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Levels from action-adventure games that test your reflexes...and your patience.


Nintendo

  • The Test Of Fear from Star Fox Adventures. It takes about half a dozen failed attempts to even figure out the controls for the damn thing, and even then how hard your little cursor thing moves seems completely arbitrary. Even after you learn where the biggest cursor movements come in, it still takes near-superhuman reflexes to react on time.
    • There's also Lightfoot Village, the area you have to get through beforehand. Button Mashing gone horribly wrong.
    • Dragon Rock. Already a very intimidating-looking Bleak Level, it requires sheer dexterity for the shooting segments. Which are also needed for Drakor.
  • Torvus Bog, from Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. It's a cross between a swamp level and a sewer level, how could that possibly go wrong? [1] All the enemies are Goddamned Bats or Demonic Spiders, there's annoying water sections without the Gravity Suit, half the bosses are That One Boss, and it's just a generally unenjoyable level.
    • Metroid Prime has Magmoor Caverns, which is disliked because it's not so much a zone as a glorified transit tunnel between the other zones. The real That One Level, however, is the Phazon Mines. Looks dull, has lots of annoying jumps, and is filled with Space Pirates who lock all the doors in the room until you kill them all (the background music also changes to the appropriately name "Pirate Fear" until you kill them all). Also, it has Metroids! And when you first enter it, you have to pass what is commonly called "the gauntlet". Basically you have to go through half the zone, fighting countless Pirates, beating two minibosses and completing a rather annoying morphball maze featuring lots of electrified walls, all without being able to save the game!
    • Prime also has the crashed pirate frigate. It would have been an excellent level, if it wasn't for two things. First of all, you can enter without the Gravity Suit and get stuck at the bottom of a massive room with no way to get out other than a long, long string of difficult jumps where one false move sends you plummeting back down. Second, half the doors in the frigate are powerless, meaning you have to find several conduits and energize them. It's just busy work, and it turns what would have otherwise been an interesting level with great music into a long, mind-numbing slog.
    • The Impact Crater is probably Metroid Prime's worst level. There are only 3 or 4 rooms leading up to the final boss, which happen to be filled with red phazon and Fission Metroids that are only vulnerable to one beam and (as their name suggests) split into more Fission Metroids. The only save point in the whole place is near the entrance. After all this you end up fighting a difficult boss that has 2 forms. To make it worse, the 2nd one can spawn Fission Metroids.
    • Super Metroid is a very well designed game, but Maridia earns many player's ire for the large amount of backtracking required to get all the items.
    • Metroid: Zero Mission has the Zero Suit level: You're in a spaceship infested with laser-shooting pirates without your Power Armor, a completely useless shock pistol as your only weapon, Everything Is Trying to Kill You and you can only take as many hits as you have health tanks (which is 9+1 max). Even worse, Hard Mode decreases that number since Energy Tanks only give 50 health per.
    • Metroid Fusion has the reactor level. The power for the station gets knocked out, and you have to find out what caused it and turn it back on. For the first part, all Save and Recharge Rooms are offline, so you have to fight through a long string of rooms before getting to Yakuza, a giant spider that falls squarely into That One Boss territory. After that, there's a newly-activated-but-easily-missable Save Room, and then a long, aggravating SA-X chase sequence. Finally, you get to go through Sector 2 again, this time filled with Ki-Hunters, ending with Nettori, who is also immensely frustrating, although less so than Yakuza. The Space Jump and Plasma Beam are a decent prize, though.
  • Frantic Factory from Donkey Kong 64. Not only is it a very long and difficult level in its own right, it also has That One Boss.
    • One level area features the original Donkey Kong arcade game, which you have to beat in order to get to the final boss. The trouble is, this version of the classic arcade game practically embodies Nintendo Hard; you only had one life to complete three levels, barrels come from everywhere, you can't skip the cutscenes, and after all this, you have to complete it again, but this time at an even harder mode of difficulty.
    • Crystal Cave, until the hidden baddie causing the cave-ins is beaten.


