Fake Longevity

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Fake Longevity is a video game trope similar to Fake Difficulty, except that it isn't difficult per se, it just makes the game longer to play. The claim that a game contains 50, 100, or more hours of gameplay is often a sign of this. It may also exist in a milder form where the time-consuming element is part of an optional quest. Of course, if it is actually fun, it is not always a bad thing.

Some common ways of doing this include:

Extremely common, especially in RPGs, and we're so used to it that games that avert it can seem ridiculously short, when in fact they have as much content as anything else in the same genre (The 2D Suikodens, for instance.)

The bane of Speed Runners. See Filler for fake longevity in other mediums.

Remove the Fake Longevity and you have a chance of attracting complaints of It's Short, So It Sucks.

Examples of Fake Longevity include:

Video Games - Played Straight

Action Adventure

  • The Triforce Hunting segment of The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker is notorious for being very time consuming but not particularly fun. Particularly since it costs so much to have Tingle decipher the maps that you have to increase your wallet size to even start this part.
    • Its sequel, The Legend of Zelda Phantom Hourglass, has another Fake Longevity. You constantly have to re-visit the same temple to get the next map to go fetch the next Plot Coupon. There's only a handful of waypoints around the temple, so there are levels you will constantly revisit. And no, they don't stay opened, so you have to re-do the puzzles each time (although most, but not all, can be skipped or become much easier with newly aqcuired items). A Downplayed Trope in The Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks, though, since the Tower of Spirits is frequently revisited, just not the same floors anymore.
    • For Wind Waker, Phantom Hourglass, and Spirit Tracks, the sheer amount of time spent on sailing/riding the tracks may have taken up most of the gameplay hours.
    • Basically every Zelda game has some sort of Fake Longevity...
    • The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword is sometimes criticized for this as well.
  • Super Mario 64 DS has you catching rabbits so you can get keys to unlock minigames. Slight as they are not vital to the plot, but there are a ton of them and there's no way to tell which you've caught. So you could spend 15 minutes going after a rabbit just to find you've already caught it.

Action Game

  • Batman: Arkham Asylum toys with this. Some Achievements require ridiculous combos, but that's pretty easily done on a challenge map by a good player. However, the Riddler Challenges are very much this. They're not at all necessary, except for the introductory riddle, but give nice juicy chunks of experience to buy upgrades with. Plus they unlock interview tapes of the villains and character profiles... and that extra health tank would be useful against those damn stun baton guys that keep popping up... maybe just look for a few then...
    • Many of these require you to backtrack with new gear to older areas just to be able to get them, or require some pixel hunting armed with some fairly obscure Bat-trivia.
    • The sequel game, Batman: Arkham City, is just as bad, if not worse than the original. 400 different Riddler trophies to be collected with Batman alone, including physical trophies to find, riddles/puzzles to solve, and combat challenges to complete. Without having all 400, you can't complete one of the bigger sidequests in the game. Some of these are genuinely engaging and fun to hunt down or do, but it can be argued that there's a great deal of tedious filler involved as well.
  • You had to collect a certain number of "hero points" in between chapters of the second Spider-Man: the Movie game. This translates to a lot of purse- and balloon-retrieval.
  • Tron Evolution, which I believe has been left off mainly because no one played it. Most of the game is excruciatingly long sections of running around Copy and Paste Environments, using Le Parkour to run up and across walls over Bottomless Pits, and fighting an unnecessary number of enemies when you actually get somewhere. The controls are kind of finicky, meaning you'll fall (and die) several times most likely. Boss fights are usually some form of Guide Dang It, and that's if you're NOT looking for the extremely out-of-the-way collectables (mainly, the Abraxas Shards) in an otherwise linear game.

Fighting Game

  • The Great Maze in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. By this point, you fought a good portion of the Smash Bros. crew and all of the bosses. Done? Nope! Now you have to travel in a maze that consists of all the areas you went through and have to beat ALL Smash Bros. characters AND the bosses (again!) before you're even allowed to fight the final boss. That one level comprises about 31% of the completion total. Not to mention the trophies for beating certain modes with every single character in the game. To 100% the whole thing, you need to beat Classic Mode, All Star Mode, Boss Battles, Home Run Contest, all five Target Test levels and 100 Man Brawl with all 35 characters. The Target Test levels in particular are terrible since previous games had one level for each character, but this one has all characters doing ALL of the exact same 5 levels, thus making clearing it at 100% take more with a lot less variety.
  • Want the full gamerscore from the 2011 reboot of Mortal Kombat? Among other things, you need to have played each character—of which there are 27 without DLC—for 24 hours in total. Two of them can only be unlocked by playing through the campaign, which takes another couple of hours.

