The Dev Team Thinks of Everything

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
No, really. Write anything.[1]

(Sheldon is learning to drive with a custom-made simulator)
Leonard: How did you manage to get on the second floor of the Glendale Galleria?
Sheldon: I don't know, I was on the Pasadena Freeway, missed my exit, flew off the overpass and... one thing led to another.
(Both flinch as screeching tires and a crash is heard, followed by animal noises like barks and meowing)
Leonard: Aw, the pet store...
Sheldon: Remind me to compliment Wolowitz on the software, it's amazingly detailed.

Some games keep a tight rein on the player's capacities. Others never realise in time the full scope of the Combinatorial Explosion and break like a fragile twig the first time a creative player gets a grip on them. Only a brave few dare try and respond wittily and internally-consistently to absolutely everything a player could try.

The point at which we can say The Dev Team Thinks of Everything is when there are strange circumstances, tricks, combos, Sequence Breakers, etc. and not only has the Developer (Dev) team anticipated them, but they put in special content just in case. Stopping players from Sequence Breaking with Invisible Walls, convenient blockades, a guard NPC that doesn't let you pass, etc., for instance, doesn't qualify because even though they anticipated you would try this, they didn't exactly give you special content for trying. On the other hand, if entering the castle you weren't supposed to reach yet awards you a brand new cutscene where you are told "Congratulations, you have broken the game's script! Now back to where you belong!", that DOES qualify. It also doesn't count as The Dev Team Thinks of Everything if the content is set up in such a way that they are clearly baiting you to try this, such as leaving a severed head lying on the ground and a basketball hoop nearby. It might count, however, if they let you carry the severed head and there is a basketball court several levels later. It definitely counts if you have to do the obvious trick without the game containing a throw mechanic. Similarly, content that is merely hidden wouldn't be The Dev Team Thinks of Everything either - that's just an Easter Egg, Secret Level, etc.

To truly qualify as The Dev Team Thinks of Everything, however, this shouldn't just happen in one or two occasions in the game, but instead happen so often that you really would think "the Dev team thinks of everything."

Coined by the Nethack community, due to the game's open-source design and long turnover between versions encouraging the proliferation of Easter Eggs—maybe half the game's source code, by weight.

See also Crazy Prepared, Artificial Brilliance and Genius Programming. Compare The Producer Thinks of Everything, where the creators of a TV show seem to have planned out very, very far ahead.

Examples of The Dev Team Thinks of Everything are listed on these subpages:
Examples of The Dev Team Thinks of Everything include:

Other Video Game Examples

Action Adventure

  • Metroid Fusion has the notorious shinespark Sequence Break Cutscene, viewable here. This was an unexpectedly difficult task for a Nintendo game. The game itself acknowledges this, praising the player for their high skill, and actually wondering how many players would see the cutscene.
    • It should be noted though that this message is actually possible to reach without needing to do the ridiculously fidgety Shinepark trick. The developers obviously didn't think that anyone could hit the puffers just before the Diffusion missiles with regular ice missiles without them puffing up. You can.
      • Actually, there's a second part to the message that was shown during the SGDQ. Talk to the AI again. Your boss tells you to go back on the correct path. It would be impossible to tell which method you used to go to that path unless the game could actually detect your actions.
    • Metroid Prime 3 also has a Timed Mission in which a meteor is about to crash into the planet, and at one point you catch a glimpse of it as you move through an outdoor area. If you stay put and watch the meteor instead of moving on, it will slowly move through the sky, speeding up in the last 10 seconds or so as it crashes towards the ground. Made better by the fact that there is no onscreen countdown, so players may not realize the mission is actually timed and watch the meteor just to see what, if anything, happens to it.
    • In Metroid Prime, if a regular or Fission Metroid drains enough of your energy, it will explode. The developers put a lot of thought into how Samus' suit works; those symbols for changing beams are the hand gestures she needs to make, as verified when the player has the X-Ray Visor on. If Samus is hit and throws up her hands with said Visor, the player can see the bones in her arm. With the thermal visor, the Ice Beam and Plasma Beam are visibly hot and cold. If a bright light flashes near Samus, the player can briefly see the reflection of her eyes on the inside of her visor, complete with blinking and looking around. And so on.
      • It's also possible they accounted of Sequence Breaking since Thardus, the boss of Phendrana Drifts, is extremely weak to the Plasma Beam, a weapon you shouldn't even have until quite a bit later.
  • In Okami, near the beginning of the game, you are to pick up Susano from his hut, and carry him a short distance to destroy a boulder. However, all of the villagers in the city have something to comment (usually of how Susano should be training instead of messing around with a dog), and even dragging him to the Shrine of Nagi nets you a special comment.
    • For that matter, you can do lots of random things with your brush before you get certain brushstrokes (usually limited to creating flowers or such, but it also changes the more previous brushstrokes you have).
    • If you try to call the sun before you reach the high point of the village, Issun will ask what you're trying to accomplish by drawing a circle in the sky. Later after you've 'learned' the technique he'll reference your earlier attempt and ask if you're witholding any other techniques.
  • A segment near the end of Cave Story has your character briefly wear a Mimiga Mask to infiltrate the Plantation. Although he traded his jetpack for it, he can still go around, complete a certain sidequest and even finish the game without trading the mask back, changing pretty much all the NPCs reaction to his appearance.

Action Game

  • The Development Team of Asura's Wrath really thought up of really clever ways of how to implement Action Commands and QTE's in rather unique ways. All the QTE's mimic all the action taken on screen, with the main Synchronic Impacts made to to time your press with the special actions taken on screen. This really comes into play in the DLC Part IV: Nirvana, where the QTE's get even more complicated,including multi hit presses made to show that Asura is punching really fast.
  • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, if in solving one of the Joker's puzzles you don't do things in the order you're expected to - for example, taking off a ventilation duct grate before moving towards the stairs to make your job easier - the Joker will lampshade it, saying something like "Reading the last page first? That's almost cheating!"
    • Better yet, during the third Scarecrow scene, you're presented with a cutscene. Where you can normally press A to bring up a message reading "Skip: B" in the corner, allowing you to skip it, since you're temporarily playing as the Joker, the message reads "Skip: J". Glorious stuff.
  • Batman: Arkham City takes it Up to Eleven. For example, the enemy chatter will change depending on who you're controlling. For example, as Robin, the mooks will mock the player for being a kid, and Batman's not around to help him. Not that said mooks won't soon be unconscious soon...
    • If you use Detective Mode while fighting The Joker, you'll find out far earlier than you find out otherwise that he has no bones, and is therefore actually Clayface.
    • Early on in the game, there is a riddler trophy in a cage connected to two question marks. You're SUPPOSED to wait until you get a certain item later in the game to beat it, but its actually possible to get it immediately by standing on the target, using a quick batarang to hit the first target, then quickly switching to the remote controlled batarang, throwing it, boosting it to get it past the bars, then braking it and waiting for the second question mark to light up. The Riddler will then complain at you for cheating.

Adventure Game

  • Full Throttle gave you a boxful of mechanical bunnies intended for clearing a path through a minefield. If you had any left over later, you could chop them up for fun with the help of a large truck's engine fan.
    • Left over? You can go back to the shop after a certain point and gank a second box of the things! In fact, "Ride of the Valkyries" is playing while you do it.
    • There is also a scene where you're attempting to operate the computer console of an out of control jumbo-jet screaming down the highway (It Makes Sense in Context). Most options lead to "Computer damaged, unable to comply." If you try to select "Access Adult Movies", the screen begins to flash "Loading..." before hitting you again with the error message. Bastards.
  • The Quest for Glory series had a ton of these, especially amusing for players who think of particularly creative ways to get themselves killed. If you play as a thief, you start out with a lock pick in your inventory. If you type "pick nose", the hero will stick the lock pick up his nose and die, and you will get a game over. However, if your lock-picking skill is high enough, you will get a message that says, "Success! Your nose is now open!". Later games have the game reply "Success!" with the same sound effect the player hears when picking a lock. This also increases your lock picking skill.
    • The games also provided a lot of random, snarky descriptions for mundane objects that the player could examine.
      • While Quest for Glory IV was an Obvious Beta on the programming side, the writing department was clearly not slouching. Among other things, every single item in the game has its own message when you try to use it on yourself instead of a generic "that does not work" message. For example, trying to use a wooden stake meant for vampire slaying on yourself will cause the narrator to berate you for mixing up "stake" and "steak".
    • If you type "put down lamp" instead of "use lamp" in Quest for Glory II, it uses the colloquial meaning of "put down" and shows your character insulting the lamp before placing it on the ground.
    • True of any Sierra adventure game in the Text Parser era. For example.
    • Even their later point & click adventures have this aspect. King's Quest VI has Alexander Breaking the Fourth Wall to yell at the player if they made him fall repeatedly during one sequence (if he wasn't killed by said fall).
  • In the Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy text adventure, it is necessary to the plot at one point to "enjoy Vogon poetry". Earlier, you can "enjoy mud" (it's nice and squishy!), but if you try enjoying Ford, you are sternly told that this isn't that type of game. Additional fun can be had by inputting random words into the Guide - it has entries on some very unlikely things.
    • Often the game will refer you to a footnote (Like SEE FOOTNOTE 9), and when you type "footnote 9" it tells you something. If you keep on going through the footnotes (Trying footnote 10, 11, 12, etc) eventually you get a string of "There is no footnote (number)", until you finally get "It's fun reading all the footnotes, isn't it?"
  • Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, being the first Sierra game to be publicly playtested, included a wide variety of possible inputs to any situation, often with comedic responses: During playtesting, the developers would take note of various phrases used by players in certain situations, and think of new ways for the game to react to it. For a particularly amusing example, typing the command "masturbate" at any time would result in the prompt "The whole idea was to stop doing that, Larry!"
  • In Grim Fandango, you can use the "Pick Up" command on several NPCs and have it be interpreted as an attempt to, well, pick them up. For example, when the command is used on a female former co-worker, Manny replies "I guess I could, now that we're not working together."
    • Similarly, if you try to "Use" your abusive crew in the first Monkey Island, Guybrush will say "They're not the only ones being used around here." There's also a scene where you can click on the sun with your default "walk to" command equipped, and Guybrush will remark "Oh, sure. Walk to the sun."
      • Monkey Island also has a few "pick up" jokes like the one above. In The Curse of Monkey Island you can try it on Griswold and Guybrush says "I don't indiscriminately pick up bartenders." And several with Captain Kate in LeChuck's Revenge.
  • In Space Quest 4, there is a one-in-a-million chance that any given player will figure out how to pick up the bunny in the first part of the game, and then while being shot at later pull out the bunny and use it on the shooting Mook. This has not only a response, it has a voiceover reading it: "Don't throw the bunny at the Sequel Policeman! He might have a hare-trigger!"
    • At one point, you end up having to delete some files from a computer. One of the files is named SQ4. If you delete it the game simply quits.
    • In the second game there is a spike pit in the first jungle scene, hidden under a false sod. If you try to LOOK AT TRAP the game will berate you for being paranoid. It will only do this in the screen with said trap.
  • In Star Trek: The Kobayashi Alternative, a text adventure, typing in swear words gets the NPC's to react with shock, and typing them in three times in a row causes McCoy to cart you off to Sickbay for a Nonstandard Game Over (since you've obviously gone insane, poor soul).
  • Zork responds to commands such as "win" and "die", and characters react to the phrase "Hello, Sailor".
    • In Zork II, at one point you come across a room containing naught but a giant bucket. If you should type "kick bucket" while trying to Get Ye Flask, the parser helpfully replies, "Kick the bucket? OK, if you insist. *** You have died *** "
    • "Eat", 'Eat what?', "Eat Self", 'auto-cannibalism is not the answer'
    • "Count Blessings" results in "Well, you're playing Zork, for one..."
  • Peasants Quest (a text based game on Homestar Runner) is chock full of jokes, Shout Outs, and responses to commands you weren't expecting. See here.
  • The Scott Adams text adventure game Pirates Cove features a door that won't open. If you type in "BREAK DOOR", the game will respond "Sorry, I don't feel destructive today." Type in "FEEL DESTRUCTIVE", and it will respond with something like "OK, I'll destroy your game!" and give you a game over.
  • Modern interactive fiction games are usually written using systems which contain a number of witty automatic responses. For instance, Inform's default response to "sing" is "Your singing is abominable."
  • Riven has unique game-over cutscenes for everything you can possibly think of doing. If you trap yourself in the prison book on any of the main islands, you get a game-over cutscene with Gehn—but if you trap yourself in the prison book while in the Moiety world, you get a completely different one. The same is true for game-over cutscenes you get when releasing Gehn from the prison book. In fact, there's even a unique game-over cutscene that you can only reach if you play through two-thirds of the game to get a secret code, then open a saved game from the very beginning and use the code long before you could possibly have known it! This is even more impressive when you consider that the code is different each time you play—so you can't reach this cutscene merely by using the code in a new game. It has to be one of your months-old saved games. This grand tradition is continued with Myst III: Exile, which also has an impressive number of very-slightly-different-from-each-other Game Overs, some of which are very difficult to reach.
    • Actually, you can reach that game-over cutscene through normal play: it plays whenever you don't have the trap book, so you can cause it to happen by first getting the journal and trap book from the Moiety Age, then giving the book to Gehn, then triggering the game-over. In fact, this is averted in another place -- if you haven't heard Catherine's prison code, you can't free Catherine, even if you hear it, then go back and load a saved game. This prevents you from being able to free Catherine before capturing Gehn, which would have required the developers to write a completely different ending.
  • Beyond Zork had this back in the 1980's, ending the game if you restored from a save file with an improper checksum "Shame on you."
  • The old text adventure Time Quest involves quite a bit of time traveling. Usually, leaving items in one time period doesn't change anything in other periods, but in one particular time period, you can leave an item in a cache in the past and then pick it up in the future (or, more recent past). If you do this, then go back in time, you can have two items of the same type (the original, and the one you got from the future). But try to leave the "copy" in the cache (so you can go forwards and get another one), and the game stops you: "Now I'm about to put up a timestream paradox message, but because you deserve a bonus for your ingenuity I'm going to bump your score by 5 points that no one else will get". Don't get too greedy, because if you don't fix the situation, it's game over time!
  • The entire point of the interactive fiction Pick Up the Phone Booth and Aisle. Just start with the title alone, and try flying, swimming, or some infamous IF buzzwords, really, anything, and see the results.
    • To be clear, PUTPBAA is a combination of two earlier games with a similar concept: the author's own Pick Up the Phone Booth and Die, and Aisle. The latter game takes place in the middle of a grocery store, and only lasts a single turn. The player can use this window of time to perform such psychotic actions as climbing the grocery shelves, or stripping naked.
    • This is fairly common in "one-room" Interactive Fiction stories. When the author only has to focus on a single player location and the items within, more effort gets to go to verbose item descriptions, verb creation, and clever responses to unique entries.
  • Seen somewhat in the second Journeyman Project game and especially in the third with regards to commentary by your in-game companion.
    • The most notable example occurs in Shangi-La when the player needs to place a specific item in the open hand of a Buddha statue. The reasoning involved for what item needs to go there is only apparent if the player has first talked with the spiritual leader of the monastery to learn of the symbolism involved. If the player places the correct item without the information, your companion stutters in shock before asking if you've been reading the guide.
    • There are also instances where the player is in danger of being injured if they attempt to directly pass through an obstacle. However, they are free to attempt this several times, to varied comments from your companion.
    • Different disguises in the third game get different reactions from other characters. Amusingly enough, it's possible to get yourself knocked physically assaulted by two people if you use the correct disguises... and this happens in the Buddhist monastery.
      • An inversion, or possibly an aversion depending on your point of view, for extra fun: When snooping around the tunnels under the monastery, if you resurface at the wrong grate, you'll get clobbered no matter who you're disguised as. Yes, even if you're disguised as the head lama under which the character who beans you is studying.
  • The games Ben There, Dan That!! and its sequel Time, Gentlemen, Please! as a point-and-click adventure have unique responses for almost every combination of object, action and place you can imagine. Hilarity Ensues.
  • The debug version of text adventure games by Andrew Plotkin are well known for having hilarious messages appear if bugs leave the game in discogruent situations. Examples include: "You are seeing afterimages of afterimages. Your eyes explode." and "You fail to answer a question that has not been asked. How Zen."
  • Japanese 3DS text parser adventure game 女の子と密室にいたら○○しちゃうかもしれない (Unofficially known as If I Were In a Sealed Room With a Girl I'd Probably ○○), while the parser only accepts nouns, it will pick up and obey a fairly wide variety of lewd words. These include asking the heroine the player guides as a floating ball of light about her underwear and taking a detailed look at her ass or breast. Once these questions are asked they remain in the player's dictionary and can be asked repeatedly, as they provoke a different response each chapter (Asking a girl about her underwear while she is in a swimsuit) and in some cases different points within the chapter.