Other

  • The developers' insistence on putting chase missions into every single 3D Spider-Man game ever made. Including some requiring you to escape from an enemy while web-swinging toward the camera.
    • Ultimate Spider-Man. Chasing Electro. Imagine the person you're chasing can fly and has the ability send you flying (and usually plummeting afterward) in the opposite direction if you get anywhere near them.
    • In Spider-Man 2, you had to web swing on these freaky floating (fake) aliens to the Statue of Mysterio on Liberty Island. Unless you were already close to the island, one slip-up would start you over from the beginning.
  • La-Mulana's Brutal Bonus Level, the Hell Temple. If you love Trial and Error Gameplay, "Land of Hell" rooms that take you back several rooms once completed, very finicky jumping puzzles, a Wall Jump room so sickeningly frustrating that you'll wish death upon the developers, and a man in a swimsuit as your reward, you will LOVE the Hell Temple. Not to mention the fact that the final puzzle requires you to leave the temple to collect an item necessary to complete this puzzle, making you redo the entire Hell Temple again. The kicker? You have to do this twice.
    • If you don't play Shoot Em Ups, have fun solving the puzzle in the 21st room of the Hell Temple, as it requires you to get 120,000 points in the Parodius clone PR3. Some players have gotten others to do this puzzle for them.
    • Also, the Twin Labyrinth is full of Demonic Spiders, is very confusingly arranged, is inaccessible for most of the game, has a sickeningly garish color scheme and terrible music, and is filled with confusing puzzles.
    • The aptly-named Confusion Gate, with its dark, ugly-colored background and creepy (yet awesome) music, starts with a maze of invisible ladders and teleporters that's impossible to find your way around without a guide, with glyphs that endlessly mock your incompetence, a complicated pedestal puzzle, and the fact that you have to leave the level to do a Fetch Quest. Then there's the puzzle to get the Flywheel, which involves hitting a bunch of pots twice each while using an item that makes time freeze but takes 3 minutes in-game to recharge (no waiting by playing minigames or listening to the in-game jukebox), a room full of disappearing ladders that can leave you trapped, and a room where you have to fight a giant bat...on a series of tiny platforms, in a room covered in spikes.
  • Soul Reaver! The Cathedral, full of Vampiric Spider enemies and an area long puzzle. The puzzles are confusing, way too easy to screw up and having to back travel, but before then searching frantically feeling like you're stuck. The Spider enemies attack fast and dodge a lot, attack in numbers, one hit does a good amount of damage, and one hit from anything takes off the Soul Reaver. Since the spiders attack in numbers, you can't feed off them enough to replenish the Soul Reaver. There's also rooms with no items to kill the spiders with, which means you have to try very hard to kill them with the Reaver. Only at the very end, before the boss fight there's a warp room, which can be easily missed if you go down the wrong way. Easily the WORST segment of the game.
  • For that matter, Malek's Bastion in the original Blood Omen. You're a vampire in a bleak snowy castle in which all enemies are very durable animated suits of armor with no blood to suck. Worse, your blood level just degrades by itself over time, and health items are few and far between. Add annoying traps, a stark gray/pale map (the protagonist himself complains that his eyes ache from lack of contrast in voiceover!) and it gets frustrating/depressing very quickly.
  • Castlevania 64 had a few reviled levels (when not the entire game), thanks to sluggish movements and unhelpful camera angles. But the worst is the one in which you had to carry an exploding gunpowder keg. One, you can't jump, or it'll blow up, instantly killing you. Two, you can't get hit without an Earthshattering Kaboom. Third, you can't put it down. The path is naturally goes along ledges, filled with Goddamn Bats and their cousins.
    • Another contender for the title of That One Level is the original version of Duel Tower, which they forgot to put save points in.
    • ANY Clock Tower level in any Castlevania game. Moving platforms, conveyor belts, Medusa Heads, wall-to-floor-to-ceiling spikes, and to top it all off, a boss battle with Death in most recent games. Fun stuff.