First Person Shooter

  • All games in the Metroid Prime series feature a search for Plot Coupons that open the way for The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, which are accused of only existing to make the game longer. Only the third game made an attempt to shorten the task by putting the coupons along your path as you travel the game normally and not requiring every single one to pass to the final area.
  • Halo 2 implemented a new mechanic for its "Legendary" difficulty setting. While the foes in Legendary are nowhere near invincible (they're just a bit more challenging) Bungie decided to give co-op mode a 'status link' between the two players; basically, if one of you dies, the game resets you back to your last continue point. In the past the remaining player could retreat and allow his comrade to respawn back in (if they could make it a fair distance from local enemies without being killed themselves), but this is no longer a viable option. Naturally, this means that any blunders can cause you to replay the same room over and over and over again, made much worse by the new health system. After considerable backlash from fans, Bungie restored the old mechanic for Halo 3's Legendary difficulty setting.
  • In Far Cry 2 , nearly every single mission in the game is set faaaaar from where you actually receive the missions from, amounting to seemingly endless driving (occasionally spiced with gunfights every time you cross through a guard post) in the process. And while there is Instant Travel possible in the form of Bus Stops, these are so few of those inbetween they don't do much to cut out the filler.
  • The Borderlands DLC Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot. Rather than actually create a challenging new clump of story, the designers scratched together three small arenas using leftover textures and models from the game, and make you fight out five rounds in each of them, each round consisting of five waves of about 20 enemies each. So that's 75 waves of enemies to pass a quest that gives you relatively little experience, a paltry amount of new guns, and 10 gamer points.
    • If you want the other 115 gamer points you paid for, you have to sit through over THREE HUNDRED waves in the advanced challenges - which still take place in the same three arenas. Even worse, it holds you back with multiple examples of Fake Difficulty, like taking you back to the start of the PREVIOUS wave if you die, and throwing in random modifiers that inevitably leave you with no shields and your health draining away facing an enemy which can only be injured with headshots. Oh, and the waves start 'doubling up' later on, so once you've cleared five of the enemies, another five spawn in. Towards rounds 15-20 it seems like there are about two to three times the amount of enemies per wave compared to the starting waves.
    • It's been estimated that overall, the DLC pack takes 12–15 hours to complete (assuming you cheat, in which case it's boring - if you don't cheat it's almost impossible), for 3 maps that each take about fifteen seconds to do a complete lap of. The longevity on this is about as inflated as it can get without bursting.
    • The Secret Armory of General Knoxx doesn't fare much better. You spend hours (literally) driving down highways, occasionally leaving the car to infiltrate copy-pasted Crimson Lance toll outposts to deactivate their roadblocks... with the pull of a single lever (Good thing they'll never think about flipping the switch again!). Fridge Logic ensues as you are requested to "remove" two of these roadblocks. If you have to leave your vehicle and take a walking detour between said roadblocks because the road is blocked entirely by debris, how are the rebel trucks supposed to pass through anyway?
    • The real Fake Longevity in Borderlands is the amount of time you will spend walking between locations because your car is made of paper and got blown up again.
  • The earlier Ratchet and Clank games had ridiculous amounts of grinding for weapon XP or cash to pay for weapon upgrades. This became even more obvious by the addition of game-show "arenas" (sometimes more than one per game!) consisting of destroying wave after wave after wave of the same handful of enemies.


  • As the index article describes, the vast majority of both free and subscription MMORPGs have this in spades for various reasons. Subscription games traditionally want to keep players online for as long as possible, while free games want players impatient enough to start Bribing Your Way to Victory. On the other hand, more dedicated players have argued that many Real Life tasks have some degree of longevity or tedium and MMORPGs as 'fantasy life sims' should reflect this fact. It is interesting to note that the genre as a whole is moving towards a faster default advancement rate and making the more spectacular grind rewards completely optional.
  • World of Warcraft used to do this pretty shamelessly. If you wiped in a raid dungeon, you often had to walk for ten minutes only to get back in, and then another thirty to get back to the last boss. Unless the normal enemies started respawning, in which case you have to wait for most people to get back in and kill all of them again. And after some real life days, the entire raid would reset. To say nothing about the "attunements", increasingly elaborate quest chains every player needed to complete to even enter the raid, or the pains of having to buff 40 people individually as a paladin with buffs that only lasted 5 minutes. However, in the expansions these timewasters were reduced severely to make raids more accessible.
    • A similar development took place with ingame cutscenes becoming more commonplace even in normal dungeons. Culling of Stratholme contains nearly 8 minutes of talking, most of it at the very beginning, as well as an Escort Mission segment with a rather slow NPC. Trial of the Champion had a similar introduction but was soon changed so players could choose to skip through the majority of it, with Stratholme being changed to the same concept in the next patch. Newer instances changed the design completely so that you can generally just do your thing while the NPCs talk, though some bosses still have some pre-combat banter you need to sit through before you can actually engage them. Even more notorious than Stratholme was the final boss in Tempest Keep during the Burning Crusade. This boss was considered incredibly complicated even by World of Warcraft standards, and featured a 15 minute scripted opening that had to be repeated every time you attempted the fight, even if it was your 10th time seeing the same fight that day.
    • Flight Paths are another form of fake longievity. While flying is inevitably faster than walking (or ground mounts), Flight Masters often use elaborate, scenic routes. In the past you even had to stop at each Flight Master to pay for the next flight. While some of these problems have been straightened out, even if you're using your own flying mount and the auto-run key it can still take over half-an-hour to fly the length of a continent, munching scenery all the way.
      • It's made more noticable by the way that Zeppellins and Hearthstones are almost instant travels, as are cross-continental ships.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic shipped with at least a couple of notorious bits of Fake Longevity. The first is the infamous Tatooine Jawa balloon, which requires at least 30 minutes riding a balloon to get to a couple of stat-increasing items. This 30 minutes does not include the wait time for the balloon to show up at the one location you can board it. The second problem is the orbital station found at many planets. Instead of being able to land directly on the planet, you're forced to stop at the orbital station and run to a shuttle that will actually take you to the surface. This doubles the number of loading screens you have to sit through to reach your destination. Fan outcry has been sufficient enough to get Bioware to promise both direct planet landings as well as speeder travel on the orbital stations.