Beat Em Up

  • In the Spider-Man PS 1 games, if you attempt to enter certain adult words into the cheat code screen, Spidey will swing by and punch the offending letters away to replace them with something more wholesome, like "kittens".
    • In the first boss fight with Venom, Venom actually has uniquely recorded lines for if you somehow manage to get out of his line of sight.

Driving Game

  • In Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 2, 3, and 3 DX, after you clear all 80 stages of Story Mode (or 100 stages in the case of Maximum Tune 3 DX), you get a title, and can do all of Story Mode again, as many times as you want. Subsequent Story Mode clears will net more titles, and the titles keep coming out. 3 DX, for instance:
    • 3 times (300 stages): "You'll Keep Driving"
    • 4 times (400 stages): "You can no longer Retreat"
    • 9 times (900 stages): "I am Serious"[2]
    • 41 times (4,100 stages): "No Answer"
    • If you time out a stage in Story Mode (very unlikely given the extremely lenient time limit), you get the title "Fight."
  • The cars in "Forza Motorsport 4", feature actual working dashboards. Besides the obvious meters and gauges like the Speedometer and Tachometer. All the cars have accurate Odometers and older classic cars have added mileage. The cars with clocks also read the time the Xbox 360 has.

Edutainment Game

  • Oregon Trail 2 actually programmed in the snowstorm that trapped The Donner Party if you head to California in the right year, and take the same passage they did.

Fighting Game

  • In the Dead or Alive games, namely Dead or Alive 3 and both Xtreme games, Kasumi (or in the case of the Xtreme series, all of the characters) can be hacked to be rendered fully nude. In that case, they are given pubic hair, nipples, and vulvas, pretty much making them anatomically correct.
    • On a related note, in Xtreme Beach Volleyball, there is a glitch that occurs if the player gives the girls translucent visors that makes their clothes disappear (which is also the closest thing to a legitimate nude mode in the game). The creators apparently anticipated this and added in colored stars and blotches on the private areas (the nipples and the pubic/vulva area, respectively) so as to keep it relatively tasteful.
    • Also, if the player wears a bathing suit long enough in Xtreme 2, they'll develop tanlines.
  • To pause the game in Skullgirls you have to hold down the start button. While this seems unintuitive at first, it starts to make sense when you consider that pausing the game mid match in a tournament is usually grounds for a disqualification alongside being downright rude. Depending on the controller, it's also possible for your finger to slip off the face buttons in the middle of a hectic match and hit it by accident.
  • In Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, when playing against Sephiroth with Aerith as a summon, the player might be tempted to attempt to use Aerith to use Holy against Sephiroth. The game creates a scene for this specific method, where Sephiroth, similar to Final Fantasy VII, manages to kill Aerith before she could cast it. Similarly, alternate dialogue can be accessed by Exdeath if the player decided to use his EX Burst against Gilgamesh, which is based on his exchange when banishing the latter to the Void in Final Fantasy V.
    • Also, if the player manages to play as Terra during the Moogle sidequest in the original game, the cutscene where the player discovers the moogle is extended to have Terra becoming infatuated, rush up to the Moogle, and cuddle with it with her face and arms, and additional dialogue is added in where the Moogle will tell Terra to "lay off on the fur-ruffling."
  • In Mortal Kombat, when you win a round, the announcer says, "(Insert Your Character's Name) Wins!" often followed by "Flawless Victory!" or "Fatality!" or the like. The announcer is, in fact, Big Bad Shao Kahn. Thus, if your opponent is Shao Kahn and you win a round, the announcer's line isn't made - seeing as you just knocked him out.

First Person Shooter

  • Operation Flashpoint: Especially in the Game Of The Year edition. Confined only by the limits of the island you're on and the abilities of a normal human soldier, you can do anything, literally. You can choose which side you want to fight for, you can disobey orders, leave the mission area (although on rare occasions this will result in a failed mission), you can steal vehicles, both civilian and military (civvie tractors are found abundantly in missions and hence are a very good way to get around; which is something most players don't think of), instead of destroying a target with a bomb you can capture an enemy tank and use it to blow shit up, and inversely, if you're on a tank mission, you can leave your tank and enter combat on foot, while still commanding the tank via radio. This is a good way to provide support while fighting soldiers with anti-tank weapons. If you have other soldiers under your command, you can order them to do anything, too.
  • The Nameless Mod has this all over the place, mostly because as a mod for a nearly 9 year old game, they know all the exploits in the engine. For example: climbing over a fence before you can unlock it will result in an NPC on the other side asking how you got there, and listing some of the possible methods, such as grenade climbing (sticking a grenade to the wall, jumping on it, sticking another to the wall, jumping, removing the first, and repeating).
    • Extra Mario Bros, a ROM hack of the original Super Mario Bros., has this as well. The original SMB engine is full of bugs, but in the hack, there's no way to get stuck. Ever. And there's plenty of out-of-the-way secrets that require you to use these bugs to get to otherwise inaccessible areas.
    • In The Nameless Mod there is an area that you will only be given password information needed to enter if you ally with one faction. If you remember the password and use it to enter while aligned with the other faction you will receive special messages commenting on your entry and giving a little information about the area.
    • Not only that, if you break the game's plot by doing something like killing a plot-important NPC (who are normally protected by armies of goons and robot turrets), the game will actually call you out on it (in the form of a large talking logo of the modder group, no less), and ask you why you felt it was a good idea to try to break the game, with answers ranging from in-game justified reasons to "It seemed like fun". The logo will then kill you for breaking the game. You're gonna kill me, just because some developer didn't know how to set bInvincible=True?!
  • Rise of the Triad uses "pushwalls" for hiding secret areas. A pushwall reacts to the "open door" command and moves forward until it hits another wall (if you've played the original Wolfenstein 3D you've seen these). If it hits the edge of the map, the game crashes with the error message "Pushwall tried to escape at (map coordinates)." One of the playtesters, who was also a graphic artist for the game, thought this was hilarious and immediately drew a picture of a brick wall running off the map declaring, "I'M FREEEEEEEE!" This picture was actually used in-game for the aforementioned error message.
    • The same incident resulted in the warp-only level "This Causes an Error!", which does exactly that and is where most people discovered this.
  • In System Shock 2, if you bring a basketball to the basketball court - which you would've had to bring with you from the start of the game - and take the time to score a point (which can be very difficult for the lack of a throw skill), you are rewarded with an Easter Egg audio log from the ship's monkeys saying that they stole all the ship's bananas.
  • Left 4 Dead 2 does this with some of the achievements that require actions from one player to do on another, like Heartwarmer and Shock Jock. You can't kill a player and revive them hoping to advance on the Shock Jock achievement for example. A zombie has to kill the player in order for you to advance in the achievement.
    • The zombies in both games are attracted to loud noises. The Dark Carnival finale shows that loud music (and fireworks) suffice, which also works in other campaigns: a Horde is summoned when the song "re: Your Brains" is played for long enough on one of the in-game jukeboxes, due to the chorus sounding like a horde was alerted, thus alerting a horde to the players.
      • Also in the sequel, Valve put in a check for cheating in Survival mode. If players manage to get to an area where they are not supposed to be in order to avoid the zombies and make the game never ending, the AI Director will generate a Spitter's acid patch on the players to force them to get back into the playing field. If the players somehow are able to avoid this, the director will then just outright damage the players continuously until they die or get back in their proper place. This check is not foolproof since there are a few places players can camp up where the director thinks the players are not cheating.
    • Two finales in Left 4 Dead 2 are triggered by riding down in an elevator. However, due to the buggy Source engine and/or lag online, sometimes the finales in The Passing and Dead Center never start, even though you are in the general finale area. Normally, this would make the game Unwinnable, but Valve made a back up trigger where a nearby object will glow blue to indicate that you can "use" the object. Doing so triggers the finale as normal.
  • In Half Life and its sequels, many out-of-the-way areas can be reached by inventive or simply persistent players. The developers tend to place useful or rare items here, or if it's outside the way, block them with invisible, selective brushes.
    • In Half-Life 2: Episode 2, it is possible to reach an otherwise inaccessible cave through the antlion guardian's powerful headbutt attack. There is a small message saying "How did you get here??"
    • In Half-Life 2, near the end of the Water Hazard chapter, there are a few sealed-off pipes with toxic waste in them. One of them has an entrance that can only just be reached. Although it may just appear to be a generic hazard, keep going and turn left and you'll find a secret cave with a Vortigaunt roasting a Fast Headcrab on a spit. Prompt him with the 'use' key and he'll say every line spoken by Vortigaunts in the game, and a few which were recorded specifically for him.
      • There's now an achievement for finding this guy.
    • If a necessary NPC or vehicle is killed or destroyed, an special message appears listing the player's name, status, and reason for failure, ending the game. If the reason is getting stuck, the reason will be "Demonstration of exceedingly poor judgment."
    • During the coast levels, if the player swims out too far or attempts to bypass the levels by swimming, he will be quickly swarmed and eaten by alien leeches.
    • For two chapters in Half-Life 2 Gordon is accompanied by small groups of La Résistance, who make various comments as appropriate to the situation (or not...). If you happen to die with the crowbar equipped, one of them will shout "Dibs on his crowbar!"
  • In the 1998 first-person shooter Sin, the developers planned for players who wanted to break out of the confines of certain levels. There is one level where the main character of the game (a police officer) must swim through an underwater passage, complete with currents that try to push you onto a certain path. If you are somehow able to swim against these currents enough (something most players won't try anyway), you'll access a secret room that's full of submarines, with a message telling you that you're not supposed to be there, and that you need to start playing the game again.
    • In one of the later levels, you'll visit the main villain's (Elexis Sinclaire) estate, where she's planning her takeover of the world. There's a secret janitor's closet you can access that will let you watch live video of her making strange sounds as she sits in a jacuzzi (with a view from the wall behind her) that will be seen in the next level. However, if you use a cheat code to clip out of the level, you'll find that said jacuzzi area early, and you'll subsequently realize that the developers put a special animation of the bikini-clad Sinclaire having A Date with Rosie Palms, for players who who took the time to cheat.
  • The Halo series. It's Bungie, what did you expect?
    • In Halo 3, you can exploit a glitch to keep Sergeant Johnson alive, even though he's killed mid cutscene. With this glitch activated he is then able to be killed, and taken over by a flood form. Amusingly, he will note "Ain't I immune to this!?" while it happens. And it's true, gameplay and story wise, he is supposed to be completely immune, meaning Bungie prepared for the possibility you would somehow glitch the game and get him infected.
      • In said game, try turning the elephant upside down. When you go to flip it back up, the game says, "Press L1 to... Wait, WHAT? How did you do that?"
    • In Halo: Reach, since your Spartan is customizable for campaign as well as multiplayer, the helmet at the beginning and end of the game is the helmet your Spartan wears.
      • When you first get the Jetpack, you can actually bypass having to use the elevator to get to the top of the building. You can use the Jetpack to get to a point where you can hijack in midair one of the ambient Banshees and fly to the top, saving yourself a whole lot of hurt and ammo.
    • Most of the series' multiplayer maps have passive storytelling & atmospheric details strewn all over them, should you wish to look around them in a custom game (or Forge in Halo 3 onwards, which is better as it allows you to fly). Some of the best examples include Assembly and Orbital (from Halo 3) and Solitary (from Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary). Some of Halo 3's maps are also linked, if you look (Citadel and Epitaph are set in the same building, while the star closely visible out of the windows of spaceship-set Heretic is in fact the sun of Sandbox, suggesting that is where the Covenant fleet is headed). It's quite remarkable that Bungie have put so much effort into things most fans won't even notice or begin to look for.
  • The final boss of Doom 2 is essentially a Hellmouth, just a giant face taking up an entire wall, spewing baddies from its forehead that you have to carefully aim a rocket into from a rising platform. As easy as it would have been just to make it a textured Weak Point, a noclip code lets you run straight into the thing and down a tunnel, at the end of which you find the true target: John Romero's head on a spike! This is even reflected in the sound effects; the Hellmouth makes what sounds like your average eldritch groan, but if played backwards, it says, "To win the game, you must kill me, John Romero!"
  • In Quake II there is a point where you encounter the huge “lid” of an underground rocket launch tube. It is too high to reach normally, but if you rocket-jump to the top there is a message saying “You crazy rocket-jumpers!” I think there was a rocket ammo cache, too.
  • In its competing game, Unreal Tournament, one assault map has the attacking team start by dropping onto a train from a helicopter. Despite it being normally impossible to get up that high, the helicopter's rotor is still programmed to make mincemeat out of anyone that touches them.
    • It is theoretically impossible to hurt yourself with the Lightning Gun in 2004 by virtue of the weapon being Hit Scan. However, if you somehow manage to do it anyway, there's a specific death message for that occurrence:

<Player> violated the laws of space-time and sniped himself.