    • Stage 16 in Castlevania (the third-to-last stage and the first section of the last area) has you crossing a stone bridge with gaps and Goddamned Giant Bats that take as many hits as the original Giant Bat from Stage 3 to kill. Did I mention this is only the third-to-last stage? The next stage has Goddamned Fleamen, and the final stage is the battle with Dracula the Goddamned Bathead. Oh, and since this is the last stage, you lose 4 out of 16 HP per hit, which means you die in just four hits.
    • Uh, stage FIFTEEN of Castlevania. Hello, excruciatingly long and difficult hallway filled to the brim with ultra-resilient axe knights. Hello, swarms and swarms of medusa heads. Hello, Grim Reaper, That One Boss. Goodbye. Sanity.
    • The entirety of Level 4; the catacombs and the outer area immediately following them. The catacombs are filled with Goddamned Bats and Mermen ready to knock you off of any platform you try to get on, made worse by the fact that they appear erratically while you're doing precision jumping on moving platforms over a pit of instant death water. If you survive that, you face the field of a million zillion Fleamen. Basically, it's a long path, with hawks constantly airdropping fleamen (the hardest to hit, fastest, and probably most downright annoying enemies in the game). If you let too many get in and moving, you're screwed. If you let them surround you, you're screwed. If you take more than a few hits, you're screwed, because in order to reach the next checkpoint, you have to kill a White Dragon. This bugger slides up and down and erratically shoots fireballs out you. Touching him or getting hit by a fireball will knock out 4 HP, so 4 hits and you're dead. After that, to reach the boss, you have to kill 2 more White Dragons, each placed in more annoying positions than the last. And then you have to kill Frankenstein's Monster and Igor. Note that Frankenstein and Igor also take out 4 hp on a hit, and if you die to them, you have to fight the last 2 Wite Dragons again before facing Frankenstein once more.
    • Stage 8 in Castlevania IV (the dungeon) is a low point for what is otherwise gaming nirvana. This level is nothing but instant death spam taken to 11. Although the level is short, it feels like an eternity. The boss is a push over.
    • Dracula's Castle in Curse of Darkness is easily among the worst levels in the game. It's not particularly hard, per se, but going through the same few rooms OVER and OVER again gets to be a hell of a drag.
    • The underground waterway in Circle of the Moon is utterly infested with Demonic Spiders, most notably the Ice Armors. These things throw two spears at you, both of which freeze you. If you're hit with the first, say hello to the second one for three times the damage, which is typically more than half your life bar gone right there. But those are just the starting point: we also have Sirens and Frozen Shades throwing projectiles at you from the air. The former moves erratically and is extremely difficult to dodge, while the latter has an odd delay on its projectiles that means they can hit you even after you kill them...oh, and they freeze you too. On top of that, the place is filled with puzzles involving platforms you have to manipulate, which in themselves aren't so bad, except that item drops will always fall right through them, including extremely valuable DSS cards.
    • Symphony Of The Night''s Black Marble Gallery can be a pain, due to being full of Nova Skeletons and spike traps. It also has Guardians, as well as numerous another annoying enemies.
  • In the PC game of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, most of the game is well-balanced, and not too hard to complete. However, the last level of the Hippogriff Flying minigame is super-tough to beat-- it's a tricky Pass Through the Rings challenge, where you can only miss at most 3 rings, or you have to start over. And you have to beat it to complete the game.
  • Illusion of Gaia.
    • The raft cutscene after the first boss is reviled by fans, as it is purposefully boring to make the player empathize with the characters. It doesn't help that no one seems to know exactly what actions trigger the end of each sequence.
    • The Atlantis inspired level which involved raising and lowering water levels, filled with hard hitting enemies, the game not providing any easily obtained healing items (every Healing Herb is unique.) containing That One Boss even IF you know where to find the secret portal to Gaia so you can transform yourself into your knightly powerup mode. Because, hey guess what, the boss is a Vampire couple who've got one of your friends on a timebomb. So not only are they a BITCH to take out, you're fighting time, with a weakened character.