Platform Game

  • Braid has its stars, the first two stars in particular. The first star requires you to wait at least thirty minutes before you can jump on a cloud, then wait another hour and a half before you can get the star. Yes, that's two full hours of doing nothing but letting the game run. You cannot save or restart the level during this time or you'll have to start over again. The second star must be obtained before you complete the second world or else you must restart your game to get it. Even worse, the stars are so well hidden they could double as Easter eggs.
  • The indie/freeware game Billy Bob the Cactus Blob 0.5 parodies this with its "crappy invisible maze to extend gameplay".
  • Mirror's Edge often requires the player to complete the same mind-bogglingly easy task over and over while attempting a more difficult challenge. The game also stretches length with long elevator rides, which act as both Loads and Loads of Loading and Unskippable Cutscene. In addition, the player is frequently required to use slow methods of movement, like crawling or climbing ladders, to advance.
  • In I Wanna Be the Guy, the Koopa Clown Car boss is actually three fights in a row. The third boss is on par with the game's usual difficulty. However, the first two forms are trivial to beat. Essentially, it's an unskippable two minute cutscene every single time you fight the boss. And given how many times you'll need to do that before you finally manage to defeat the third form, those two minutes add up very quickly. There is a save point beforehand which requires you to get the sphere first THEN jump back into the room with the save point which alleviates this a bit.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 contains: Ten to fifteen second loading screens before and after cutscenes or new areas, the first of which may take less than four seconds; backtracking through almost every level with every team; Fake Difficulty puzzles (billiards, anyone?) and generally schizophrenic controls which add much onto the twenty hours of gameplay.
    • Sonic Unleashed does away with the load screens (to an acceptable degree), and has fair gameplay, but takes the completely optional collectable medals in 06 and makes them mandatory to unlock new levels. Collection 120 sun medals to play the final day stage will require either excessive replays, slow sleuthing level runs, or doing a ton of sidequests. Oh, and you'll also need over 100 moon medals as well. And Werehog levels may take 20 minutes to beat, each. And don't even mention Eggmanland.
    • Sonic Colors has mercifully pared back much of the fake longevity. Yes it can take excessive replays to get the red rings and the S ranks, but they are completely optional. In fact, you can't use Super Sonic (gotten through the red rings) in boss battles.
    • The Chao Garden in Sonic Adventure 2 (including the Gamecube version). The amount of rings needed to buy things to improve your Chao are staggering. Even if a 0 was lopped off the end of each price, they would still be too expensive. Got an A-Rank on all five missions in every level of the game? You probably still don't have nearly enough rings. As this FAQ writer says, thank goodness for glitches.
  • The Green Stars in Super Mario Galaxy 2. It's Fake Difficulty and Fake Longevity combined. 120 extra stars, which are located in the craziest locations, have no hints on the location save for a very quiet tinkling sound, and THAT THEY ARE SPREAD OUT IN GALAXIES THAT YOU HAVE ALREADY COMPLETED!!? For some people, Grandmaster Galaxy was more preferable. To prove this point, look at the picture on the Fake Difficulty page. Nintendo, you bunch of picky bastards...
    • The first Super Mario Galaxy had this too. The "Super Luigi Galaxy" mode is basically a replay of the game with Luigi's faster running and higher jumping, but less traction.
    • SMG2 had a potential one even after getting all the green stars and beating the regular Grandmaster Galaxy level. After all of this, you still can't play The Perfect Run until there are 9999 star bits in the bank. Fortunately, if you were trying to collect star bits, you'll probably be close or at this amount already, so it's not in Wind Waker territory.
    • Super Mario 3D Land has you have to play every single level as both Mario and Luigi and get gold flags (hit the top of every flag pole in the game at the end of the level) to get stars on your game file and unlock the true final level. If you were prepared beforehand it made it slightly less tedious (by getting the gold flag, star medals and initial level completion in one run), if not you had to play every single level at least three times just to complete the game.

Puzzle Game

  • The browser-based Tetris clone Blockbox [dead link] requires you to complete 15 levels of Classic Mode before you can play any of the Tetris: The Grand Master-like modes. But a player who is good enough to survive for long in the TGM modes will have this licked well within a half hour.
  • The Uru expansion pack The Path of the Shell included a teeth-grating age named Ahnonay, in which a player had to constantly link between the Age's four states of existence (each displaying a greater degree of decay). If that wasn't bad enough, a Relto page hidden in this Age required MUCH more linking than a typical playthrough would.
    • Not to mention, Shell includes, erm, "brilliant" puzzles such as standing in one place for fifteen minutes until a ladder appears. (Thankfully, Myst Online: Uru Live removes a number of the more ridiculous puzzles from "Shell" Ages.)
  • The London Life bonus game in Professor Layton and the Last Specter boasts over 100 hours of gameplay. However, most of those hours will be spent grinding cash for the ridiculously priced Golden Gloves. They cost 99,999,999 wealth.
  • Some of the hardest levels in Chips Challenge are also among the most prolongued, mostly due to the nearly unlimited amount of block pushing.

Racing Games

  • Mario Kart 7 pads out the requirements to unlock kart parts to the extreme. Every part requires you collecting coins to unlock them. Some parts only need a few hundred coins while other parts can only be unlocked every few thousand coins. One of the final parts will force you to get 10,000 coins or more. Have fun playing the same tracks over and over again since you can only hold 10 coins max per race.

Real Time Strategy

  • Variant example: since it's history-based, Empire Earth advertised "500,000 years of gameplay." 450,000 of those years were in the stone age, which (as you can guess) doesn't let you do much.

Rhythm Game

  • DJMAX Online prevented you from playing any songs whose difficulty level was higher than your experience level, forcing you to grind levels to play more difficult songs. This was very frustrating for those experienced with Beatmania or O2Jam, which the 5- and 7-key modes, respectively, played very similarly to.


  • In Nethack, this is Gehennom. A pain beyond comprehension to map-out the standard way due to the presence of maze-like levels on almost every level, demons and even worse monsters than what was fought above, few lit rooms, the worst traps in the whole game everywhere, all of your good strategies start falling apart (pray for nutrition? hah!), and it just keeps going on for a good half of the dungeon. There are many tricks to making it to the bottom quickly but, once you're done with your business down there, you have to climb back up the hard way.
    • On the soft side, Gehennom is behind a rather long series of random generated dungeons with plenty of interesting stuff, so at least it doesn't have to be tackled too often. On the hard side (that is obviously related to this trope), when trying to climb up from the bottom, one should be carrying the amulet that causes random level teleportations downwards - among other nasty things.