  • The first (and so far, only) level of the Prey mod Altered Reality has a section in a sewer that does not go anywhere and cannot be reached except by noclipping. Not only that section contains a hidden message, written on a wall, that says "You're not supposed to be here", but if you noclip into said section and then deactivate noclipping mode, Tommy will actually read the message and make a comment about it.
  • One of the missions in Red Faction has you infiltrating an Ultor office, at one point a guard stands in the way of your objectives, one of the ways you can dispatch him without raising the alarm is to enter the women's bathroom nearby, he will follow you in, because you are a man.
    • A guard also has a wry comment if you jump in the fountain.

Mascot Fighter

  • Super Smash Bros. has the audience. The audience existed in the first game, but it only applauded in a few situations. It got fleshed out more in Melee, with cheers for each character, gasps when a character manages to recover from a powerful attack, and a few other responses. This trope truly gets invoked in Brawl, however. The audience has a wide variety of reactions to thousands of events; if it seems like they should be gasping, or applauding, or whatever, they already are.
    • Also in "Brawl", if Kirby eats a Golden Hammer, he can determine if it was a Squeaky or not. If it was a Golden Squeaky Hammer, it makes a slight squeak sound when he eats it.
    • Case in point: if in Stock Mode you lose your last life, and then some time later a leftover attack of yours kills an opponent (most often seen with the Motion Sensor Bomb), then the audience will cheer your name even though you've lost.
    • In Super Smash Bros. Melee, each player is awarded bonuses after a match based on his or her performance. These bonuses range from easy (Coward: frequently run away from opponents) to extremely challenging (Switzerland: never attack, never take damage) to why-would-we-even-do-that baffling (Button Holder: hold down one of the attack buttons for the entire match). In short, no matter how you play the game, you'll be recognized for it. If you're trying to get the Diskun trophy, you're gonna have to to get every single one of these bonuses; in other words, you'll have to think of everything that the developers have thought of.
    • Also in Melee, there are some exclusive trophies that you can only get by having certain game data saved on the same memory card as Super Smash Bros. Melee. Oddly enough, some of these trophies were for games that came out after Melee.

Mecha Game

  • Mechwarrior 2 had some levels happening in a city, made of many, many buildings. The developers at Activision gave normal names to most of them - "hospital", "mall" and such. But the city was really vast, and the developers predicted that players with time to spare would go exploring for the hell of it. And so, far from the road you were supposed to take in the mission, one little building would be identified as "Activision Headquarters". If you blew it up, a nuclear explosion would happen that would destroy everything, mission objectives and player included. Time to reload...
    • In one of these cities, you can find a building far on the perimeter named House Jack Built. If you run up and Inspect it, it contains Jack.
    • Likewise, Mechwarrior 4 features a pair of missions set in a city, with some buildings labeled hospital, corporation, data center, and FASA Interactive. You can't blow it up though.


  • In Katamari Damacy, if the player manages to glitch through the level and fall "under" the terrain, the King of All Cosmos will teleport them back to the level, calling it the "Royal Warp" and apologizing for it. Profusely.
  • In Dead or Alive Xtreme Venus Vacation the player can unlock shower scenes for the girls. These are, unusually, pre-rendered. Given there's no graphical difference, it seems that this was done so people couldn't rip the nude models.


  • Star Trek Online is starting to work its way there. More recent missions have had numerous failure conditions and alternate methods of accomplishing goals. In the Romulan series, for example, there are several Dialogue Trees, with new options opening up depending on the character's diplomacy level and several sections where a violent character could blast through without even talking at all. There are numerous points, even in the earlier missions, where a sufficiently sneaky character can approach enemy soldiers and eavesdrop on them to learn potentially useful information ahead of time, which they wouldn't have heard otherwise.
  • World of Warcraft: back in the days before the Cataclysm expansion pack was released, if you went through a demon-infested gorge, jumping in exactly the right places and using a since-patched glitch known as wall-walking (which was literally jumping up a normally untraversable wall or terrain in a very precise manner to trick the game into thinking you've grabbed a foothold), you could enter the then-uncompleted Mount Hyjal. When you got there, you found a zone that was actually fairly fleshed out, including the skeleton of Archimonde. The actual note that merits this entry: construction signs telling you you weren't supposed to be here and better get out, and you would receive a debuff called "No Man's Land" that instantly teleported you out even if you somehow manage to enter it. There were even rumors that you would be automatically reported to a GM upon receiving the debuff, as the player would have had to deliberate and willingly break the rules of the game by using an exploit several times to get there.
    • Also, when water walking didn't apply to mounted people and it was nigh impossible to get to it, an island to the south east end of Kalimdor had a message in the bottle with, basically, "How did you get here?!"
    • If you make a rude gesture at Mountaineer Pebblebitty (which you are likely to do considering what she puts you through), she has an appropriate response ready.
      • Most city guards will react to emotes, /rude them, they respond in kind, salute them, they salute back, ect. ect.
  • In Warhammer Online, the devs watched alpha testers get to some pretty strange places, and rather then fixing it they either added kegs of dynamite to blow yourself up, so you can respawn where you are meant to, or by adding high level boss characters you can fight if you can get an entire party to that spot.
    • The same thing happens if you hit Yes, then No; for Yes, the old man says "You don't know the importance of parents until you lose them..."
  • A magic shop keeper in RuneScape gives out free Mind Runes and Air Runes every five minutes or so. Trying to sell the freebies back to him will net you a sarcastic comment.
    • There was a glitch where it was possible to enter the Draynor Bank Robbery cutscene, and pick up the Blue partyhat that would drop. This partyhat actually has a different Item ID than the regular Blue partyhat and is untradeable. If the player attempted to equip it, it would disappear and a message in the chatbox would say, "Please send in a bug report and tell Jagex how you got that hat."
  • In City of Heroes most of the zones in Paragon City are walled off. However if you're in Peregrine Island and you swim to the edge of the zone it instantly moves you outside the walls of Talos Island. Bear in mind the outside-the-wall zone is horribly horribly broken, but this seems to be a case of a good bad bug.
  • Kingdom of Loathing: At one point during the Sauceror's Nemesis Quest, they create a potion that turns them into a slime, allowing them to infiltrate the slime convention. You can't use skills and are treated as though you don't wear any equipment. So, totally useless. Now, there is a bonus dungeon inhabited by other slimes called the Slime Tube. It is a rather high-level zone, usually reserved for Aftercore. so, if you go into this tough area in that useless form, you get an Easter Egg.


  • Many games have intentional safeguards to prevent the game from crashing or entering the territory computer programmers euphemistically refer to as "suboptimal performance." In this case, it's not really "thinking of everything," but just good programming technique - assume "everything" is possible, and plan accordingly. A good example is the Chris Houlihan room in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, which is loaded whenever the game can't find the proper room data for where Link is supposed to be. Final Fantasy VI has tons of such "default" data, such as default monster reward data (which, if you're curious, is a Thunder Blade or a Jewel Ring, with no EXP or Magic points).
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles also had a similar failsafe system - if the game ran into an internal error, it would simply load up the Blue Sphere minigame instead of crashing.
      • Actually, internal errors in locked-on Sonic 3 and Knuckles would instead cause the game to deliberately soft-reset the Genesis/Mega Drive. This can easily be triggered through using debug mode and not being careful when you drop into edit mode or where you drop out of it. Any vehicles Sonic can ride or latch on to potentially causes this soft reset.
    • As did Sonic 3D. Whenever the cartridge was slightly tapped, it could cause small errors, and the game would take the player to the "secret level select screen", which works just like the regular level select screen.
  • Playing Game Boy games on the 3DS normally has them in black and white. However, there's an option to change the screen to the classic "pea soup" green screen if the player wants to. Plus, playing any game in orginal resolution features 3D, making the game appear slightly behind the screen.

Party Game

  • In the Jellyvision quiz game series You Don't Know Jack, certain questions require you to type in an answer. The inevitable response will annoy the game's host, who will deduct a ridiculously large number of points from your score. If you do it twice, he will lambaste you and pointedly remove no points for not being original. If you manage it a third time in a single session, the host will give up on you and force quit the game.
    • Also, in many versions, if you buzz in to answer before the question appears, rather than having multiple choice answers, you have to type in the exact answer without ever knowing the question.
      • And if you DO know the question, due to playing the game multiple times, the host will give you the points for a correct answer, but accuse you of cheating.
    • In newer versions, however, buzzing in too fast will give you a bunch of nonsensical gibberish phrases for answers, all of which are wrong.
    • The in-game audio will vary based on your computer's date and time. If you fire up a game at 3 a.m., the host will be groggy. Or he'll call you a loser if you're playing on a Friday night.
    • Some wrong answers, even to open-ended questions, have custom responses.

Platform Game

  • In Conker's Bad Fur Day for the Nintendo 64, the player has the option to input cheat codes in the options menu near a fire imp apparently warming his hands. Typing in a wrong cheat code prompts the fire imp to remark "Somebody told you the wrong cheat".
    • When the player inputs the same cheat code two times in succession, the fire imp insults the player.
    • Whenever a swear word is put in place as a cheat code, the imp takes the word as an insult.
  • At one point in Psychonauts, you have to go into the minds of a few people to assemble a disguise to trick the warden. A lazy or creative player might think that just jumping into the warden's mind would be quicker. The game will let you try it, but all you'll get is an amusing note explaining that the warden is protected against psychic interference. Similarly, if you try to jump into any of your fellow campers' heads, you'll get a notice saying that the mind-jumping-device won't work on minors.
    • In the normal course of gameplay, after saving the turtle Mr. Pokeylope, you carry him for about 30 seconds before losing him forever. If you decide to take Mr. Pokeylope to camp after saving him, every camper reacts to him in different ways, mostly involving how adorable he is. In fact, almost every NPC in the game reacts differently to every single power-up you use on them, and every item you could possibly show them. One particularly amusing example: Using the "Rose" item from Black Velvetopia on the dog painters will make them tell you to "Go find someone your own species."
      • The PC version on Steam even made showing him to all the campers unlock an achievement.
    • The Lungfish Call item makes a... specific sound. Using it near Dr. Loboto has him tell Sheegor to "go outside if [she's] going to do that."
    • Some of the best responses to the Confusion attack show up in Fred's mind, which is cleared of its inhabitants by the time you're technically supposed to be able to get Confusion.
    • Using cheats early in the game allows you to use powers that you're not supposed to have yet on characters that might not be around at the time you're actually supposed to have the powers. Using cheats in this way often results in amusing dialog that you wouldn't hear if you played through the game normally. Using confusion on the G-Men is particularly hilarious. "Oh my God, why am I holding a gun?!"
    • Clairvoyance allows you to see through someone else's eyes, specifically permitting you to see the world as they do. Each and every single character in the entire game, including every single enemy type and random animal just hanging around, sees you differently. Seagulls see you as a cat, Censors (basic enemies) see you as a virus, your love interest sees you as a dashing prince, each teacher, each child, every single mob that appears in the game. Every single one. And those agents in the Milkman's Conspiracy? They see you differently depending on what you're holding.
    • Much like with the warden, if you just try to steal Gloria's award instead of going into her mind with invisibility or telekinesis you get unique scenes where she thinks the thing is going off on its own and won't let it leave anyway.
  • Occurs in Spyro: Year of the Dragon. If the game thinks you're hacking or using an illegal copy (but this can also happen if your disk is scratched), Zoe will pop up and inform you so. Observe. Not only that, the game literally fills with unexpected bugs in this case as well.
  • Iji has plenty of hidden material...but only if the player thinks of everything, too. (The fanbase usually finds secrets relatively quickly, but still.)
  • Duke Nukem 3D, there's one level set in a generic rocky, desert area, with a particularly annoying bit where you have to hit a few switches inside a closed in space, with shrinker bolts being fired at you from a seemingly random hole in a far off cliff face. There's no footpaths there, and the jetpack can't take you that far. Activate the fly or noclip code however, and entering it shows a long tunnel with a static, scripted shrinker at the end, and a graffiti-like graphic stating "You should not be here!" along the tunnel wall.
    • Duke Nukem 3D is famous for several such surprises. The level that ends with a helicopter waiting for you outside has an invisible panel that can only be seen from the other side - inaccessible without the use of the noclip code. On the visible part, it says "You're not supposed to be here". In a later level, yet another similar wall says "You're not supposed to be here... either" (confusing players who happen to find the second wall but not the first). The level designer who made those levels (the infamous Levelord) is known for surprise messages like these.
  • In the Steam edition of Eversion, editing the game's files nets you the achievement "What Have You Done?" and locks out getting anything else until you undo the changes.
  • In Super Mario 64 DS, the portrait used to unlock Wario is accessible only with Luigi. Inside the painting, you can find hats that transform you into either Mario or Wario. The boss of the level has unique dialogue for each of the three hat-wearing heroes. Yoshi, however, has no hat, so you cannot transform into him inside a level, and Wario's portrait cannot be accessed by Yoshi. However, by hacking the game, you can fight the boss with Yoshi-only to discover that said boss has dialogue programmed for just such an impossible occurrence.
    • Averted for King Boo, who just has blank dialogue boxes when he meets Yoshi.
  • The intro stage to Mega Man Zero 4 features you defending a caravan of trucks. The tarp on one of them can be burnt away with fire-element attacks, which will be reflected when the caravan drives by in the post-stage cutscene. All this even though, being the intro stage that you can't go back to once it's finished, you logically won't have any fire-element attacks when you play through without New Game+.
    • Not quite. While you can't get any fire-element attacks without New Game Plus, you can acquire weapons that shoot fire, or explode in a fiery way, by using Zero's Z-knuckle on certain enemies which carry those weapons. It's still a neat trick, though.
  • VVVVVV has one shiny trinket that is impossible to get without dying. So does this make it impossible to get 100% Completion on no-death mode? No, because in that mode the room is actually altered to make it possible to get without dying. This special version of the room is named "I Can't Believe You Got This Far."
  • Because of its extremely non-linear nature, Banjo-Tooie occasionally places Shock Spring Pads in areas in which the player could potentially get trapped, by getting there before learning the necessary moves to get out. This includes Area 51 in Witchyworld, in which the player would have to skip an early move and enter from a later level in order to get trapped, and Grunty Industries' Quality Control room, in which in order to get trapped, the player must glide over the barrels with Kazooie rather than entering as mechanical personnel.
  • In Epic Mickey, there are two points in the game where Mickey visits Tomorrow City's rocket launch pad. Hidden in this area is a dog collar, an item for Mickey to retrieve in an optional sidequest. During the first visit, this sidequest is still ongoing, provided Horace has started it, so Mickey can grab the dog collar and return to Mean Street to give it to Horace. The second visit, however, is near the end of the game and is after the Point of No Return, so Mickey can't go back to Mean Street to finish the sidequest. The dog collar is still there, and Mickey can still take it, but your Exposition Fairy Gus will tell you there's no time to waste instead of telling you to return it to Horace.
  • Rock Man 4 Minus Infinity
    • The credits (which feature Fire Emblem-like stats for the Robot Masters) also record the weapon you killed them with.
    • Mega Man has a unique sprite for standing on ledges.
    • In the fight with Pharaoh Man, he starts destroying the pyramid you're in. If you revisit the stage after beating him, the damage is still there.
    • All the Robot Masters change their patterns to avoid Rush Cannon if you fire it. Some actually find ways to kill you with it.