    • Sand Zone. A giant level, in which you are forced to spend much time collecting the five Puppy Hats of Plot Continuation for what seems like eternity.
  • The flashback sequences of Lucas' childhood in Fahrenheit (2005 video game), due to their horrible implementation of stealth based mechanics in what is otherwise an Action Adventure game.
  • The "UFO Catcher" side mission in Yakuza. Yes, it's entirely optional, and the reward for beating it (a step towards 100% completion and a decent weapon) isn't crucial, but having to use a crane game to pick up a whole bunch of stuffed animals is the epitome of tedium. Tedium then turns to rage as the loop of stupid, tinny, "cheerful" music bores into your brain, the annoying depth perception issues keep you from getting a bead on your target, the wonky physics engine causes the toy to fall out of the claw as it's moving towards the redemption chute, and the claw itself takes an excruciatingly long time just to move back to the starting point and reset itself.
  • Indiana Jones and The Emperors Tomb had an incredibly sadistic level near the end. A crazy Nazi starts chasing you in a drill tank. While running from the drill tank, you have to get across several bottomless pits. Doesn't sound too hard right? Here's the kicker: Some of the whip swing pits are very close together, and during the swing, you have to let go of the whip just slightly before you reach the terminus of the swing. If you let go just slightly too late, you will overshoot the small platform and fall into the next pit! To make matters worse, there are no checkpoints, so if you die, you have to start the whole level all over again, Unskippable Cutscene and all! At least the game doesn't make you run toward the camera!
    • In Indiana Jones and The Infernal Machine, the raft level. Yes, the goddamn raft level. You have to navigate a river, and you can't go too fast or too slow or you die for some reason. And then you have to time the jump off of the raft perfectly or you DIE and have to do it all over again. If you succeed, but die afterwards, you start at the point RIGHT BEFORE YOU HAVE THE MAKE THE JUMP, making it almost impossible to do it again. And after that, there's no indication of what to do. You can't change the camera angle for the jump, Indie usually slides off the platform upon landing.
    • Indiana Jones and The Staff of Kings has an equally frustrating last level. You have to swing a piano at Nazis. The problems? The piano is slower than your joystick, the unchangeable camera makes it hard to hit them, they're climbing ladders that, once they get part way up, you can no longer hit them, and if they shoot you once, you die. Never mind that you've been able to take multiple bullets before, one hit, you die.
  • Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is enjoyable on the whole, but has a couple of "why why why" moments. For the most part, for instance, the jumping-around-on-ruins-and-between-ledges mechanics are smooth and allow you to rapidly get through areas. However, in one part of the game you must jump around the walls, pillars and chandeliers high up in a large building, making your way over to two switches on opposite sides of the room. This is perfectly fine up until the point where you have to make it across an innocent-looking jump (pretty much identical on both sides) from some planks to some other planks. Where Nathan's been happy to do semi-automatic jumps and physics-defying jumps between tiny ledges earlier, these two gaps cause him to have a brain aneurysm and forget how to jump long, instead deciding to take a short leap and then forget how to grab ledges.
    • The final gunfight is a hair-pulling exercise in trial and error, too, unless you're a shotgun expert by then. The game's mook turned Big Bad has an insta-death sniper rifle that, unlike other snipers, hits you even if you're rolling. There's a ton of soldiers in the way, and after the first quarter of the fight, you end up behind breakable crates. Which the Big Bad shoots to pieces. So you have to memorize where the enemies appear, take them down quickly enough to avoid running out of cover, and not waste your ammo on the invincible-even-though-he-isn't-armored Big Bad. It all ends with another trial-and-error mess in which you have to figure out exactly when to dodge between crates.
  • The Occupation of Arteria Carpals in Armored Core for Answer. The level consists of a fake briefing, crossing into the center of one of the worst battlefields in the game, hearing that the entire level is a trap to make you die, then seeing not 1, not 2, but 4 of them come flying in, ready to kill you. Your ally is worthless- they'll slaughter him in a matter of seconds, then they rush you. Unless you know exactly what you're doing (which essentially comes down to cheap tactics or sheer luck), you die, very quickly. Best part? The Hard mode version adds another enemy.