Role Playing Game

  • Star Control II, hours and hours of flying through hyperspace so you can try to mine a few more metals? Seriously, some hyperspace "jumps" took upwards of ten minutes of just watching your ship fly in a straight line.
    • Of course, once you get the Portal Spawner you can skip around 90% of that (and save a fortune in fuel). Experienced players are sure to do so early on, and it streamlines the entire game. But like many of the sidequests in that game, you will only find out the thing even exists if you investigate cryptic hints and gossip from the dialog trees.
  • Basically any JRPG that features grinding.
  • The DS versions of the Digimon World games take this to rarely seen levels. Let's see...
    • Forced Level Grinding: In these games, increasing stats require the player to digivolve and degenerate their Digimon back and forth. Not only you'll have to level up your digimon (which start to take a very long time to do after a while). The original doesn't reset the character's level back to 1, meaning you can't gain stats quickly for a few levels.
    • Random Encounters are taken to ridiculous extremes. Instead of triggering randomly, they will ALWAYS happen after some time between 4 and 6 SECONDS of walking, and they take about thirty seconds to one minute or more depending of your power. And no, you can't avoid random battles. It's bad on it's own, but couples with...
    • ...maze-like areas, this becomes hell. And to make things WORSE, in missions in which you must talk with more than one character, the second won't appear until the first was met. And the second may be in the area BEFORE the first, so if you keep going forward, you won't find the character.
  • Braska's Final Aeon from Final Fantasy X. Notoriously difficult final boss, and every time you fight him, you have to go through the scene where you grab the ten crystals while avoiding icicles, and then a long unskippable cutscene.
    • Yunalesca. For Yevon's sake, Yunalesca. As difficult if not more so than Braska, and with an equally long cutscene preceding her fight.
    • And then there's the Den of Woe in Final Fantasy X-2, with a whole string of bosses proceeded by an even longer unskippable cutscene with an FMV in the middle.
    • The cutscenes in general tend to be rather long, exposition heavy, and plentiful. And they are all unskippable. New players may enjoy it, but experienced ones would kill for a Skip button.
  • Mario & Luigi: Partners In Time. The final battles involve a cut scene, then a spaceship fight mini game, then another cut scene, then a boss battle, then more cut scene(s), then a true final boss battle, then another mini cut scene and the hardest phase of the final boss battle.
    • ...then a fake ending, then the real, actual, we mean it this time part of the final battle! (Thankfully, you can save at the fake ending.)
  • Pokémon battles, especially in the later generations, are so flippin' slow it boggles the mind. It's not even that they take that long—once you get further along in the game, most of your Mons can destroy any basic enemy in one or two hits. And it still takes a frustratingly long time to beat any battle.
    • The Fight Woosh is particularly obnoxious, since it can't be disabled and easily accounts for half of the time you spend in caves or tall grass.
    • Diamond and Pearl were the biggest offenders, to the point that one of the main features of Platinum is that the game is notably faster. The battles were insanely slow, even when disabling the animations, and you couldn't skip anything with the buttons. In fact, if you wanted to use the buttons instead of the stylus, you had to press them twice. If that's not enough for you, remember that Surfing was as slow as regular walking. In a water route with loads of trainers with several Pokémon each, you could easily get your whole team knocked out in desperation. Thank god for Repel...
    • And Black and White FINALLY address this by having HP drain being near instant, so battles are now so fast it's been compared to taking a battle in Diamond and Pearl and putting it on fast forward several times over. And without animations, battles are practically just as fast as you can read and push buttons.
    • Pokémon Stadium eases the pain by having unlockables that can double and quadruple your game speed when you play in the Game Boy Tower.
    • In Generation I, you had to spend a few minutes watching the credits roll through (after beating the Elite Four) before the game was saved. Changed in later games so the game would save before the credits, but every time you would level grind a little against the E4, you would still have to listen to their speeches, which is mindnumbingly boring after, well, once.
    • In Pokémon Fire Red and Leaf Green, in order to get the National Dex to reach islands 4 through 7, rebattle the Elite Four, and trade with Hoenn you need to obtain 60 of the 151 Pokémon found in Kanto. Nowhere in the game is the number 60 implied [1] and without trading with another remake, or catching as many as you can as you go, it will still take a good hour or two to get 60 darn species.
    • Of course, 60 is relatively easy if you've been catching things the entire game. You'd have to be trying, or doing a challenge run, to not have 60 or close to that by the end.
    • In DPPt you need to see every Pokémon in the Sinnoh Dex to activate Pal Park, which lets you retrieve your old Pokémon from the GBA games. This task basically amounts to "realize which Trainer battles you skipped and spend hours trying to find them.
  • To summarize the endgame of Final Fantasy III (both DS and NES version):
    • Last Inn, Long Dungeon, Last Save Point, Long Dungeon, Long Cutscene, Difficult Boss, Long Dungeon with 4 bosses, Difficult Final Boss. Die at the final boss and you've wasted 3-4 hours! (you cannot backtrack to the savepoint any time after the first boss in the sequence). It's even worse when you actually get to the final boss and discover it has one attack: Flare Wave (Particle Beam in the remake), which does 2000+ damage to all your characters every round. If you're level 50 (which takes some time), that's more than half your max HP.
  • Final Fantasy XII with the absolute waste of time that is traveling on foot from Rabanastre to Archades.
    • This part is a subversion of the classic Dungeon-Cutscene-Village formula, first, this is a case of averting Gameplay and Story Segregation, since the characters have a good reason to travel by foot while they have an airship: they are wanted fugitive and their airship is a stolen Archadian prototype, second, if you decide to not do every sidequests, this part is relatively short: the main difference is that this part completely invert the cutscene-gameplay ratio: before you reach Archades, you will see one mandatory cutscene and maybe one optional cutscene, while exploring five to seven regions.
    • The Quickenings, while not all that long if only one is launched, really start to become tedious when launching a giant chain of them.
    • Mark hunting, though (almost) entirely optional, can be prone to this. Some of the Marks you search for require extensive Dungeon Crawling (or re-crawling), Level Grinding, and searching for hidden items and pathways. Even finding some of the marks can be a hassle (Montblanc's wonderfully vague information on the whereabouts of "Belito" come to mind).
    • Barheim passage, for the 'wandering through pointless side passages' to find the gate switches.
  • Final Fantasy XI manages to combine this with Forced Level Grinding by having achievements for maxing out each individual class. It can take months to achieve level 75 with one class, there are 20 of these achievements.
    • It gets worse. There's also a 30G achievement for completing a relic weapon, which takes years to do, requiring millions upon millions of in-game currency (or real money, if you're that desperate). All of the achievements, when the game was released, required at least one 75 job to achieve (things like gaining maximum rank for all three nations, completing expansion story lines, clearing several endgame areas), and it can easily take a year for a new player to reach the maximum level, let alone clear all the missions. The problem was slightly alleviated when the Wings of the Goddess expansion brought with it 250 more points, most of which for things that were actually attainable in a reasonable amount of time for the average player (acquiring a subjob or getting a chocobo license - levels 18 and 20, respectively). Even still, it takes insane amounts of dedication if you really want that 1250/1250 score for Final Fantasy XI. Probably the worst part is that every achievement is secret, meaning that nobody who hasn't already done the things you've done will even know that you did them, removing the entire point of the achievements completely. Game Informer found a guy who had 1250 gamerpoints in the game and interviewed him. He said "It wasn't worth it."
    • The achievements weren't actually part of the original release and only available in the least popular version of the game.
  • Finding all six of the orbs in Dragon Quest III without a walkthrough is near-impossible, as they're scattered all over the world map, and the only hints you have are random tidbits of information from various townsfolk and a flute that you can play to see if an orb is in the area. This can lead to a lot of wandering.
    • Enix LOVES this trope, at least with its Dragon Quest games. Many of the games (1,2,6,7) have loads and loads of grinding (1 has been mathematically shown to be unwinnable under any remotely normal conditions[2] until level 17, as the final boss does more damage than you can heal until then). Pretty much all of them feature hordes of boring random battles that are usually very easy to beat, but take a long time to actually fight (and 8 adds slow and unskippable animations into the mix), endless Non Sequitur Scene style fetch quests, which involve randomly running around trying to find the person you need to talk to (often several), and then figuring out the bizarre and illogical places you need to use Quest items. Thankfully averted in Dragon Quest Monsters, removing all the inane quests, speeding up the battle system, and making the random battles mean something. Joker still has long animations though.
  • Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land gets it due to slow combats you can only skip by physically avoiding the enemy, which isn't always possible. Even running will waste about 15 seconds or so each time. Combat rounds often take a minute or more start to finish.
  • A minor example is the White SeeD Ship in Final Fantasy VIII. You're given very vague directions: an inlet on a continent that's nothing but inlets. There are no battles or time limit to give this any challenge, you really are just wandering aimlessly until you stumble upon the location where the next bit of plot happens. Or Google a map because you can't be bothered with mindless filler.
  • In the original set of .hack// games, Virus Core hunting. You want to crack on with the story? Sorry, you need to go and Data Drain a bunch of trivial enemies in the hopes that they randomly drop the Virus Cores needed to get into the area.