Puzzle Game

  • In Portal, it is possible for creative players to trap either themselves or vital objects in inaccessible locations by using portals. When this happens, the AI running the test will either let you out or provide replacement equipment, while making a sarcastic jab at your ineptitude.
    • The XBLA re-release even has an Achievement for managing to trap yourself in a room.
    • It became a requirement during the "Transmission Received" bonus quest as one of the radios is hidden in such a room.
    • The in-game commentary track even points out a place where testers discovered a way to sequence break a level. Normally, Valve Corporation would just alter the level to make the sequence break impossible, but since they realized that such Sequence Breaking required more knowledge of how the game mechanics operated than the level was trying to teach, they decided to Throw It In and let the player continue anyway.
    • Of course, there is at least one area where you can be trapped, and she won't release you. Not that it would make any sense for her to free you after her botched murder attempt.
  • Portal 2's challenge rooms feature a crossed flag decal to indicate the end of the trial. During the first escape sequence, you'll find one of these at the door leading into Glados' trap which disappears when you get close.
    • A few minutes after that segment, Wheatley has to "hack" the door to a turret scanner, and asks you to turn away so he can do so. If you use the portal gun to watch him, he'll tell you "that's not fooling anybody".
    • Wheatley pretty much has something to say for anything you do in the game.

Real Time Strategy

  • Overview of Diplomacy in Age of Empires II:
    • You can ask your allies to send you backup, or to attack an enemy at any point in the game. If they have enough resources, they comply. So why not keep sending them to do your dirty work? Because sometimes they will ask for gold in exchange for it, especially if they suffer heavy losses in the battle they started because you asked. If you keep pushing, they'll renounce their alliance with you.
    • You can take your allies' help in building up resources by asking for gold, food, wood, or stone as is necessary to you. They'll give what they can spare. One might think there's nothing to stop you from leeching resources off the other players, but if you keep doing this they'll simply deny your request.
    • If you threaten to kill a CP player unless they turned over a ridiculous amount of gold, the AI could respond by declaring war.
    • Similarly, an enemy CP player will sometimes voluntarily offer alliance in exchange for resources if they need some food/gold/whatever fast.
    • On the other hand, if an allied player gets rich enough in resources that they don't need your help any more, they might just declare you their enemy and start a war.
    • The one way to avert this was by building as many of your buildings as possible inside the allied player's area, so that if he turned on you, your troops and military buildings would already be inside his perimeter, leaning the advantage in your favour and making them think twice. But then they went ahead and released the Conquerors expansion pack, in which other players will make you pay tribute if you encroach into their territory too much. Failure to comply will result in war.
  • In StarCraft, the Protoss faction had Dark Archons, with an ability called Mind Control, allowing it to take control of enemy units. A creative individual might try to take control of a critter and discover that the game would let you do this. Then they would discover that critters don't show a faction color, making them the best scout units in the game. It's worthless in highly competitive play, but fun to spring on unsuspecting players.
    • It can also be used to gain control of "constructor" units, which can be used to create that enemy's buildings and units under your control; effectively allowing you to double, or even triple, your forces (depending on resource availability).
    • In Starcraft II, certain zerg ranged units, such as the roach and hydralisk, have a special melee attack that triggers when enemies are in range. It's functionally identical to their regular attack, but uses an animation of the creature attacking with its claws instead of projectiles.
    • Also in Starcraft II, there are two missions ("The Devil's Playground" and "Welcome to the Jungle") where your primary objective is to defend your base, ignore the enemy's beefed-up defenses, and harvest a certain amount of resources from the contested area. However, you can win both by ignoring the stated goal, building up your forces, and wiping out the enemy base. There are even hidden achievements for doing so. Similarly, you can win "The Dig" by blowing up all three hostile bases, if you'd rather not wait for your mining drill to finish digging.
    • There's also Starcraft II's "Smash and Grab" mission, where you're supposed to reach the artifact, before the Zerg get to it through Protoss defenses, while ignoring the Zerg-Protoss fighting - but you can attack the Zerg, which prompts this conversation: Tychus: "This is crazy, man! We can't take the zerg in a stand-up fight, and you know it!"; Raynor: "Leave the tactics to me, Tychus."
  • In Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, clicking on units in combat will result in different quotes than if they were idling or moving. Ordering units idling to return to the area near a base will result in alternate quotes as well, while telling units in combat to return to the base will result in them yelling retreat orders.
  • And the devs of Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun programed in a number of interesting details: Artillery shells deformed the terrain, bridges collapsed if you sent too many units over them at once, train cars rolled down hills if they were on a sloped track (keep in mind, this was a pretty old game), and EMP cannons could sink hovering vehicles if they were driving on water. Also, defending a base could be a lot more interesting with a veinhole nearby.
    • Mammoth tanks could also be ordered to walk across frozen bodies of water...and sink if the cracks their weight creates get too big and the ice gives way (keep them moving to avoid this).
    • Both Tiberian Sun and Tiberium Wars feature bridges made up of multiple segments. If you destroyed a segment, the others would stay up—unless you cut a span off from solid ground on both ends, at which point it would promptly collapse.
    • If a wheeled vehicle was destroyed near water, the wheel could possibly roll all the way to the water, would splash and then sink, with a unique sound effect!
    • In Red Alert 2, you could use the Chronosphere to pick up dreadnoughts or carriers and drop them onto enemy vehicles or structures, inflicting a surprising amount of damage.


  • Dwarf Fortress is known for its elaborate and detailed gameplay. If you piss off the humans enough to attack you after letting their guild representatives wander through your fortress, they avoid any traps said representative knows about. It also allows you to make extremely elaborate constructions and traps by yourself without any hints from the game. There are no instructions in the game on how to build a magma moat and there's no building or set of buildings that constitute as one. You manually dig a trench from your local magma supply, let it fill up and put bridges over it. However, there are far more elaborate contraptions, like the Degrinchinator, a trench invaders would have to run through to enter the player home, lined with machinery that pumps water up from the aquifer which then instantly freezes when it reaches the surface because it was built on a glacier, encasing the enemy in ice. A rather new one is the Kinetic Projectile Trap, which consists of both water and magma being released into a tiny room, the water cooling the magma to obsidian and the resulting slab of rock being dropped on any would-be invaders. These could double as a Guide Dang It as the only way to figure such things out is from the forums or your own imagination.
    • There was a report on the forums a while back of a dwarf that got disemboweled and somehow managed to recover. Everywhere he walked, he'd trail a little "~~". ASCII Gorn strikes again.
    • If a standing unit loses the ability to stand (either from legs/nervous system injury or losing consciousness) and has another unit's weapon stuck inside them they continue standing up because the game can actually tell the other guy is holding them upright.
    • In Adventure Mode, kobolds that are within the player's field of view but in the dark show up as ", to represent their glowing eyes. If the kobold in question has lost an eye, it will show up as '.