  • Spartan Total Warrior has an Escort Mission in which you have to guide the mathematician Archimedes through a horde of Roman Legionaries. This suffers from a total lack of checkpoints of any kind despite an incredibly long setup, a gigantic map in which everything looks the same, having nowhere near the supplies you need, and having far too many mooks for the button-mashing hack-and-slash combat engine to stand up to while protecting Archy. The kicker, however is that he is suicidal. It's one thing for a frail old man to be unable to keep up with the cream of the Spartan military, but willfully running into fires is quite another.
  • Naruto: Rise of the Ninja has its racing levels. They are especially difficult when you have to use chakra concentration and climb up buildings. Never mind the fact that Chakra Concentration takes FOUR SECONDS to charge up to use, and another second and then ANOTHER four if you fail.
  • Building 2 in Metal Gear was a pretty creative, if difficult, level in itself, with various types of gameplay depending on what floor you're in (straight-up stealth, running away from pursuers, shooting, a maze, and so on), but was ruined by one piece of bad level design which makes the whole thing like pulling teeth. This is that one of the elevators will only go up, and the other elevator will only go down. It doesn't help that the radio gets jammed, so you can't even send or receive calls until getting antenna.
    • There's a lot of hate for the passageway between the Zanzibar Building and the Tower Building in Metal Gear 2. First of all, the obstacles range from boring, to annoying, to boring and annoying. It doesn't help that the boss in the area is the Running Man, who is also really boring - you don't even get to shoot him, and you beat him by running in a circle quickly enough to lay mines before your O2 meter runs out.
  • Metal Gear Solid has quite a few of these moments. The most notable is getting from Tower A to Tower B, since it is mandatory to be discovered and run and battle against soldiers coming down the stairs trying to kill you. This is mandatory in a game that is not designed for that type of combat and at no point teaches you how to fight enemies face to face (sans bosses).
  • In Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons of Liberty, the part when Raiden gets his clothes taken away and has to sneak through Arsenal Gear while avoiding Arsenal Tengu (who are ten times more alert and dangerous than the Gurlukovich mercs) is That One Level.
  • The rooftop level near the end of the Ghost in the Shell Playstation game. You go left a millimeter, you fall off the building. Go right a millimeter, you fall off the building. Try to climb the cable, you fall off the building.
  • Resident Evil 3 Nemesis had a puzzle at the end for mixing some potion and boy it was bad. Even with a guide you're going to have trouble with this. It was randomized to make it hard for a guide to give solutions. You had to rotate 4 pipes with grooves and get them into place, except rotating one affected others as well. It was tantamount to a Rubik's Cube, which is a sadistic thing to subject a gamer to. Probably the worst puzzle in the RE series.
  • Dead Space Zero-G levels. You attach yourself to any wall or ceiling (which then becomes the 'ground') and have to reorient yourself to your surroundings making it very easy to get lost or confused.
    • The turret section where you have to protect the Ishimura from incoming asteroids. Some people found this part infuriating due to poor controls. The fact it only took a couple asteroid hits to fail this section didn't help matters.
  • Level 3-5 in Twisted Pixel's 'Splosion Man. To put into perspective how much this level is reviled, Twisted Pixel brought a punchbag to Penny Arcade Expo with a dev's face and the caption 'I Made Level 3-5'. The poor bag never stood a chance.
  • Darkened Skye, a Skittles adgame, is That One Game made entirely out of That One Level. Entertaining writing aside, the game at it's very fundamentals sucks (the controls are iffy at best and the hitboxes are wonky, so that you can flail away at enemies and still be raped horribly by little flying reptiles clawing at air a meter away), and each level has it's own unique way of utilizing these failings to send you to cheap death after cheap death.