  • The final boss of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories has a predictable and repetitive pattern of easy-to-avoid attacks. Unfortunately, you can only hurt him during a small time window at one point in the pattern. And he has four health bars.
  • In Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation, later Bosses often take utterly ludicrous amounts of damage to bring down. In a game where 10000 HP is extremely good for a playable character, bosses can easily have hundreds and hundreds of thousands of HP. And more often than not, they have various energy fields that significantly reduce the amount of damage they take per attack.
    • Not to mention the often overly long attack animations. This was especially bad in early installments when they couldn't be skipped.
    • The series is kind compared to many games in that each section of text appears all at once rather than slowly scrolling in. However, while you can button-mash through cut scenes, you can't skip them altogether, except in the latest games, and even then it's only the intermissions. You can fast-forward them at least.
  • Although it is an optional area, the Flopside Pit of 100 Trials in Super Paper Mario will not give any reward for clearing it the first time. Instead, you are informed that you will be only be rewarded if you complete it again.
  • Tales of Symphonia advertises "80 hours of gameplay!" on the box. This is because the actual storyline of the game takes about forty hours to beat on a normal playthrough, and then there's a New Game+.
  • Mass Effect is a good example of this. To get all of the achievements, especially the ally achievements, requires no less than 3 playthroughs. And these aren't the "do whatever is necessary to get to the end of the game" playthroughs, but full playthroughs, requiring doing the side missions as well as the required story missions.
    • In the first game, 100% completion required visiting a ton of planets which consist of a few square kilometers of rocks, crags, and general time-wasting. Some of them have hidden side-quests that have nothing to do with any of the plots. In the same vein, the Plot Tumor Cerberus, which plays a huge role later in the series, is found this way. Most of their bases are hidden on random worlds.
    • BioWare learned their lesson in the sequel; it's possible to get all most of the achievements in one playthrough.
      • But expect to encounter this if you want the Golden Ending. You'll need to gather resources and money beyond the basics by planet-scanning, a feature largely panned by the fans. Despite that, it was generally faster than the Mako sequences it replaced.
  • Lunar: Dragon Song attempted to extend gameplay in addition to "add realism" by adding an option to gain either experience points or items from battle, adding side quests related to Jian and Lucia's job as Gad's Express delivery men and causing minimal but continuous damage when running. The result of this caused many players to groan because all this achieved was making the game more of a chore by having to fight twice as many battles than necessary to gain both items needed for fetch quests and the experience to level up so you won't die trying (with the reminder of many other Role-Playing Games who were perfectly fine length and gameplay-wise with awarding players both items and experience per battle), then caused more to groan at the repetition of said fetch quests, which besides selling items was the only source of money you could get (although fortunately it's still possible to beat the game while skipping the deliveries, bar your first one), and many more to lose patience with the damaged-while-running feature with the helpful reminder that games don't have to be so strict in realism. Top that with the added bonus of having your equipment, accessories, weapons and items having a random chance of being broken (many of the formers) or stolen (the latter) during battle and thus leading you to either have to spam card effects to prevent this (cards of which you'll have to battle tons to farm) or constantly re-purchase or regain missing goods (which involves farming money or the item in question), and it's no wonder Dragon Song doesn't exist in the Lunar series, according to fans.
    • However the battles themselves avert this. It's possible to speed it up by holding L or R to double the speed, or both L and R to triple it. There is also an option of using the Auto mode over Manual mode in battle to skip the time it takes to have the battle pause to ask you what to do with each character, but as Auto mode can't be switched off for the duration of the battle it was activated, and therefore you can't use healing techs or items during Auto mode, it is only reccomended to switch to Auto mode only when you're sure Jian's party could beat the opposing party unaided.
  • Every story enemy in Touhou Pocket Wars has an insane quantity of hit points, and many of them have spammable, repeatable, uncapped "Defense Up" or "Full Heal" abilities. One battle can take an hour, and the AI Roulette is the only thing that makes some of them beatable at all without Level Grinding until you achieve a One-Hit Kill.
  • Valkyria Chronicles II, in regards to the processes of upgrading troops and researching new weapons.
    • Troops start out in a base class. They can upgrade to one of two classes, one of which is a better version of the base, the other a specialization, such as a Scout going to either a Scout Veteran (more HP/movement/evasion) or a Sniper (weaker stats but get a sniper rifle). These two each have their own further upgrades, for a total of 4 level 3 specializations. To convert to a new class, the character has to have acquired a number of credits from being used in various missions, and each of the 4 types of credits (Arms, Attack, Support, March) has 4 different levels (e.g. Arms, Arms X, Arms II, Arms II X). These are randomly distributed at the end of each battle, and while the top 2 performers get more credits than everyone else, they may not get the ones they need, e.g. a troop only needing one more Arms II X instead getting 3 sets of 2 Arms X. While each conversion only takes at most 3 different types of credit (e.g. 3 Arms, 1 Support II, 1 March II X), plus a Certificate or Diploma (distributed like the other credits, but fairly rare for a good portion of the game), it can take a long time to get the right distribution for a good portion of your squad.
    • Each class usually has several different types of weapons, with many specializations having weapons that only they can use. For example, Scouts, Scout Veterans, and Scout Elites use regular rifles, Heavy Scouts use advanced rifles, Snipers use regular sniper rifles, Sniper Elites use advanced sniper rifles, and Anti-Tank Snipers use anti-tank siper rifles. Each type of weapon has a base model that goes from level 1 to level 10 and costs just money to upgrade. There's usually at least 2 other versions of this weapon that have special benefits, such as a rifle that fires 7 shots compared to the standard 5, or a rifle that has lower attack power but can confer negative status effects on enemies. There's 10 levels of each of these, as well. To build one of the non-standard ones, you need a part that's unique to that weapon type; a regular rifle needs some type of Rifle Part, while advanced rifles need some sort of Rifle+ Part, a sniper rifle needs a Sniper Scope, etc. You get one, and only one, of these from beating a battle, which can take anywhere from a few to 15 minutes depending on which one it is. Each battle drops a specific part. There are usually 4 different grades of parts (A-D), with higher grades being used on the higher levels of weapon. You also need materials, which have 5 different levels with 4 different grades (harder battles drop higher grades) and which are also somewhat randomly dropped; while each map type generally gives a specific type of material, you could need 5 more Steel 4 Type B and wind up getting a whole lot of Steel 4 Types A, B, and D. While it's not necessary to upgrade all the weapons (most of them aren't very useful, and weapons dropped by special enemies tend to be better), even getting the ones you want can take much longer than it should because of all the randomness.
  • Fallout 3 has many, many locations only be accessible by going through a subway tunnel. In a couple instances, you must go through at least three tunnels to reach the destination. The subway tunnels are cut and pasted from the same handful of sections with very minimal changes between them. They are also filled with always hostile NPCs. They serve no real purpose, but exist to make quests seem longer. Without the tunnel sections, a lot of quests are about 2 minutes long once you actually reach your destination.
    • The subway tunnels are a necessity due to the game's engine. Having all of the game's overworld as a single unbroken cell would go beyond the limits of the 360's hardware (and probably a good number of users on PC). The subway tunnels allow for Washington DC to be split into multiple map cells with rubble blocking the edges, which are then connected via the subways, which are also separate cells. Oblivion didn't have this luxury, and had obnoxious portions of dynamic loading. New Vegas was designed with similar tricks, as no-clipping above the map will reveal.
  • Skyrim is probably the living embodiment of this trope. About every quest requires you to run a tremendous distance which in turn has a probability to meet randomly spawning dragons, or clear a cave, keep or tomb full of random enemies that mostly aren't even related to this quest's story. There's a chance to kill an enemy with a finishing move forcing you to wait for the animation to end. It also requires you to grind lots and lots of ingredients to level alchemy, which is done by combining those ingredients correctly, thus meeting the criteria for Item Crafting, Grinding and Combinatorial Explosion. Since you've discovered all of Skyrim in a short period of time, running through it again may be considered Back Tracking. Most enemies have a Fake Difficulty, killing the player with two hits unless he's got lots of health potions. While its dungeons are more variable than Oblivion's, they still often look and feel the same, especially if it comes to claw riddles. It's overall promise of 500 hours of game time are only to be achieved by this trope.
    • It's most noticable in any quest where a fellow faction member offers to show you to your "quarters", which is usually down a long hallway that they've decided to slowly walk to. Or if a scripted scene has all the essential characters talking and marked "busy". "Waiting" usually doesn't help since these are scripted events.
    • Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter had would not show all the various plot-expounding cutscenes on the first playthrough. Or the second. No, if you wanted to actually see all of the plot, you were expected to play through the game three full times. This wasn't that the game forced you to pick between seeing two different things to create a sort of branching story, or requiring certain in-game conditions to have been met so that a skilled player could see it all in one go. It would instead just count the number of times you'd played through and would only show you the plot details if you had the required number of completions when you reached the part of the game that would trigger it.

