hill 4 is a big Escort Mission where you have to escort the injured Eileen through the otherworld. The more she gets damaged, the less time you have to save her during the final battle.
    • To clarify, you spend the first half of the game exploring four different areas, all infested with enemies you can only stun, not kill, and it's just the right level of challenging and compelling. Then you're saddled with an escort that you have to protect from the unkillable enemies and are told to explore the same four areas all over again, and you are suddenly trapped in Gamer Hell. The final area and ending(s) are worth the slog, but barely. Whether it was deadline crunch or Team Silent's admitted fatigue with the series, the game is often considered the weakest link of the original four games for good reason.
  • Ghost Hunter, a Playstation 2 game that was the closest you could get to a Ghostbusters game before they actually made one. The story of the game feels increasingly rushed the further into the game you get. For example, in the game is your own containment unit where you can view the ghosts you've captured and read up information on them. Halfway through the game, you are prevented from taking a break in between levels to view the ghosts and just drops you off at the next level. The game also concludes without revealing who the Big Bad was working for.

Third Person Shooter

  • The first Kane and Lynch game has this with the entire final third of the game. The first two thirds, set in America and Japan, are full of tense shootouts with cops, a couple bank heists, and gunfights with civilians caught in the crossfire. The final act is set, bizarrely, during a revolution in South America, and has the player commanding a small Redshirt Army against a huge Redshirt Army. The credibility of the plot is stretched thin, and the inability of the friendly AI to handle the vastly increased difficulty of the endlessly respawning beardless Fidel Castros does little to help.
    • The second game, Dog Days, has this to a lesser extent. Story-wise, having Lynch and Kane attempt to steal Glazer's private jet, and then resort to hijacking an airplane as it takes off makes less sense than simply having the two lay low for a few days or escape by boat or whatever, and having the level take place after Shangsi is killed leads to some serious Ending Fatigue.
  • The end of Psi Ops the Mindgate Conspiracy is generally slammed for the introduction of Aura Beasts, more annoying was the feeling of a general drop in quality, with the gameplay feeling more unbalanced (and while the checkpoints are no worse than before, the sudden difficulty spike makes them far more annoying), some very vague puzzles and extremely annoying instant-death invisible mines that are likely to lead to at least a few "What the hell!?" deaths before you work out what is going on.
  • In Jet Force Gemini, after you got to the last level, you were given a jetpack and forced to go back through all the levels again (and some new ones) and obtain each MacGuffin. It's safe to say most people quit before they got to the real ending.
  • BloodRayne: The first half dozen levels are basically tutorial missions in the Louisiana bayou. Not too bad. Then you raid the Nazi complex in South America and fight Nazi zombies. Can't go wrong with that premise, right? Until you have to play level after level after level of lame-ass Resident Evil-style puzzles, fighting wave after wave of Nazi footsoldiers (dirt simple now that you have Bullet Time) in the same, endlessly repeated gray concrete industrial bunker.
  • Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard falls right into this in the last two levels; the parody pretty much dries up, and you are stuck fighting the same enemies from earlier (after gradual additions in each of the earlier levels) over and over again. The little parody there is feels more like a parody of generic action movies rather than of Video Games (which there are already many examples of, and it therefore loses any of the potential of its concept). There are also Lampshading opportunities that are missed, for example, the penultimate level (the Docks) has you take a half-hour detour through a ship and then come out the other side with it having no purpose whatsoever; this would have been a perfect time to parody convoluted level designs (and the trope) in shooters, yet its not even mentioned. One of the few bits of Video Game parody there is (of MMOs) has the enemies be PaletteSwaps of enemies you've been fighting throughout the game (again with seemingly no ironic invocation of it).

Wide Open Sandbox

  • Grand Theft Auto III has this bad. Staunton Island and Shoreside Vale are increasingly less detailed when compared to Portland's bustling activity, varied scenery, and things to do. This is probably why Liberty City was revamped from the ground up in Grand Theft Auto IV, even if that effectively meant putting it in its own continuity.
  • Grand Theft Auto Vice City also suffered from this. The first half of the game had the player entirely dependent on story progression, since accessing real estate, a decent arsenal of weapons, and numerous outside areas was quite difficult at first (and sometimes made it a HUGE pain to save games and conduct missions). As a result, the plot was executed quite well with the gameplay, and they both advanced at a balanced pace. But once players gain the ability to buy real estate, the storyline sections are much harder to follow, thanks to scatter shot mission locations and some missions not even being available until players BUY many different buildings (which gets expensive very quickly and may force players to do tedious taxi/police/ambulance side missions repeatedly - or even street racing - to get the required cash). And even when players DO find the missions, they're mostly boring (except the excellent and tense bank robbery and mall bombing ones). The last mission anchors the story back in focus, and concludes Vice City wonderfully, but getting there demands way too much trial-and-error and unnecessary exploration out of the player (much like Wind Waker's Triforce quest mentioned above).
  • And if that's not bad enough, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the worst of the lot: When the game finally wraps up to a finale, CJ returns to Los Santos and has to completely disregard all his previous success in San Fierro and Las Venturas to represent Grove Street in the local gang wars, forcing the player to finish a signifigant chunk of the turf wars sidequest before they could move to the very last mission in the game. It's not only particularly annoying thanks to the fact that, if you procrastinated on the turf wars until the very end, you'll have to complete the sidequest while all Hell is breaking loose around you as the citizens of Los Santos are rioting, but even if you completed the turf wars before leaving Los Santos at the beginning of the game, your turf war progress is reset as soon as your leave, so your efforts are meaningless. And the final mission, while for many being the undisputed Crowning Moment of Awesome for the entire series, is no cakewalk either...
  • While the bosses of the three major gangs of Saints Row 2 were challenging and interesting, the final boss Dane Vogel is simply a shootout in a small area with few mooks to threaten you and Vogel himself with a pistol he isn't very accurate with. You do get an attack helicopter mid-way through the mission, but use it almost exclusively on static targets on a single building. The last few Ultor missions are also simple and easy compared to some of the final missions of the other gangs.
  • Minecraft is a brilliant sandbox of a game until the very last bit in The End realm. At this point, you've already explored the overworld (plains, mountains, oceans, caves, etc) and the Nether (lots of fire and lava in a hellish world), but The End is just very plain looking; you're on a big floating landmass of what looks like the moon, towers made out of obsidian with a crystal on top of them are dotted across the island, a huge dragon is trying to kill you by flying into you so you go flying off the island and into the void, and the realm is filled with Endermen. To make matters worse, the dragon heals itself by flying near one of the crystals, which you will usually need to build a makeshift tower just to reach it within range of your bow or sword and it explodes when destroyed. At the same time, you might fall off your tower if the dragon pushes you off. Beating the dragon nets you 20,000 EXP and a very slow scrolling ending message that is a total Mind Screw. This might be the first game to deliberately invoke Disappointing Last Level.
  • Assassin's Creed: The majority of the game is full of stealth, Le Parkour, and the occasional frenzy of short and violent fights frequently followed by a lot of running and hiding. Even boss fights generally fit into this standard. Then at the conclusion of the game, nearly all of it is thrown away for a long series of non-stop straight up sword fights with no chance of stealth or sneaking.
  • Assassin's Creed: Revelations: The last level with any actual action is a wagon chase scene. No freerunning, no swordplay. And eventually, you don't even get to kill the Big Bad.