  • Special mention of Okami and its Blockhead enemies. In order to beat them you have to watch for a flash, and then draw a dot on that spot. The first few are okay, but try getting the one with eight dots right when you only have a few seconds to watch the flashes!
    • In fact, the later Blockheads are so infuriating that there have been instances where players have drawn on the TV screen with dry erase markers and lipstick in order to track down all the dots in time. Sometimes, it has to be a team effort, with one person doing the monitor drawing and the other handling the game controls. And this was suppose to be a single player game...
    • Also, the Spider Gate challenges. If these weren't optional, the game would probably go into Nintendo Hard. Remember to bring about 100 or more of each type of healing item plus attack/defense upgrades, because you'll need them!
    • For some, the kimono drawing sidequest for Stray Bead #48 qualifies. The game gets infamously picky on whether if it accepts your rendition of the little girl's vision or not, making this seem almost like a Luck-Based Mission. The heart, the second shape the player has to draw seems to get people the most.
  • Sly Cooper possesses several examples:
    • In Muggshot's Turf, the level "At the Dog Track". A race against four opponents who are faster than you in every possible way. And the steering controls are really shitty. And the car comes to a complete stop if you hit anything larger than a molecule. And if you turn a corner too sharply, you'll slow down for several precious seconds, causing your competition to get an even bigger lead. There are speedboosters available, but half the time they either cause you to crash into the nearest obstacle(on account of the fixed camera so you can't see what's ahead of you for half the race) or, if you happen to use it near the middle-point of the track, you'll flip your car completely over onto its back, and when they do work properly, it's rarely, if ever, enough to gain any significant ground at all.
    • In Sir Raleigh's area, there's an Unexpected Gameplay Change with a mandatory minigame where the player has to break open 50 chests while making sure none of the fast moving crabs gets a single one. It requires much faster reflexes than any of the levels previously, and most of the ones after it, save perhaps similar forays in the chicken-killing level in Mz Ruby's area (which features fast, bomb-toting roosters against a One-Hit-Point Wonder (or up to 3, if Sly has a gold lucky charm) or the computer-collection level in Clockwerk's area (featuring fast moving lava slugs).
    • The second game has three levels where Sly must sneak through to a particular point hidden inside a TNT barrel. The first is comparatively easy, but the second can be either easy or Nintendo Hard depending on the starting position of guards. It helps to whack them with Murray in the section of the mission preceding it. The last, however, is horrendously frustrating, requiring the player to go all over Arpeggio's blimp (itself That One Level, due to Disappointing Last Level), pick up 3 chargers for a TNT barrel, and blow up the door to a generator. Sounds easy? Well, the level is full of narrow platforms, slow guards who synchronize their walking schedules, take half a minute to calm down if they see anything suspicious and instantly kill Sly if they bump into him, fast rotating spotlights that can blast Sly to pieces if he so much as moves a muscle inside them, and on top of that, Sly can't jump out of the barrel the whole time. The only saving grace the level has is an Anti Frustration Feature that lets Sly keep the chargers he has already loaded up and plonk him in a convenient spot outside of the barrel, where he can take out the guards in his immediate area.
    • Lastly, there's the level in Dr M's area in the third game where Dimitri must swim to retrieve Sly's cane. It goes into a watery tunnel requiring luck and lightning fast reflexes to survive. Dr M's Sea Creature is easy by comparison.
  • Darksiders has the Black Throne towards the end of the game. The point of the dungeon is to reach, and then redirect three beams of light into the central chamber, which is easier said than done thanks to: extraordinarily tough enemies with relatively few health chests considering the size of the dungeon (and God help you if you die and start out with only a select number of health pieces, because Continuing Is Painful; A miniboss that, while not entirely difficult, deals amazing damage. And you have to fight him THRICE; Hair-tearingly convoluted puzzles in almost every room, many of which you need to do twice, forwards and backwards; Actually redirecting the beams of light the right way has proven to be a Guide Dang It for many players.