Simulation Game

  • The most common accusation leveled against The Sims 2: University is that getting a Sim through college is a needlessly long and tedious project. Really, the same thing could have been achieved with two semesters instead of eight.
  • All of the Animal Crossing games do this when you have to pay off your house. Each upgrade to the house has a bigger price tag than the last, which will resort to you farming fruit, bugs, fish, and fossils for quick money and collecting random junk you receive from neighbors in order to sell them for money. There are also the stalk market (selling turnips for a profit) and planting money bags with the Golden Shovel in order to make a one time money tree, but those are generally risky and could make the player lose out on everything they invested.
    • You could just input an item code in Tom Nook's shop for 300 Turnips each day. Much like forgery, this can get you money very quickly. Unlike forgery, you will never be penalized. Unfortunately, this only removes money as a pad, there's still fishing, insect catching, and making your town "perfect" for the illusive Golden Tools.
  • Airforce Delta Strike plays this straight with the Stand-By missions. Fortunately, they're skippable.
  • Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns annoyed long-time players of the series by limiting farm upgrades to once a month, then making it so that storyline requests (like clearing the tunnel between the titular towns) take priority. Ditto for tools. It can take more than three in-game years to upgrade your tools and farm. Did we mention there are two farms - each of which has equipment the other doesn't? And you can only work on one of those farms at a time? One Hundred Percent Completion can upwards of eight in-game years (In most other HM games, this would take five at the most).