Role Playing Game

  • In the Lufia 2 remake on the DS, Curse of the Sinistrals, there is a point where there is a tutorial for Tia's grappling hook move. If you move the box ahead of time then trigger the event where Tia is about to explain what to do, Maxim will note there's nothing where the game's camera is focusing.
  • In the English translation Treasure of the Rudra you can not only type in the words given, you can type in English words. Or in some cases, Japanese romaji of the same concept (hikari for instance will produce light, as will the word light). Knowing which word produces the best effect for the amount of MP, however, is part of the challenge.
  • In Elder Scrolls: Oblivion expansion Shivering Isles requires the player to choose a side as the ruler of Mania or Dementia. Sheogorath prohibits the player from entering the opposing faction's castle, and his edict is enforced by an invulnerable guard. However, even after the player replaces Sheogorath as ruler of the realm, the guard still refuses to allow you passage. The excuse is that as "Sheogorath," you prohibited yourself from entering and she must enforce your wish. This actually kind of makes sense given that the Shivering Isles is completely insane.
    • On that note, if you attempt to do Sheogorath's shrine quest in the main game world after becoming Sheogorath, instead of the usual dialogue, you get a message from your butler berating you for praying to yourself, before then considering that, as the god of madness, it's appropriate.
      • Even better! If you start the quest with the expansion installed but not started, the dialogue is the same as normal, but the voice has changed from his normal Oblivion voice to his new Shivering Isles voice. AND, if you have started the expansion storyline but are only partway through, Sheogorath's intro monologue will have actually changed to reflect how far along in the expansion you are. All that for an optional sidequest.
      • Not to mention that if you go to the shrine after becoming Sheogorath, but before defeating Jyggalag, Haskill will get really upset about the fact that the forces of order are mounting a full-scale invasion while you went and offered some yarn to yourself instead of defending your realm.
  • In the sequel, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, there are several quests where you can complete the objective before you are given the quest, such as Farengar Secret-Fire asking you to retrieve the dragonstone from Bleak Falls Barrow. If you already have it, he will complement you on being smarter than most of the grunts that visit Dragonsreach.
    • In the quest 'Innocence Lost', killing Grelod the Kind before Aventus Aretino asks you to will cause him to say "I knew the Dark Brotherhood was good, but not that good!".
    • You can't kill children in the game - they're flagged as invulnerable, undoubtedly to appease the Media Watchdogs. However, the voice actors still recorded death screams for the children, and the engine loads them. The devs knew someone would release a mod to make the children killable and acted accordingly.
  • Infinite Space: Earlier in the game, you are faced with unwinnable battle against one of the badasses. You have about 100 people against 9999 of enemies. Even if you use cheats for infinite soldiers (turning this into 9999 vs infinite 9999), computer will start to cheat when it will drop below 7000 so you can't win (the minigame is based on RPS). And even if you use reduce enemies to 1 cheat, you still can't kill the last soldier.
  • In Golden Sun: The Lost Age, after lighting the Mars Lighthouse, the player controls Felix only, which means that the psynergy 'Mind Read' shouldn't be usable. With the help of ROMs and cheat codes, it can be given to Felix. Using Felix's newfound ability in Prox results in new information in the mind reading dialogue boxes... the developers put Mind Read text in normally non-mindreadable characters. Not just text, which would just be there to prevent the game crashing over an impossible action, but plot hooks.
    • Atop Jupiter Lighthouse prior to its lighting, Agatio and Karst also have Mind Read text, though Sheba isn't in the party at that time, either. Both are thinking that Felix has outlived his usefulness, foreshadowing the upcoming boss battle. Agatio's thought bubble contains a typo.
    • It does this quite a bit. In the first game, if you enter Altin Mines without the Force Psynergy needed to cause a path-opening rockslide, Garet will get frustrated and kick a wall, causing the rockslide.
    • It's possible to go to Imil before Kolima in the first game. If Mia's in your party when you trigger the Kolima cutscenes, the game has extra dialogue so she'll get lines, and it's rumored (though not proven) that Tret's boss fight gets a difficulty boost to account for your larger party and higher level.
    • More recently, it's been discovered that you can glitch-exploit Retreat to skip the part of the game where Mia joins the party. A boss later in the game provides an artifact that lets other characters use Frost, so you can solve Frost puzzles without her, keeping the game from being Unwinnable By Mistake without her.
      • Using the same glitch in another location lets you access the other Djinni in Mercury Lighthouse, so you can still get 100% completion in The Lost Age (finishing the first game with 27, transferring data to TLA, and using the spawn point in TLA for the Djinni Mia would have normally given you).
      • Incidentally, having 27 Djinn but only three player characters in the first game enables you to use nine-Djinn classes. This is actually an aversion, since you're just accessing leftover class data from when the two games were planned to be one.
    • In The Lost Age, if you give the Lash Pebble to Piers and you go to Lemuria, when Piers will leave the party you will need to Lash once to enter the house of Lunpa. However, if you can't use Lash, Lunpa will insult you and throw down a rope instead, preventing you from getting stuck. This is the only use of the "rope throwing" animation in the game.
    • In The Lost Age, replying "No" to everything eventually results in Kraden throwing a tantrum and accusing Felix of thinking this is all just a game.
      • When in speaking roles, Djinn also tend to have increasingly-amusing responses to being continually denied, and a character in the first game will complain of a headache if you change your mind repeatedly in one cutscene.
    • Along the same lines, several fans are playing Dark Dawn and exclusively using angry or sad responses to questions, in anticipation of absurd responses.
      • It's already been noted that, at least in the dub, one well-placed angry response will result in characters acting as though Matthew had cursed.
    • In The Lost Age and Dark Dawn, certain areas have one route that can be navigated by a team of Earth, Fire, and Wind Adepts like the heroes, and another route that can be navigated by a single Water Adept, like the ones that according to the storyline traveled through that area before your group did.
    • In Dark Dawn, you can use Slap Psynergy to ring the emergency gong in Tonfon, sending the city into a panic, then blame the nearby guard for the false alarm.
    • In Dark Dawn, you cannot name your character any name that belongs to another player character or plot-relevant NPC (including Alex). This has not been confirmed for the other two games.
  • Rhys, the first protagonist of Phantasy Star 3, gets tossed in a castle dungeon almost immediately upon starting the game. More Genre Savvy players can sell his boots to raise enough money to buy an Escapipe (which allows you to escape dungeons) before the fact and skip rather plot-crucial cutscenes to escape. On the other hand, doing so will trap you in the castle, where the king (Rhys' father, it should be noted) tells you, in (slightly) nicer terms, that while using an Escapipe is normally a wise move, this particular example of Sequence Breaking has appropriately broken the game's script, and now reset the game and do it right. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero.
  • In Phantasy Star IV, Rika mentions the use of Gires, the strongest healing technique available without seriously overzealous level grinding, in a cutscene following a boss fight. If no one in your party has access to Gires when the boss fight starts, he'll spam Forceflash, a powerful attack that hits your entire party for about a half to a third of their total HP—and since you're not at a high enough level to have Gires, you don't have enough HP to survive that more than once or twice in a row. It's (almost) impossible to win the fight without cheating.
  • Final Fantasy VII has some saves in regards to non-permanent members in your party, giving them lines in cutscenes after the point where they've left in the case player was able to somehow avoid that event (or more likely hacked them in). These being Kid Cloud, Sephiroth, and obviously Aerith. The latter spawned theories that she could be revived. She couldn't. Speaking of that, there's another example directly after the boss battle that follows her death. Each different potential party member shows a different reaction when viewing Aerith's body. All with no dialogue.
    • When the team first leaves Midgar, Cloud gets to choose his 3 party team member. Having both female team members join Cloud causes a sarcastic remark from Barret. Having both male team members (well, including Red XIII), causes the two ladies to mention that this was entirely unexpected.
    • And after this, Cloud is technically supposed to join up with the team in Kalm. You can bypass the town, grab a Chocobo, run pass the Zolom and get off the Chocobo. Technically this would mean you have stranded yourself between the unpassable Mithril Mines and a Curb Stomp Battle. The dev team was nice enough to save your ass by having Cloud remark that he thinks he forgot something... and can the Chocobo please not run off first.
    • However, the game will crash if you put party members in your party that you can't get at any point on the current game disc. It's the most definitive proof that Aerith and Sephiroth are not recruitable, despite the rumors. Whether this is an aversion (they never thought anyone would get either character after the point they become unavailable or played straight (they wanted to make sure you couldn't use those characters after they became unavailable) is up for debate.
  • During the fight against Seymour Omnis in Final Fantasy X, the player, should he have Anima in his/her possession, might consider using it against Seymour. A cutscene will play for that exact scenario, where Seymour will say to Anima "So you are against me as well?! So be it!"
    • Quite late in the game, Kimahri is forced into a solo boss battle. Because the game is flexible in what characters you are allowed to use on most occasions, it's entirely possible the player has never used (or levelled) Kimahri at all. Solution? The bosses are entirely based off Kimahri's stats, scaling their difficulty so it is always reasonable (and actually quite easy). You can also learn most of the Ronso Rages the you are likely missed up to that point, along with two very powerful ones probably intended to be miracle solutions to that very fight.
    • The entire game is loosely based on this trope. Nothing particularly powerful or irreplaceable can be permanently missed. One aeon in particular requires the destruction sphere treasure from all six cloisters, and one of them cannot be returned to. The programmers avoided this problem by forcing you to collect the treasure on the way out (the chest blocks your path, and automatically opens if you try to squeeze past it).
  • During New Game+ of Tales of the Abyss, if you carried over acquired titles and equipped Luke with one of his alternate costumes as soon as you gain control of him, during an early scene Guy will comment about the state of Luke's hair. Luke insists he's wearing a short-haired wig (Luke's costumes usually start appearing AFTER he cuts his hair). Later in the game, if Luke was wearing a costume before and after cutting his hair, Tear will say, "...You took off your wig to cut your hair?"
  • The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind features, at one point, an NPC who falls from the sky and dies (and when you search his body, you find out why). With no preparation, there's no way to save him; however, if the player knows where he's going to fall, it's possible to purchase a spell or scroll of Slowfall before encountering him. If you cast the spell on him to save him, he'll say, "I don't want to talk about it." (Though this is more of a subversion. The game clearly expects the NPC to die - the spoken text is obviously just a placeholder. It would have been played straight had he thanked the player for saving him, or something.)
    • Certain Morrowind NPCs are also "smart" enough to recognise your relationship to whatever organisation they are part of. For example, mages guild members will mutter that you shouldn't be there if you aren't a member or greet you warmly if you have a high guild ranking. Joining the Imperial Legion may see the fort commanders question why you aren't in uniform if you aren't wearing Imperial armour.
    • Also, all NPCs in Morrowind are killable, including ones essential to the plot. In a minor instance of this trope, whenever such a character is slain by the player, a prompt will come up, informing them that "With this character's death, the thread of prophecy is severed. Restore a saved game to restore the weave of fate, or persist in the doomed world you have created."
      • But even if you do it, you can still win the game through a ridiculously complicated and obscure backdoor the dev team stuck in.
        • And if you manage to make that impossible (by killing the character who holds that backdoor together), you can still beat the game in under ten minutes assuming you don't (probably intentionally) misplace the two plot-relevant weapons at the end of the game.
    • In the Redoran quest line, you have to convince a faction member to duel a much more heavily armed Hlaalu opponent in the arena. You are explicitly told to watch the duel without getting involved. The Redoran man is doomed - unless you are a mage with a long-range healing spell. After surreptitiously helping him win (and you have to be a pretty good mage to pull this off, even though Redoran is the fighter's House), he will tell you how surprised he is with the results of the fight.
  • In the DS version of Dragon Quest V, the game normally starts with Pankraz suggesting the lead character be named Madason, only to have that vetoed in favor of whatever you entered. If you actually do enter Madason, Pankraz instead suggests Erdrick - this also doubles as a Mythology Gag to the NES-era translations of Dragon Quest I, II, and III.
    • Similarly, in Dragon Quest III if you opt to name the main character Erdrick or Loto, depending on the version, the game rejects it with no immediate explanation (the game does the same for swear words)- because the game is actually a prequel to the first two. You are Erdrick/Loto, but you won't receive that name until the end of the game.
      • A non spoilery example in DQIII, at the start of the SFC and GBC versions of the game there is a test to check your personality. Sometimes, the tester will ask you if you like sports. A few questions later, she will ask the question again. Have inconsistent answers, and she will get angry at you and point it out.
    • The games in series avert Non-Lethal KO and treat characters that fall in battle as truly dead until they're revived. In most games this even goes as far as to exclude them from cutscenes, and change dialogue that refers to them (for example, when rearranging a dead character's items, another character is described as doing it for them). Additionally, losing a battle doesn't result in a game over, it just returns you to the last church. So some games will have bosses acknowledge your earlier defeat if you battle them again.
  • In Chrono Trigger, there is one Hopeless Boss Fight which you are clearly not supposed to win - in fact, Lavos is at its strongest at this point of the game, just to make sure of it. Still, if somehow you DO defeat the game's end boss at this point, you are rewarded to a Developer's Room ending where the developers complain about why they bothered programming half the game's content if you already managed to beat the game this early anyway. I suspect that the reason why a boss fight with Lavos is available from the very beginning in a New Game+ is just to make this Developer's Room ending more accessible. Although with that said it's even harder to win it at the beginning, since Lavos has the same strength and you have only Crono and Marle in your party at that point (doing it after you get Lucca gets you an easier battle and a different ending), healing you for the amount of fire damage you would have otherwise taken.
    • The Developer's Room only appears if you win in that particular battle. There's another twelve endings (thirteen in the DS version) you can get from killing Lavos at different parts of the game. Some of them change based on other things you've done, such as if you crashed the Epoch. This isn't including the bad ending however making the total number of endings possible fourteen.
    • Also, if you open a locked chest in the past and take the loot, the same chest will be empty in a later era. However, if you open it in the later era first, not only do you get a more powerful version of the equipment the past chest had, but you can also backtrack and get the past chest's equipment, as well. Yay, Temporal Paradox!
    • Going to the Black Omen in 2300 A.D. causes Queen Zeal to jump down to the entrance and mock you, reminding you that the Bad Future aleady happened.
      • The Black Omen itself contains many, many of this. The Omen itself can be beat a total of 3 times in the same way as the chest above (so if you defeat it at an earlier Era, the Omen will disappear in all later Eras). While long and repetitive, this yields a lot of equipment (by stealing from the Omen's boss), which is otherwise unobtainable in large amounts (which is needed if you want to fully equip your whole party). Unfortunately, the other bosses remain defeated when you go back in time, and the treasure boxes on the Omen remain opened, so the abuse only goes so far.
  • Super Mario RPG: in the Kero Sewers, there is a treasure chest that you would normally return to after having stumbled across a Spring/Warp Pipe in Lands' End. If you utilize a trick, you can reach the chest and find that it contains something different than usual. After doing so, you can also get the other contents if you use the Lands' End route later on.
    • Likewise, if you try to Sequence Break by going down a pipe you're supposed to arrive at the Kero Sewers from Lands End through, an enemy mook will pop up from the pipe and tell you not to go there. Thanks to a large cliff, you can't proceed further from here, you have to go through the other way and knock down a barrel that gives you a boost allowing you to climb up the cliff.
    • Lose to the Snifit that wants to join Booster's Gang. Then visit Booster's Tower after defeating Valentina. You'll run into the very same snifit proudly declaring that he got in. You can repeat this with other snifits in the same way, until the last snifit says that he would have gotten in, but there wasn't enough room.
  • Semi-famous example from EarthBound: at one point in the main game, you are required to detour through a rain forest to remove an obstacle from the main path; walking through any of the numerous puddles there is accompanied by an appropriate splashing sound unique to the area. The real kicker, though, comes after you've beaten the game and are walking alone back along the aformentioned "main path" to your home. You might have forgotten by this point, but way back in the first town, you got a free bicycle that you haven't been able to use since the second town when you got your first party member (since they don't "stack", and riding around while everyone else has to walk would be rude). IF, during this post-game trip, you decide to go out of your way to revisit the rain forest, and IF you remember your bicycle and take it out of storage (because that's where you've put it, guaranteed), riding it through those same puddles has its own completely different sound effect, which plays at no other point or under any other conditions in the game. A rather Zen approach to the Bragging Rights Reward, isn't it?
    • Also, get caught using a pirated copy of EarthBound and you can expect a world of hurt. Encounters up the backside, warning messages and then the game locks at the end and eating your save.
    • Some dialogue also changes depending on who's fainted in your party. If Ness is unconcious and you talk to a random NPC friend of his, the character may ask where Ness is and how you know him.
    • Another one from the series—in Mother 3, Duster is nicknamed Lucky at a point in the game. If you name him Lucky, the nickname will be changed to Gorgeous.
      • Mother 3 is filled to the brim with Easter Eggs and things of this nature; "All the little things" is frequently cited as the 'best part' of the game. For example: Kumatora loses PP when she uses a PSI attack in a cutscene; dialog from NPCs and checking the scenery changes with each event flag. There's a newspaper in a nursing home that the player will likely never check more than once, but its contents change with each new chapter, sometimes more often. When a certain character dies, the dialog viewed when checking the scenery in their home will begin referring to them in the past tense. This blog post and comments detail just a bit of it.
  • If one is caught using a cheat device in Persona 3, the game will let you know it. Not by screwing your save or throwing monsters out the yin-yang at you. Oh Crumbs no, what it does is have your Navigator verbally admonish you for your cheating ways, I'm serious, it's fully voiced too!
  • If you use a PC tool to extract all the voiceover tracks from Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete you will find one track of Zophar praising you for "illegally" ripping the voice data.
  • In the early parts of Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, you can take control of a Czerka Corporation protocol droid and use it to expose the company's corruption. You could just head straight to their offices and download the data from the mainframe—or you could have the droid wander all over the station, listen to unique reactions from every unique NPC you encounter, and cap it all off by convincing another protocol droid to embezzle credits on your behalf.
  • If you cheat to get higher than possible starting stats in Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines, Smiling Jack will tell you to do it again fairly.
    • Even better, if you're playing as a member of the insane Malkavian clan, you can tell him that Malkav (the clan's legendary founder) changed your stats.
    • In one quest you must get rid of an annoying ghoul-associate. You can 1. Get her to leave town 2. Kill her in an alley. But if you've encountered the monster woman in the abandoned hospital who relies on flesh to survive you get 3. Tell her that she needs to meet with a person in the hospital. Cruelty Potential indeed...
    • A few bits of dialogue in the game make an offhand remark about your appearance with no gameplay effect. These actually will be different depending on the appearance stat of your character.
  • The developers of Kingdom Hearts thought of what would happen if one decided upon Sequence Breaking and so had cutscenes involving Maleficent changing if the player does so:
    • Normally, Maleficent spots Alice wandering into her chamber in Hollow Bastion, but if one completes Deep Jungle before sealing the keyhole to Wonderland, Snow White wanders into Maleficent's chamber instead.
    • If one skips Monstro, the scene where Maleficent grants Riku the power of darkness will play at the beginning of Neverland instead.
    • Complete Hollow Bastion before going to Olympus Coliseum (for the first time) or Monstro, and Maleficent won't appear in those two worlds because she's, well, dead. However, scenes with Riku will remain in the latter world, despite what happened in the plot at the point...
      • That's not exactly true. Certain scenes with Riku are removed completely. Those that remain are notably different with it being explicitly said at one point that it's not actually Riku.
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story has quite a few examples of this, such as in the final level. Normally, only Bowser can fight the last few types of enemies. But when Mario and Luigi fight them via Action Replay, they're all possible to dodge or counter attack as the brothers. For example, Mario or Luigi hammer away the Dark Mechawfuls when they punch, jump to break the bricks thrown by Naplocks, etc. Okay, it's not perfect (the final area has major issues, at least the bit before Dark Bowser), and one enemy attack causes you to have to just wait it out for three minutes as it does nothing, but it's better than the game freezing as expected. You can also do this with other Bowser-only foes, like the Choombas, which have Mario and Luigi specific attack patterns.
  • In the Generation IV Pokémon games, Arceus, a Legendary Pokémon, can have any Pokémon type corresponding to what type Plate it has, and has a different color scheme for each Plate. The move Curse has the type ???, and is the only move with this type. If you hack the game so that Arceus has the same type as Curse, it has its own color scheme and sprites. Also, the event Spiky-Eared Pichu has a Shiny sprite.
  • In Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, the player can do events based on the date (and sometimes the time) to reflect the original games' events. In order to prevent cheating by editing the date and time on the Nintendo DS, as opposed to being "permanently" set on the Game Boy (Advance) era (Gen III) games, the game will effectively ignore date changes until 24 hours or so have passed. For example, if you go to one of the Haircut Brothers, the right brother will show up on the day if you change it, but he'll either say "I have to close up for the day" or "I can only do one haircut a day".
    • Although, the game has a loophole so if the player sets the time so that it passes 12:00 AM, then the daily events are reset and can be played over again.
    • Other events, like the Bug Catching Contest event, aren't affected, since there's no way to cheat if you change the date or time.
    • In every game where breeding is possible, putting two Pokémon of compatible Egg groups will create an egg containing the youngest form of the mother. If you breed a female Nidoran with a male Nidoran (which are seperate species in the Pokédex) or any other Pokémon from the Monster or Ground groups, said egg has a chance of hatching into a male Nidoran.
      • Likewise, Illumise (female) and Volbeat (male) are effectively gender-differentiated versions of the same breed, and Illumise eggs will hatch into Volbeat if male.
    • In Pokémon Black and White, TMs have changed from being single-use items to have infinite uses, much like the HMs. However, when a Pokémon forgets a move in order to learn from a TM, the move learned with a TM takes on the current PP of the move replaced by the new move. This is to prevent repeated usage of TMs for the purpose of PP restoration.
    • Also in Black and White, the player has to at one point capture Reshiram or Zekrom (depends on the version) to advance the game. However, if your party and PC are completely full - which is very unlikely to happen by accident - this becomes impossible, so the game lets you skip doing so and capture it at a different location after the end of the game.
      • Because of the flashy cutscene surrounding that Pokémon's plot-related capture, which shows the Pokémon in its default color scheme, there is coding in place to prevent it from being the "shiny" alternate color scheme and spoiling your willing suspension of disbelief. However, there is a "shiny" sprite for it.
      • Furthermore, starting with Black and White Versions, if the shiny color scheme for a Pokémon is the first one that the player encounters for that particular Pokémon species, the shiny color scheme will be the sprite that is displayed in the Pokédex. In a related manner in Platinum, if the player is traded an Altered Forme Giratina from another player before encountering the game's Origin Forme Giratina in the Distortion World, then Giratina's Pokédex sprite will be that of the Altered Forme.
      • Morimoto is unique among the NPCs in that, besides him being a real person, his Pokémon carry Petaya Berries. This is an item you can't normally obtain in Pokémon Black and White. If you use any move that lets you obtain a Petaya Berry of his, it will become a Hyper Potion instead.
      • Future games also have a mandatory capture sequence but avoid the possibility of having a full storage system by only unlocking the last 30 slots during the mandatory capture.
    • The move Ingrain recovers HP by digging roots into the ground for nutrients. As a result, not only is regular and forced switching for that Pokémon impossible, there is an element in place that negates immunity to Ground-type attacks from being a Flying-type or using Levitate, which affects exactly one Pokémon that naturally learns Ingrain (Carnivine).
      • And also Smeargle, who can use Baton Pass to give the Ingrain status to any other party member, including one with a natural immunity to Ground. This even puts the recipient in contact with Toxic Spikes, should they be there.
    • The Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum games all have an NPC named Doctor Footprint, who gauges your Pokemon's feelings for you by their footprints. If you show him a Pokemon that doesn't have feet, he'll point that out (but give you a reading anyway).
    • In HeartGold and SoulSilver, when the player first reaches Lake of Rage, if you fish with the Good Rod you will find only Magikarp. However, if you turn on the radio so that Team Rocket's evolution signal is playing, you will only catch Gyarados, albeit normal blue ones instead of red.
    • Another Pokemon Black/White example. All pokemon have two battle sprites. A front sprite that faces the enemy, and a back sprite that faces the player. These sprites are also used for the pokemon musical. One Pokemon, Mawile, has its back turned to the enemy. So for the musical, in order to keep it from having it's back turned on the audience, the programmers switched the back sprite and the front sprite.
    • Unfortunately, the developers didn't think of one thing with the addition of IrDA communication to Heart Gold/Soul Silver and Black/White: the possibility of using IR to get Mystery Gifts with someone using a Game Boy Color and the original Gold/Silver/Crystal.
  • Alpha Protocol's story progression runs on this. At first, it just seems like little things, like characters calling you out on wearing ridiculous sunglasses or if you're wearing cammies in a public place where it would be better to wear civvies and blend in. Your character sheet even comes into play, the simplest example being an instance where Mike decrypts some encoded files he's swiped on a mission...unless you haven't put any points into the tech skill, in which case Mike is computer-illiterate and his handler handles the files instead. Multiple playthroughs will reveal just how far-reaching your little decisions are; every choice has a consequence, even dialog options that seemingly do nothing but influence whether or not someone likes you, because different reputations with different NPCs always have different, tangible results. Many players assume that the game is somehow unfinished or that, at least, the writing is sloppy because they lost track of a character and never saw them again. In fact, the choices they made allowed the character in question to become a Karma Houdini, but different choices would've ended in that character being more important and getting an on-screen resolution (of which there are many possibilities, ranging from friendship to backup to Heel Face Turn to execution.) The drawback to this complexity is that if you want to rig the game for a certain, preferred outcome, you're probably going to have to consult a FAQ.
  • When setting up 5.1 sound in Star Ocean 3, it's done interactively, with Sophia standing in front of Fayt's chair (representing the player). You make her talk by pushing a button, to check that her voice is centred in the sound picture. To start with, she'll loop a few generic 'testing, one two' lines, but if you carry on provoking her, her lines will get increasingly bored and sarcastic. After a good ten minutes, you can make her bored enough to go for a walk around Fayt's chair - but you can still make her talk, obviously allowing you to check the speakers in front and behind you.
  • In Tales of Destiny, there is a battle early on against a massively overpowered Leon, which the player is supposed to lose. If it just so happens that you spent a few dozen hours prior to this point level grinding like a crazy person, or are just plain cheating, and manage to defeat Leon, the game still moves on... only the problem is, the game's plot hasn't really started at this point, and it sort of requires Leon to defeat, capture, and then enslave your party. So what happens? You get a short text epilogue that says your party became successful Lens hunters and lived out the rest of their lives with no further incidents. The end.
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2, if you strip characters of equipment before the final boss fight, where at least one of them will end up committing a Face Heel Turn, Garius will lampshade this and give them some armor himself once they turn to your side. You'll still be accused of this if you never used that character and they don't have anything in those slots.
    • A similar sequence occurs in Hordes of the Underdark—in a hall of mirrors, looking at the wrong one will force you to fight your shadow. If, for some odd reason, you've unequipped your weapon, the script gives the copy a replacement.
    • Mask of the Betrayer has one quest where you need to put one party member at the beginning of a Light and Mirrors Puzzle to create a reflection of them at the destination. You can select any party member to stand in the apparatus, each resulting in a uniquely distorted reflection, each with different dialogue.
  • In the original Wild ARMs game, the opening sequence for one character involves entering a password to enter a locked room. He decides to just enter his name as a password to try it (which brings up the character naming screen), and springing a trap. If you name him with the correct password to the door, he says "Wow, it worked! I wonder what happens if I do this, then?" fiddling with the control panel and inevitably setting off that trap.
  • In Phantasy Star II, the initial confrontation with Neifirst has all the trappings of a Hopeless Boss Fight. With enough Level Grinding and healing items, it's actually possible to win that first confrontation; doing so gets you different dialogue than you get when you take the "normal" path.
  • In the first area of Fable II, Teresa will call you out on it if you start murdering villagers and points out that you gained absolutely nothing from it (since you don't get experience at this point in the game).
  • The first two Paper Mario games feature tattles for every page, character and enemy in the game.
  • In MARDEK Chapter 2, if you enter Lake Qur and try to go into the tunnel that leads to the Water Temple (an area normally only accessible during Chapter 3), your party member Emela will force you to turn back. Emela remains in your party for nearly the entirety of the game, and the only way to get the Aqualung status effect is to have her cast it on your party. Furthermore, touching any save crystals or getting hit by Earth-elemental attacks will remove the status effect. However, if you have her cast Aqualung on Mardek before exiting Moric's Battleship, after the rest of the party leaves Mardek to his own devices, you can, provided you avoid the aforementioned save crystals and earth damage, take him down to the dock at Lake Qur to jump into the lake. It won't let you jump in. Instead you get this message:

Oh, there's no reason you need to go down there. Yes, I know you set up
Aqualung all cleverly specifically for this, but I assure you, there are no temples
worth exploring down there. Really.

    • in case you were wondering what was REALLY down there in the 3rd game, it was a Sidequest item for the 3rd game, an orb that you need to collect all of in order to unlock a Bonus Boss, and that's it aside from a few enemies.
  • Inazuma Eleven 3, and possibly previous games in the series, have a special shoot animation which is only played if the defending team has no available players (not even the goalkeeper) anywhere near the path from the ball/kicker to the goal. Odds are you can complete the entire game without this situation ever coming up, because the goalkeepers' AI isn't stupid.
    • Inazuma Eleven GO adds two more animations that only occur in highly improbable situations, where a player with an Avatar active either (a) fails to steal the ball from or (b) gets the ball stolen from them, by a player without an active avatar without using a hissatsu technique. Both of these are nearly (but not completely) impossible to pull off.
  • In Gothic 2, the first quest is to enter the harbour town Khorinis. One can try to get past the guards, but it's also possible to climb the mountains near the city, jump of a cliff into the ocean and swim back to the harbour. A character will comment this as you emerge from the water. Also, the guards will know that you snuck past them.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance has Silence, a standard status ailment that prevents the user from casting any magic. The in-game description of Silence says the target has lost their voice, thus they cannot cast magic because of it. However, there are several non-magical abilities that requires a voice, such as Advice, Bangaa Cry, and many others. If the unit that has such abilities is under Silence, then they cannot use the said abilities because they lost their voice! Final Fantasy Tactics A2 follows this notion as well.
  • In Planescape: Torment you may decide to kill Barr, who takes your money for opening the gate in The Buried Village. But then you find out that he doesn't carry a key - and a short while after that the gate closed itself - and the remaining guards have no idea on how to open it.
    • And then you realise you can simply bash it open - because it's a rusty gate. This in turn makes the NPCs attack you.
  • Xenoblade has a unique appearance for everything you can equip, which adds up to each |PC's weapons and some half-dozen armor slots, resulting in a LOT of customization. During flashbacks, though, the game will remember what PCs were wearing at the time.
  • In Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army and its sequel Raidou Kuzunoha VS King Abaddon the player needs to spend money on mass transit to move to different areas of the city. Some areas have no source of random encounters making it possible, with deliberate effort, to not have enough money to go somewhere where you can get more money. In this case your sidekick will loan you the money needed to make the trip (the amount owed is automatically deducted from the amount earned after battle till it is paid back).

Side Scroller

  • In Yoshi's Island, if you stay at the far end of the ledge in Naval Piranha's room, Kamek won't show up, and thus you can take the plant down in one hit. Once you do, Kamek makes a brief (if priceless) appearance and the level ends.

Kamek: OH, MY!!