  • Three D Dot Game Heroes has that one level in the form of the Flame Temple. Leading up to it is an annoying cavern maze with falling rocks everywhere. It's got all sorts of Demonic Spiders, including the Dark Ropey, an enemy that drains your magic and leaves you with half a life-point when touched and is extremely fast, the Gray Magi, which requires a special spell to kill, teleports away fast, and drains your magic if its spells hit, and the Knight, which is only vulnerable from behind, blocks your hits, and has a good amount of power and health to boot. To make the level worse, it has a special gimmick involving pressing switches to advance through the level, and if you load a game or die (which will happen often), the switches will reset and you have to go through the temple again! And to cap it off, it's got That One Boss. Yikes.
    • The desert leading up to the Desert Temple isn't much fun, since you've got to deal with fast, stronger enemies than what you're used to that fire projectiles, and a frustrating maze involving one-way, conveyor belt-like quicksand. The Desert Temple is easy compared to the path leading to it.
  • Case 7-2, the Bomb Collector mission of Dead Rising for X-Box 360. Imagine riding a motorcycle through a dark tunnel overflowing with zombies to gather bombs trying not to hit to many zombies lest you lose your motorcycle, leaving you on foot and pretty much screwed. All the while being chased by a guy in a moving van throwing grenades and trying to run you over. And bear in mind that every tunnel looks exactly alike, so unless you're bringing up your map every few seconds to double-check your position, it's very easy to get lost or miss an important turn.
    • The park in the center of the mall. It is a wide open area almost as big as the entire rest of the mall and only has 3 psychopaths to deal with compared to the dozen or so found elsewhere in the game. What makes it so hard? The 3 psychopaths work together and drive a jeep mounted with a turret throughout the level while the player can only move slowly on foot. The turret deals a decent amout of damage and causes the player to stumble when hit, making healing items impossible to use unless the player can somehow find cover (or is extremely quick). The convicts respawn if A the player leaves the park without killing them all or B if its A NEW DAY. Oh, and at the start of the game the player only has 4 hit points and dying resets all progress since you last saved at one of maybe 4 or 5 save points scattered about the mall. God help the poor bastard who tries escorting survivors through this place without killing the convicts first. If they can.
  • 2099 Doctor Octopus' stage in Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. Exploding kamakazi critters, giant teleporting lizard-things, regular enemies a-plenty (incuding lots of huge mooks and shielded mooks), a very long and difficult protect mission, and to top it off the stage takes a long time to complete.
  • The PC Version of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire had the Maze. Sure, it was easy enough (after a while) to get to the center and past the hedge wall that wants to eat you, but getting past the goddamned fire crabs are a pain in the ass if you don't know what to do.
  • The on-foot missions in NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams are hell to get through, especially the ones in Memory Forest and Crystal Castle. Good luck passing, let alone A-Ranking.
    • Sky Concert is another annoying example--NiGHTS flies a bit slower than you need to hit the notes in time of the music, and you're only allowed a few misses before getting a Game Over.
  • The Sun Temple in Aquaria features a rather egregious number of timed jumping puzzles - in a game based around swimming. Hello there, floor - nice to see you for the hundredth time... and yes, the Frozen Veil features this too, but at least that's an optional zone.
  • Tomb Raider 3 has Caves of Kaliya and Lud's Gate.
    • Caves of Kaliya is The Maze with a boss fight at the end and very little else at all (it is at least very short when you know the way out).
    • Lud's Gate is partially made up of an underwater maze, and it has a somewhat inexplicable path split that, rather than providing two different routes (like other levels with one) you simply miss about a quarter of the level if you make a mistake at one point. The previously mentioned underwater maze also happens to have a vehicle in it that actually makes things harder if you use it. Finally it feels quite thrown together thematically, which adds further scrappy factor considering it comes after the level many consider one of the games atmospheric/thematic highlights (along with it doing nothing with a somewhat interesting subplot with "The Damned").
  • Tomb Raider Anniversary has The Great Pyramid; not only was the level massively cut down from the original game's version, but what was there has been replaced a shaft climb that many found incredibly difficult and frustrating.