Stealth Based Game

  • Assassin's Creed I is a notorious offender at this with the flag collection and Templar killing side quests/achievements. 420 small flags spread across the game, which are not always easy to see, let alone reach. In addition 60 Templar Knights are also spread out and hidden around.
  • Okay, so, it's probably an honour it is not mentioned here, but what about Metal Gear Solid? Long cutscenes, at times annoying bosses, eternally lying around until the ward gets in the right position to shoot hm? If it was a mere hit and run game it'd be done in two or so hours, just rushing through and killing whatever gets in your way. (Okay, bosses might be trouble)
    • Well, you can skip cutscenes and even run and gun your way through everything; the game doesn't reward this, though. Having to backtrack to the armory for the sniper rifle, however, is an example of this (Snake even lampshades it).
      • The Gamecube remake made this part mercifully shorter. Instead of going all the way to the armory, just hit floor B1 in the Nuke Storage Building (which you'd be going through anyway). There's a tranquilizer version of the sniper rifle, which is more than good enough to take on Sniper Wolf. There are even hints that it will be there shortly before your fight with Mantis - the ammo for it shows up before the weapon itself does.
    • There's also a section near the end of the game where you're required to input three cards to deactivate a weapon. The only way to get the two cards you don't enter with is to travel, manually, back to previous sections of the game and wait there until you get the card required. Again, a quicker option was included in the GameCube version.
    • While it may be an optional thing, collecting all the Dog Tags for a perfect game on the Gamecube version, much like the sequel, requires you to play through all five difficulties. If you miss one, play it again. Thankfully they're only for bragging rights.
    • Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker was notoriously bad for utilizing this. Hope you like or at least tolerate doing Vehicle battles, because in order to get everything in the game (such as design specs, your own vehicle units, and even emblems supplying you with bragging rights), you are definitely going to need to do this about fifty times, if not more. Also, unlike Portable Ops, which at least gives you the challenge of not knowing where to find enemies, and thus making Sneaking a lot more "fun" and realistic, and make you even more cautious at how to get them, the enemy placements are never randomized, meaning you can easily sneak through with relatively little caution. In fact, the only real challenge in regards to sneaking missions is the Hold Up and Perfect Stealth Extra Ops missions. And to get Mother Base and its sections to full capacity, you need to do some firing and recruiting either directly or via AP scanning, and the only chance you have at actually getting a random ranked soldier is to do AP scanning, and even then, only via the Recruit option, as most of the soldiers on the map have the exact same stats. You also need high stats just to get the Mother Base to full status.
    • Several weapons designs require an S-rank. Also, several of them also require specific jobs to even be developed. Several of the goodies (namely items such as uniforms and design specs) are randomized in the Outer Ops missions, meaning that you are most likely going to have to do several retries just to get them. Fortunately, if you reset the game when you get it, every time it still rewards you, which proves to be quite beneficial (although still annoying at times) if you want to reset because you lost some of your men.
  • Do you like the Monster Hunter missions? Do you? Do you also like or at least tolerate Grinding? Well, you certainly won't if you are intending to get certain pieces of the monsters themselves to get the design specs for certain weapons, as they will at the very least be an annoying chore, and at worst will also be nightmarishly long and induce a huge amount of swears. Also, trying to get S-ranks in those missions to gain certain uniforms will also prove to be quite a chore, because not only do you need to tranquilize the main monsters in question, but you also have to do so under a certain time limit, and unlike the Vehicle commanders, there is absolutely no way to tell if the anesthetic rounds are having any effect on the monster or even how much stamina overall you actually took away.
    • Trying to actually develop new weapons proves to be quite a chore, since they usually take quite a while to develop, especially if the levels match exactly. It gets even more excruciating when trying to develop weapons and equipment that require a tech level/med level/soldier level/intel level/mess hall level of 99, in which the level of progress is between 1% and 2%, maybe 3% if you are really lucky, meaning you have to have at least 33 missions to accomplish, if not 50 or 100 missions. It can also prove to be longer if a member of a unit required for a weapon/equipment's development has to call in sick, and don't even think about firing them while it is still in development.
    • You also have to obtain several emblems for your player name. Most of them also require time in CO-OPs and Versus mode. The single player emblems also are not exempt from the difficulty. With items that indicate doing multiple things, you usually have to do them 50-250 times, maybe over 1000 to get an emblem for undetected stealth, Monster Hunting, and the like, of which you also have to get three emblems each with an increasing rank just to get them, and you have to master in all of the weapons of a category to get emblems relating to mastering a specific weapon, again some necessitating the use of CO-OPs to even level up easily, as otherwise they are difficult to level up (or in the case of the Human Slingshot Band, downright impossible in absolutely every sense of the word). Some of the emblems even require that you do several missions to get, and also these same emblems will also not count missions such as weapons training missions, perfect stealth (in the case of undetected stealth) and others. One emblem even requires you to pretty much undo all the hard work you did in building up Mother Base and the development of MSF by firing most of the males, putting the key male characters in storage, and then replacing them with an almost entirely female crew. Some emblems can only be unlocked by getting a certain amount of emblems or codenames. To get Mother Base Master, you need to not only build Mother Base's up completely, even have all of the teams at the 99th level, but you also need to procure or develop absolutely everything. The only good thing is that procuring Uniforms doesn't count under that requirement.
      • Codenames are also just as bad, and usually there is absolutely no way to even know about how to actually get these emblems as they are mostly random, and you can't really even tell how much of a specific type or range of weapon you've actually used under which category of disposing the enemy. You most likely also have to hunt for the same codenames again just to increase their rank.
      • Try getting all the parts for Metal Gear ZEKE, including the Custom's heads. The closest thing to a consistent definition is that you don't damage the parts beyond 90 percent, and even then, actually getting certain parts (most notably the armor, though the boosters, rail gun, radome, PW legs, and especially the AI heads would qualify as well) is completely random. You might never hit any of the parts and yet still not unlock it. The AI chips are also of no exception, as they are completely randomized, and you can't even hope to get them all under a one minute time limit, and a few times you might not even find any new chips in there.
      • In order to get the phone call, you need to accomplish every single mission in Extra Ops, Main Ops, and possibly Outer Ops. Yes, that means you also have to do the dates with Paz and Kazuhira missions, the latter of which is also quite a turn-off for several people due to the... implications in that mission.
      • This is all just stuff in the actual game as well. Don't even get started on DLC content, which not only is shown to have a hard time trying to get due to server problems in certain stores, but even when you do somehow unlock the DLC content, the soldiers that come with the items generally have horrible stats, and sometimes if you download the content from the internet, for some reason it just never downloads.