Simulation Game

  • Free Space came bundled with FRED (FReespace EDitor), the same development tool the designers used to create the main game's missions. They included a rather amusing response to one attempt at crashing the program. FRED has an autonaming feature: when a new ship is placed, before the user renames it, it is called " 1" or "2", or whatever, the number being how many ships had been placed already plus one. It was discovered that attempting to fool FRED's autonamer by renaming a ship to the next ship name in line (for instance, naming a ship "Ulysses 2" and then placing a second Ulysses) would result in the new ship being autonamed "URA Moron 1". For those interested, renaming a ship the next ship in line and renaming a ship "URA Moron 1" results in the next ship being "URA Moron 2" and so on...
    • In the first mission of Freespace 2, if you don't jump out when the mission is complete, the ships you've been escorting will actually go through the docking procedure with the ship that you're told is coming in for them to dock with. You can watch several minutes of scripted sequence and dialog that pertains to absolutely nothing important.
    • When the second Sathanas juggernaut destroys the GVD Psamtik in the mission "Straight, No Chaser", , the Sathanas will normally blow the Psamtik away in seconds. However, its beams aren't scripted, just flagged as allowed to fire at will. On the off-chance that they miss enough so that the Psamtik is not immediately obliterated (essentially requiring all but one beam in the first two volleys to miss) the ship's commander and allied command exchange increasingly panicked dialog as the damage starts to pile up. The commander even reports that their jump drive has been destroyed, so you won't wonder why the Psamtik doesn't just take advantage of its luck and retreat while still in one piece.
    • Similarly, at one point the first Sathanas attacks the GTD Phoenicia. Usually it just gets blown up in the first volley, but if it does survive, the captain basically says "Screw This, I'm Outta Here" and jumps out. Mention of this is made in the debriefing.
    • Occurs very frequently throughout the series. There are numerous ships that can appear in multiple missions, but stop appearing if they are destroyed. Easy to miss since most of these are freighters and transports of no real importance. The most obvious example is the Actium and Lysander.
    • Fan-made expansions often do this too: Blue Planet has one mission where you lure a destroyer into a trap by disabling some lesser capital ships, but you're specifically told to leave their comm systems alone so that they can call for help. If you ignore this order and blow up the comm system, the ship's crew will manage to jury-rig an emergency transmitter to get the SOS off anyway.
      • Also from Blue Planet, let's say you used cheats to win the Unwinnable by Design mission "Delenda Est". A Sathanas juggernaut called "Mr. Cuddles" will show up to kill you. If you manage to survive that, you get a special debriefing.
  • In The Sims 2, don't think you can get away with screwing around with the social worker if she shows up to take your kids. Most sadistic players who played the first Sims usually boxed the kid or the worker in a room with no doors or the like in order to prevent the kid from being taken away. Trying to pull the same trick off in the sequel? EA gets the last laugh since if the worker can't reach the kid after a certain amount of time, she will teleport the kid to her car! Now imagine that happening in Real Life...
  • Each expansion in The Sims 2 included big gameplay elements that would have to be accounted for in future expansions, leading to extra features that you would never see if you only had one or two installed.
    • In University, the college neighborhood has certain restrictions due to time passing differently and students being in their own separate age group with its own game mechanics, which all later expansions had to take into consideration. Students also have teenage voices, meaning the voice actors would have to record lines for all the things adults can do but teenagers cannot.
    • Nightlife introduced a new aspiration, (Pleasure) which would need to have wants and fears assigned to it in all later expansions.
    • Open For Business allows players to run their own business, meaning all community lot items in future expansions (Such as food stands and pet shops) would need to work when controlled by the player.
    • Pets cheated a bit; cats and dogs aren't permitted at university, and they can't be taken on vacation. Still though, they can interact with objects only included in previous and future expansions.
    • Free Time's hobby system assigns an appropriate hobby to almost EVERY SINGLE OBJECT IN ALL EXPANSIONS.
    • Don't think you can cheat in the DS version without consequence. Setting back your DS's clock will cause the concierge to accuse you of being a time-traveling witch and aliens will swarm the town. There is no consequence for setting your DS clock forward, other than causing bugs to occur more frequently.
  • Many Harvest Moon games have events based on your friendship with certain people. Some of the events involve characters who are in the pool of potential Love Interests; some of the events must be seen if you want to marry them, but some of them are optional. If you see these optional events after you've married them, the dialogue will often be slightly different—in addition to calling you by your nickname, they'll say somewhat different things.
    • In HM DS, if your Ball item gets lost, Mayor Thomas will return it to you. Your ball can get lost if you so much as sneeze (though you can purposefully ship it or give it to people), but if you specifically throw your ball in the water? Thomas will appear angry and dripping wet, and chide you for being so irresponsible! If he wasn't a champion swimmer, your ball would be lost for good.
      • What's even more disturbing is that he will also pick up your ball if you leave it on the floor of your house or throw it in the pond in the basement. He breaks into your house to steal your stuff and give it back to you.
    • When you want to propose to someone, you need to use the Blue Feather, an item that you usually get only once per game. If you show it to an eligible partner, then they'll either agree to marry you or not. If you show it to the other townspeople, then you can get a unique response from EVERY other character in the game, ranging from congratulations on your upcoming engagement, to mistakenly thinking that you're trying to propose to them! This is taken even further in Island of Happiness. There are around 70 extra side villagers that can move to your island. Even though they don't have face graphics, and are all simple Palette Swaps of each other, they'll each have their own special response to the Blue Feather!
  • Tachyon the Fringe has a similar setup to Beyond Zork, wherein using cheat codes will result in the main character making fun of you. The fact that the main character is voiced by Bruce Campbell almost makes it worth cheating.
  • In Evil Genius secret service agents usually infiltrate the rooms of your underground base via doors, and given enough time they will hack any door. If they find something incriminating or vital, they'll try to blow it up or take pictures for evidence. If you try and block off incriminating evidence, agents that get close enough will start shooting whatever is in the way, leading to explosions and fires. If you're foolish enough to build a room then brick up the entrance, agents will find (read: make on the spot) secret entrances into the sealed-off portion of your base and carry on with their despicable do-gooding while you are helpless to stop them because the entrance is bricked up. This also works in reverse—locking up an agent into a bricked-up cell only leads to him using another secret passage to get out, and he could end up smack dab into the middle of your power plant. FFFFFFF----

Sports Game

  • During the post-game menu in the MLB: The Show series, the PA announcer will refer to the correct, real-life routes on how to exit the stadiums onto nearby freeways and streets for every stadium in the game (for example, where to get to the BART stations from the Oakland Coliseum or how to exit Elysian Way for Dodger Stadium, etc.)

Stealth Based Game

  • Hitman Blood Money anticipated for "Til Death Do Us Part" that people might disguise themselves as a priest during a wedding. So naturally, there's a bonus cutscene where you can tie the knot for your target.
    • Running near the jogger in the suburban mission "A New Life" results in him saying, "Nice stride, friend, but you'll ruin your feet in those shoes!"
  • In Splinter Cell: Conviction, the new, improved takedowns include slamming a hostage's head against the wall. If you do this in front of a light switch, the Player Character slams the hostages face into it. This turns the lights off. Unfortunately, they don't make a "Lights out" Bond One-Liner.

Survival Horror

  • Lifeline, the game controlled almost entirely by voice commands, there are quite a few words in Rio's dictionary that you might be surprised by, especially if you didn't actually say them due to the prototypical nature of the game's main feature. Telling her to commit suicide, for example, elicits a response unique to the request. You could also say Rio's voice actor's name (the exact name depending on whether or not it's the Japanese version or the English version) when asked who your girlfriend is for a unique response. She also dislikes it if you swear, ironic considering this is a survival horror game.
    • Ask her how to open that first door. You'll get an answer that's 100% accurate but useless to you ("Turn the knob!) because you've got a Dualshock2 controller in front of you instead of what's actually in the room your character is in.
  • In F.E.A.R. 2 you start the game in a parking lot. If you shoot at a nearby car for the heck of it, your squadmate tells you to stop ("hey, it's not your car!"). A short while later you meet with your superior, who asks why you're late; your squadmate says "Becket was busy vandalizing shit". He has different responses if you jump in the fountain or just take a long time doing nothing.
  • In Dark Corners of the Earth, seeing too much disturbing stuff at once will cause Jack to freak out in a number of different ways. One such way is that he'll start muttering to himself in a panic. What he mutters is in direct context to whatever he's seeing that scares him, be it a ghostly girl, a rotting corpse, or a giant monster made of brown acid.
    • There's a moment where Jack needs to access a ladder locked on a ceiling by shooting its lock. Doing it under the ladder makes it fall on Jack and badly injury him.

Third-Person Shooter

  • Mobile Suit Gundam - Encounters in Space has a truly staggering number of special voice clips for Versus Mode, dependent upon several factors including the characters' partners, their abilities, their mecha, their opponents (as well as their abilities and mecha...). For one particular example, putting Amuro Ray in the Gundam NT-1 will have him start the fight with "This Alex isn't just for show!" This is also true for the game's Create-A-Characters, who are fully voiced. Making this more impressive is the fact that this is exclusive to Versus Mode, since a vast majority of the combinations involved can't happen at all in the standard story modes.
    • Similarly, in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2, different characters will say different things to pilots they are performing Combo Attacks with. Considering this game has tons and tons of characters to choose from, this leads to a number of characters saying the same thing to some of the pilots, but saying some unexpected things to others. For example, pairing Amuro Ray with Heero Yuy causes Amuro to say "You're a good shot!" and Heero to respond "Not as good as you!". Additionally, placing a Universal Century pilot, such as Seabook Arno, into a mobile suit other than their main model (the F91, in this case) will cause them to comment on the fact that they're piloting an antique (any mobile suit from an earlier era) or how advanced the suit is (for mobile suits created after their relevant series/movie).
    • This returns in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3. Less obvious combination SP attack quotes include Banagher Links and Domon Kasshu, who both call out to their loved ones, Audrey and Rain, respectively. Kou and Jerid have one in which the latter will demandingly call out to Kou as 'Ensign' and tell him to follow his orders. This pull-of-rank irritates Kou, who tells Jerid he can't boss him around.
  • The first non-prologue area of Max Payne 2 involves the investigation of a warehouse area. One of the private cleaners of the site insists on letting you in and showing you to the main storage area, at which point he and several of his underlings ambush you and the real violence begins... unless, of course, you already know what's going to happen. You can simply kill him upon your first encounter, causing the monologuing protagonist to say 'The perp's disguise didn't fool me, he was leading me into a trap' instead.
    • All over the place, actually. Any stage that allows you to roam around in one way or another supplies you with many little sweets, some dialogue and some actual animations:
      • Just for instance, in Payne's or Corcoran's apartment complexes during their respective shootouts, if you knock or try to open any other apartment doors that you aren't supposed to, people inside will call out to you things along the lines of "Get lost!", "The cops are on their way!" and "Ooooh, ooooh yeah!", thus averting the mistake other games usually commit.
      • Or the police station: There are of course a man making a statement on how his wife and her lover killed themselves in his house and THEN framed him for the murder or the stripper who receives threats of her video shooter-addicted boyfriend after she threw his TV out of the window. Then there are several areas you will probably never have to go during the game, such as the traffic control centre and the recreation room. In the former, you can listen to the officer in charge giving directions and confirming orders, but in the latter you see two cops watching TV. If you get between them and the TV, they will shout at you to get out of the way and try to lean around you. If you actually turn off the TV, they will call you an asshole and turn it on again with a remote.
      • In the third game, Max can carry one large rifle or shotgun and two smaller weapons. Max will realistically carry his longarm in his off hand due to the lack of a sling, even during cutscenes. And if Max needs to go Guns kimbo, he has to drop the long gun. The game even edits cutscenes to take account of whether or not Max entered the scene carrying a rifle and has to put it down or have it taken.
  • In Red Dead Redemption, you can whistle to call your horse to you. If you do this while a dog is nearby,[3] it will follow you.
    • You can also lasso deer, elk, goats and rams, but you can't ride them.
    • You can jump off from a second-story balcony or window onto your horse and ride it out of town.
    • The trains will stop at a junction to wait for another to pass through before going themselves.
      • Speaking of trains, there is an achievement for dropping a hog-tied woman in the way of one.
    • John (and subsequently Jack) has multiple unique battle taunts for each of the twenty (and completely optional) bounty targets.
      • Jack also has a full set of dialog recorded for each Stranger mission if you wait until the endgame to complete them. The one exception to this is I Know You. If you somehow manage to not do this mission before John dies, it won't count against getting a One Hundred Percent Completion achievement/trophy.