  • Tomb Raider 2's Temple of Xian. The game tricks you by putting the dagger right down a suspiciously empty hallway, but as soon as you get within a few feet of it, the floor opens up beneath you and immediately springs two traps on you at the same time! Let's just say Lara's day doesn't get any better afterward.
  • The level "It's a Trap!" in chapter 8 of Buddy Rush has you fight 7 waves of enemies. Among the various enemies, you have go fight pelicans three times, you see. And then there's "Prove Your Friendship 3" in chapter 9, where you must protect a toilet from a bunch of mummies. You just can't kill them without letting them hit the toilet and to make things worse, four mummies appear at once during the battle!
  • Level 10 from Evolva. You must reach the top of an island before it sinks, making it a Timed Mission. Besides the usual Zerg Rush of mooks, you have to pass through several locked doors, which only open using keys available in paths apart from the path to the top, and collect a pair of exploding spores in order to open the side path where one of the keys is. The worst part is, not only you have a limited time to reach the top, but a limited time to grab the items at the side paths. Waste even the slightest time in a point, and the game may become Unwinnable without you even noticing it, as the sea leel may have risen enough to sinks parts of the next side path or even the item you must grab.
  • Lego Star Wars. Yes, Lego Star Wars. Trying to get Jedi Master status (collecting enough studs to fill an onscreen meter) on the level "Defense of Kashyyyk" is downright infuriating, mostly due to the beach section that has you trying to use the Force to pull up plants to get studs as respawning enemies swarm everywhere, all after you. Pulling up the plants takes a few seconds, leaving you a sitting duck, and if you get hit you stop and have to try again. And when you die (which you will), most of your studs scatter everywhere as you rush to get them back before they disappear. Lose too many studs, and you'll most likely have to start the whole level over. Forget the Goddamned Bats, here you'll be cursing the Goddamned Clones, the Goddamned Droids, and ESPECIALLY the Goddamned Walkers.
    • In the original LGSW2 for the Play Station 2, Dagobah was frustrating because of the literal Goddamned Bats that interfere with Luke's efforts to raise Artoo to the timed mushrooms. When remade for the PlayStation 3's LGSW: The Complete Saga, it becomes impossible.
    • Nothing in the Original Trilogy (at least in the PSP version) was as sadistic as Super Story, Ep. VI. You have to complete all 6 levels of an episode in under an hour, while collecting 100,000 studs. However, VI's levels are all long and filled with tedious and long puzzles. The AT-AT section of "Speeder Showdown" is where if you screw up, kiss your Super Story run goodbye- 30 minutes in. If you destroy the right shield generators first, you don't have enough space to destroy the rear one without backing up which takes about 3 minutes. If you're fast, you'll barely make it out in an hour.
    • "Harboring a Grudge" in LEGO Batman is annoying. About halfway through the level, you're harrassed by police skiffs, who destroy you quickly and your main vessel turns pitifully slowly. Also, losing the Penguin Submarine means you lose all the torpedoes you have. To make it worse, the skiffs can shoot you underwater. And then there's that part where you have to press two buttons to activate a gate, each of which have spotlights that fire homing missiles at you. Irritatingly, the button-pressing physics decide that they'll refuse to work, as you're getting pummeled by missiles and even more police skiffs. Then there's a boss that sends waves of the aformentioned skiffs at you, while you try to go for torpedo runs. In all, not fun.
    • "The Black Lake" from LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4. Depth Perplexion is in full effect here- the level's essentially a sidescroller. This also means that the shells that must be destroyed for a House Crest piece and the targets to release trapped students can't be destroyed with the automatic aim- nope, you have to aim the shots manually. The main enemies not only have a time-consuming attack animation that prevents you from switching, they have Mercy Invincibility. And if the whole thing wasn't bad enough, the whole level is so dark it's a borderline Blackout Basement.

Notes

  1. If you want to get technical, it's a submerged Luminoth temple.
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