Survival Horror

The first three entries in the Silent Hill series never take a very long time to replay; much time will be spent checking which doors are open, locked, or unable to be opened period, checking the map, and figuring out Guide Dang It puzzles.

Third Person Shooter

  • The Gears of War games are absolutely insane about this. To get 100% Completion for the achievements requires: hosting (not just playing) one hundred matches, getting one hundred kills with each weapon, and getting a total online body count of ten thousand (Gears 1); racking up one hundred thousand kills across all modes and reaching level 100 (Gears 2); and earning every onyx medal, which requires (among others) six thousand kills with various weapons in versus modes and six thousand matches in each versus game type (Gears 3).

Wide Open Sandbox

  • Saints Row and Saints Row 2 are big offenders. While they are Wide Open Sandbox games, they also require you to do side-missions or other activities to earn "Respect", which is spent in order to play the main story missions, essentially making the game seem longer than it really is.
    • However, this was done away with in Saints Row: The Third, as respect is used instead to unlock upgrades for your character and you can do story missions any time you want.
  • Both Endless Ocean games are big offenders. The first asks that you find each animal on three separate dives to complete the encyclopedia, and the second requires you to save a million of the ingame currency to re-open the last area.
  • Red Dead Redemption has a habit of quests requiring you (for various reasons) to finish quests on the opposite side of the map from where you started them. This usually results in double Fake Longevity as you are forced to follow an NPC from the starting point, across the map to where the mission takes place, and then, once the mission is complete, to run all the way back to the original starting point in order to start the next mission.
  • Crackdown also fits into this with 800 orbs and mini challenges like races to tour the 3 districts

Video Games - Aversions

Rhythm Game

Role Playing Game

  • EarthBound averted this by having your party automatically win and gain EXP from enemies they could realistically defeat by breathing on. Such monsters will also run away from the party, and sneaking up on them from behind when they do this makes it even easier to automatically win a battle with them.
    • On a similar note, in the sequel to Earthbound Mother 3, monsters you could easily kill will also run away from you, and if dashed into will be knocked aside instead of triggering a battle screen. However, you don't get any EXP or money from them. (This was done because in the previous game it was waaaay too easy to go someplace with enemies that ran from you, auto-win the battles, and gain free EXP and money, thus breaking the game wide open.)
  • Some Suikoden games also feature the auto-win mechanism similar with what's described above. The party can obtain the ability to slaughter cheap mooks quickly, keeping all the (negligible) EXP and items while not wasting time.
  • Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter also features enemies you can defeat outside of battle if you get the first attack on them while walking around. In addition, though it depends on New Game+ for its longevity, additional cutscenes based on how well you played the previous run make it worthwhile to play through again.
  • The Paper Mario RPGs had the ability to skip easy battles with a badge. Unfortunately, the badge cost valuable badge points. You can also avoid battles.
  • The Super Robot Taisen series often uses overly long attack animations that after a while can add a sense of fake longevity. Newer games, however, avert this by making the attack animations so awesome to watch and visually appealing that you no longer mind sitting through them over and over.
    • Er... Also, you can turn animations off, or skip them mid-attack. Or in newer games, fast-forward them.
  • The World Ends With You utilizes Preexisting Encounters that you activate by using the scan feature and touching Noise symbols to begin battle. As a result, the only battles you need to fight are plotline battles and when an objective requires it (i.e. making the Gatito brand the #1 brand, which you make so by fighting enemies with the Red Skull Pin equipped). However, if you decide to avoid battles, prepare to be bit in the ass when you face later bosses.
  • Elder Scrolls: Oblivion both averts the trope and plays it straight at the same time. On the one hand, the sandbox world allows an awesome degree of exploration and many side-quests to find. On the other hand, the main quest/plotline is about four hours long. And to make things even more confusing, partaking in the length-enhancing activities is optional and does not contribute anything to your ability to complete the main quest. In fact, due to a lopsided case of Rubber Band AI and Empty Levels, it is easier to finish the game if you do so as early as possible and without distractions than it is after some secondary adventuring. The end result is that there is a lot of longevity present, but it is only "fake" when taken in the context of the main plot.
    • This is actually one of the biggest complaints Fan Haters level at Oblivion while trumpeting the superiority of Morrowind, and the first thing the most popular Game Mod overhauls (either by 'fixing' the leveling system, or removing it entirely).
  • Pokémon has Repel so you can avoid most wild battles.
    • However, Repel works based on the level of your Pokemon on top of your party list VS the general level of the wild Pokemon in the area. If you really want to get to some place without any encounters, put your highest level Pokemon in the top slot. The way Repel works does have an advantage that ends up saving time, however—starting with Pokémon Gold and Silver, some legendary Pokémon would roam the overworld among randomly encountered Pokémon and using a Repel would make it easier to encounter them if they end up in an area with lower-level Pokémon if the top party member was at a level higher than regular random encounters but lower than the roaming Pokémon. Until Pokémon Diamond and Pearl added the ability to see where they were before running into them (originally they could only be tracked if they're seen once, they run away, and their location is checked in the Pokédex), this made finding them easier.
  • Mana Khemia and its sequel allow you to defeat weak enemies instantly by slashing at them with your sword. You don't get EXP but you do get items so it's worth it.
  • Shadow Hearts Has a near subversion, one of the side quests is the Man Festival in what appears to be a 100 level dungeon of nothing but fights. After the 26th battle you skip to the 89th. A title card explans how the party fought through the previous 63 levels.
  • Similar to the above example, Super Paper Mario also subverts this with an area where it appears you will have to fight 100 Sammer Guys in a row to get the Pure Heart. Then Mimi shows up around number 25, stalls you with a boss fight, and then THE ENTIRE WORLD IS DESTROYED. You still survive though (somehow).

Web Original

  1. though Professor Oak wants you to catch as many as possible and his aides reward you with certain rewards at lower numbers
  2. "the enemy misses every attack, always uses an attack that can miss and you always hit for max damage" makes it possible much lower, but that's only even remotely viable for a Tool Assisted Speedrun