Turn-Based Strategy

  • Disgaea 2. Try sending multiple people into the Dark Court at once, for example...
    • A lot of the subtler game mechanics in the Disgaea series seem to be built around this trope as well. Throwing enemies into your base panel, for example. (Save first.)
  • List of characters that can be hacked into Fire Emblem: Path Of Radiance. The fact that one of these characters shares a name with a character from Radiant Dawn is probably just a coincidence, as the two have different classes. The fact that Zelgius and the Black Knight have the exact same affinity, weapon ranks, and growth rate? Uh...not so much so. Yes, The Dev Team Thinks of Everything, including putting in spoilers for the sequel.
    • The dev team didn't get sloppy in the sequel, either, as they included many scenes of dialogue which are incredibly hard to see, like characters on opposing armies having a unique conversation before they battle where it's incredibly hard to get them to fight (like Micaiah and Soren, where the former cannot cross a specific line which she must defend and the later is an NPC which rarely moves) and the Black Knight having a unique death quote if he dies on the chapter where you control him and none of the enemies can kill him.
      • For that matter, in Path of Radiance, you get a lot of variance in scenes depending on whether or not certain characters died.
    • Similarly, Sacred Stones has the image and stats for Nergal, the Big Bad of the previous game. Even though they take place in completely different worlds.
    • In Rekka no Ken's penultimate level, The Value Of Life (32x in Hector's Story, isn't in Eliwood's), the mission is to kill the Magic Seal Kishuna, whose chamber is closed off by a door and who summons reinforcements when said door is opened. Using the Warp Staff to send a unit into Kishuna's room on turn 1? Not such a great idea, or if you do, you'd better be prepared to go right after him rather than wasting time so your other units can pick up the treasures in the level. Sending a unit to the space directly above the door while it is still closed causes it to not only open on its own, but four Berserkers that wouldn't otherwise be in the level show up as reinforcements.
    • Also, in some Fire Emblem titles, there are levels in which there is a door which opens automatically after a specific number of turns, usually by an NPC. Under normal circumstances at the points in the game which they occur, It is effectively impossible to get to the door before it automatically opens. However, if the player somehow manages to reach the door and open it themselves, an otherwise inaccessible cutscene is displayed to accommodate the situation. Chapter 16 in Rekka no Ken is an example of this.
    • At the end of the prologue in Shadow Dragon, you must choose a unit to use as a sacrifical decoy so that the rest may escape. It is possible to choose Marth, even though the decoy will be Killed Off for Real and Marth dying ends the game. There is a specific cutscene for this scenario.
      • Related: There is actually a bit of Gameplay and Story Integration around this subject, too. If you do play the prologue, and send a character to be Killed Off for Real, you can't use them. Later in the game, you are given one item called the Aum staff, that lets you resurrect one character. Since most players go for 100% survival, a lot of players' first instinct was to use it on the sacrifice...but it's not an option. However, "New Mystery of the Emblem" brings about a very clever explanation: Frey was indeed the canon sacrifice; however he is alive and well in New Mystery. Supports with the player reveal that he was the sacrifice, but instead of being killed, he was beaten up and left for dead, but was rescued by some civilians, and survived with a scar and memory loss. So in summary, you can't use the Aum staff on the Sacrifice, because they never actually died!.
    • There have been a few occasions in which a boss who you are not supposed to beat actually has dialogue or a situation on what happens if you do manage to beat them.
      • In Genealogy of the Holy War, the Final Boss appears on a map. You actually can beat the boss, which they'll respond with "Playtime is over - I'm going home."
      • You are told not to kill Fargus in Rekka no Ken. However, you actually can attack him (Which isn't recommended, seeing how powerful he is) and the game takes into consideration what happens if you do kill him - you get a Game Over.
      • In Radiant Dawn, one chapter has Lekain on the map. While he is supposed to flee when someone shows up, you actually can get over to him and beat him, causing a scene to play where he retreats.
  • If you use an Action Replay to boost the experience gained in Disgaea DS, the game will adapt the characters leveled up in this fashion so that they need to more than double their total EXP gained just to go up one more level—essentially forcing you to keep using that cheat just to level up at the normal rate. Of course, by the time it figures it out (which varies from character to character), you could already have your characters' levels in the 4000s... (usually, it figures it out by around 2300 or so.)
  • The Super Robot Wars OG games have sets of dialog for any character piloting any mech (except in cases where characters have their own specific, exclusive one), occasionally with some humorous results
    • Additionally, an early scenario in OG2 has the player, with only four units, being ambushed by three boss units. However, with persistence, a crazy player CAN beat them, resulting in a Breaking the Fourth Wall moment and rewarding the player with various powerful items.
  • Super Robot Wars Z has many such instances. For example, The Big O is a ground unit which has melee attacks which do not work against aerial opponents, but if you attack a "Minovsky Drive" which allows it to fly and use these attacks, you see that they have specialized, completely unique animations for mid-air use. Another one is an Easter Egg special dialog that can be found if you reduce the penultimate boss' HP to exactly 1 point, where it goes on a rather lengthy rambling session. Lampshades the whole idea with the ground-only Iron Gear (WM)'s punch attack - if it's given some way to attack aerial foes, it won't use its boosters to jump up. Rather, it just kinda... floats up, perfectly in key with its source.
  • It's possible, with a lot of time, care, and planning ahead, to run out of fuel on every unit during the first campaign mission in Advance Wars 2 - doing this causes Nell to yell at you and tell you to Yield so you can start over.

Wide Open Sandbox

  • In Bully, English class requires you to play a mini-game where you must unscramble letters to form as many words as you can. One level includes the letters H, I, S, and T. If you spell a certain word using those four letters, it doesn't count, and the teacher just gives an amused response.

Non-Video Game Examples


  • The pinball game Indiana Jones: The Pinball Adventure features a sinkhole chute that is guarded by three targets. Normally the sinkhole is accessable only when the targets are stuck and dropped out of play, revealing access. Because pinball games are physical, it is possible to slip by without striking the targets. The character Short Round will cry out, "you cheat, Dr. Jones!" and awards bonus points.
    • There is also a bonus section where you are supposed to hit various targets to fight against a swordsman displayed on the screen. However, if you remember that the ball launcher is designed like a gun trigger, you can indeed follow in Dr. Jones' footsteps and just shoot him.
    • Pinball games in general include many of these, to protect against the game ending up in a situation the physical hardware can't resolve. In "The Addams Family", if a ball enters the Vault while the Bookcase barrier is still supposed to be blocking it, the game proceeds as if the vault had been open but Gomez's quote is changed to "Dirty pool, old man - I like it!". In "Funhouse", Rudy's mouth is normally only a valid shot when it is locked open as he's asleep, but incidentally shooting the ball into his mouth while he's speaking causes him to spit it out shouting "You big cheeseburger!".

Operating Systems

  • The Windows CE emulator in Virtual PC was clearly programmed by someone who understands bored techie tendencies. Attempting to set up a recursive emulation results in an error with the text "You just had to try, didn't you?" This may be considered erroneous behavior, since it means the emulator doesn't perfectly recreate the environment, but on the other hand, dicking around with recursion is pretty erroneous to begin with.
  • The Unix cal command prints calendars. If you type cal 9 1752 you get the calendar for September 1752. The 14th follows the 2nd because England converted from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar at that time.

Tabletop Games

  • GURPS tends to evoke this, especially when reading the more specific supplements. The Space book, in particular, seems to cover EVERY possible trope related to space. The alien creation rules contain everything from trophic level to biological symmetry.
    • The martial arts supplement gives 58 different real world combat styles (not counting differentiation by era) plus another five ones they made up. Go ahead see how many you can think of, kung-fu only counts as one.
    • Dungeon Fantasy 8: Treasure Tables gives listings for spices, toys, furniture, perfumes, paintings and containers. It even gives guidelines based around culturally distinctive styles. Dungeon Fantasy 2: Dungeons gives detailed rules regarding harvesting organs, teeth and natural poisons of dead monsters and what bits of scrap taken from dungeon trappings will sell for back in town. Also, want to sell stories of your adventure to bards? There's rules for that as well. Other material involving the Dungeon Fantasy lines are templates for playing Justicars (city watchmen and kings' guardsmen), Sages, Ninjas, Innkeepers and Mystic Knights.
    • Spaceships is probably the only place in an RPG book (outside of Traveller) that you can find relativistic equations. Fortunately they're very much optional.
  • Super-extra-lucky-rare tabletop version from Vampire: The Requiem: In the previous incarnation of the game, some Disciplines were notoriously easy to ignore. To hammer home that this iteration is more ruthless and harder to cheese, the developer's state that that using the Dominate Discipline always requires eye contact, and if a character were to try to ignore this rule by wearing sunglasses, said Ventrue player is free to laugh at the n00b's incompetence.
    • V20 backports these rules to Vampire: The Masquerade, and further notes that since the need for eye contact is symbolic rather than literal, even removing your eyes doesn't render you immune to eye contact—it just makes it much easier to avoid it.
    • On a more practical note, the dev team was kind enough to supply the likely effects massive pressure differences would have on vampires. In space.
    • The 'Armory' books list (among numerous other Improvised Weapons), the effects when using a belt sander or post-hole digger as weapons.


  • Omega Supreme's toy in Transformers Energon has three parts: A giant battleship , a huge crane, and a small robot which formed the head. When in combined mode, Omega Supreme's body (Made of the crane and the battleship) have a head of sorts that can be raised when the actual head unit isn't attached. Reason? To actually give the big guy a head if one loses the headmaster robot.
  • In Bionicle the Great Beings designed safety systems in case Mata Nui was put into sleep. They also developed some Toa destroyers in case Toa were not shut down when no longer necessary. Too bad you actually designed a good guys destroyers, hum?

Web Comics

  • Xkcd had an interesting April Fool's day in 2010, which can be found here.
    • Especially funny if you type in a certain four letter word. The response? I have a headache.
    • Try entering 'Help', 'Sleep' or 'Kill'.
    • Or 'Next to Last'.
      • Followed by 'Enable time travel'.
    • 'Cheat', and of course, 'Quit'.
    • When you type 'look' you have exits of "West" and "South". Going "West" repeatedly will report interesting statements about each room you visit. It's the lyrics to the Chorus of "Go west" by The Village People. Hilarious. Going south will result in being eaten by a grue, unless you thought to type "light lamp" first.
    • And if you type 'go east' after going 'west' once, you get: "You are at a computer using unixkcd."
    • Entering 'xyzzy' will respond "Nothing happens", rather than a generic "must be roto".
    • Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right...
    • Many real Unix commands are programmed in, such as "sudo." The site suggests using a few, including "cat," which just responds, "You're a kitty!"
    • "find" also works; the game asks you what you want to find, and suggests "kitten."
      • If you search for the afforementioned kitten, the console searches for a popular flash metroidvania called Robot wants Kitty.
    • "make love" results in the predictable "I put on my robe and wizard hat." This itself is a reference to the TOPS-10 operating system, which used the "make" command for the creation of a file. When "make love" was inputted, the OS would respond with "not war?" before creating the file.
    • Try "Make me a sandwich" and "sudo make me a sandwich".
    • "go down"
    • It follows DOS commands.
    • Try "Hello Joshua"
    • Hmm...I wonder if this has Vim or Emacs?
  • xkcd's 2012 April Fool's gimmick also qualifies. The strip posted that day, "Umwelt",[4] came in dozens of different variations; which one you see depends on your "perspective", i.e. location, browser, window size, etc. How extensively did Randall do this? There's a specific comic for Netscape Navigator.
  • Eight Bit Theater had an in-universe example with Black Mage attempt to copy a spell that Sarda used to rewrite reality according to his will, deducing it to be a "Rewrite Reality According to My Will" spell. It turns out to be a "Rewrite Reality According to Sarda's Will" spell instead.
    • In fact, Sarda casts all his spells this way, at least when he's around Black Mage. When BM copies an incredibly painful spell that Sarda has just used on him, he discovers that it's not a "make target vomit out his intestines" spell, it's a "make Black Mage vomit out his intestines" spell.

Web Original

  • Akinator knows pretty much every single person or character that anyone in the world ever slightly cares about. It's not the "Dev Team", per se, but the contributions of millions of players that make up its bottomless knowledge. He also catches onto your attempts to con him—try to click "No" every time and the answer will be "Someone who kept clicking on No to see what happens".
  • This webpage. Try using it to check itself.
  • Back when Twitter had a 140 character limit, if you tried to make a tweet with more characters and click at the nick of time, it would read "Your tweet was over 140 characters. You'll have to be more clever".


  • IBM RnD, according to Prof Moriarty speaking on the Sixty Symbols YouTube channel. "You read [one of their research papers] and questions arise. Then you go back and see 'oh, right, they've done that as well'. And then you think 'well maybe this' but every single question is covered."
  • PNG files always begin with the following bytes (in hexadecimal): 89 50 4E 47 0D 0A 1A 0A. Seems random, but it's actually carefully constructed to prevent against as many potential problems as possible.
    • 89 makes sure the file is interpreted with 8-bit data, and protects against file transfers that would convert it to 7-bit data.
    • 50 4E 47 is the code for "PNG" so that image programs can identify the file. It's also human-readable, in case the file is opened in a text editor accidentally.
    • 0D 0A is a CRLF (DOS-style line ending), and protects against file transfers that translate CRLFs to LFs (Unix-style line endings).
    • 1A stops the file from being displayed as text under MS-DOS and similar systems.
    • 0A is an LF, and protects against file transfers that translate LFs to CRLFs.
    • In short, the PNG file format automatically protects against 90% of all possible file errors in the first eight bytes.
    • Similarly, the custom content in Spore are entirely in PNG format. Yes. A picture file. This allows saving pictures from the sporepedia website and moving into the creation folder and detected as Spore creation complete with information and tags, even when the computer is offline while playing Spore.
      • The PNG format specifies that you can have any "tag" you want in an image file. There are a number of required tags for image data, but PNG parsers are required to ignore tags they don't understand. So the Spore team could have made their own tag for the creature data, but they didn't. Instead, they encoded the creature data in the alpha channel of pixels surrounding the creature's mugshot. Talk about taking the hard route...
      • This trick was also used in The Sims 3 for iOS devices, which requires you to do a screenshot of the intended character at a designated export screen. Unfortunately, due to the differences imposed by the compatibility layer when running iPhone software on an iPad, the scheme fell flat on it's face if exporting the character is attempted on an iPad.
  • Detroit's Comerica Park, home of the Tigers, has a statue garden of their legendary players in the deep center field stands. One of them is memoralized with his glove up and open. The artist took the time to fill the interior of the glove with small nails, so that on the one-in-a-million chance that a home run is hit into the glove, the statue will "catch" it.
  • The iPhone app Siri is an "intelligent personal assistant" that can look up information via voice commands. It also has smart-ass responses to a number of questions, requests, or commands, like "How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?" ("That depends on if we are talking about an African woodchuck or a European woodchuck."), "What are you wearing?" ("Aluminosilicate glass and stainless steel. Nice, huh?") and "Talk dirty to me" ("The floor needs vacuuming.")
  • Some email processors will, if you write the words "Attached is/are..." without giving an attachment, ask you if you want to attach anything before they send it. This is quite useful.
  • The free music program Spotifiy plays commercials between songs. If you mute your speakers during these, the commercial pauses until you unmute the sound.

Examples of the trope being referenced

Live Action TV

  • The page quote comes from the TV Series The Big Bang Theory: Basically, Sheldon wants to learn how to drive on a simulator in order to get practice on it before getting a drivers license. Howard Wolowitz modified an armored vehicle simulator he developed for the military into a car simulator so Sheldon could practice driving. Of course, as the quote indicates, he does terribly on the simulator, and eventually crashes into a pet shop (presumably also running over some of the dogs and cats). Sheldon then tells Leonard to remind him to thank Wolowitz for developing the software, as its graphics were amazingly detailed.
  1. Disclaimer: Not all objects are available. All The Tropes is not responsible for an object not being summoned while attempting this trope. Results may vary.
  2. it might as well be "I Am Not Making This Up"
  3. there is usually one or two roaming around in the settlements
  4. German for "environment"; it's an idea from semiotics. See the alt-text or That Other Wiki for more.