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It's not a sidequest. It's just a bad translation.

So you have a game with lots of hidden areas, secret stashes of powerups, and generally all kinds of rewards for exploring and busting down walls. You're at the end of the game and have every powerup you've seen, but.. why is there still an empty slot in your inventory? Why hasn't that bridge been fixed? What did you miss? Where is this undiscovered item? How do you get to that area?!

Turns out, it... doesn't exist. There isn't an item for every box in your inventory screen. That Broken Bridge was just there for flavor. Not every type of weapon has an ultimate variant. There's no reason to be paranoid because of Interface Spoiler. The game just never tells you this, so you're left to wonder what you're missing out on.

This is often spawned from an Empty Room Psych or something that was Dummied Out, and often creates an Urban Legend of Zelda. For those into One Hundred Percent Completion, this can end up as a form of Fake Longevity. Last Lousy Point is when it really is just that well hidden.

See also Interface Spoiler for another videogame meta-trope based on expectations.

Examples of Missing Secret include:
  • Every class (Both humanoids and monsters) in the first Disgaea game has its basic form and five recolored upgrades, except the Prinnies, which only have 4. The final Prinny class shows up as a Bonus Boss in the game - so the class exists but you can't have it in your party. NIS added in a way to get the next tier in the sequels.
  • Doom: In some versions, the Percent kills/secrets/items count at the end of the level will always display 0% if the level doesn't have anything of that category. This gives the impression that the secrets are there, but you just didn't find any of them.
    • Some old level-design books actually suggest making a "secret area" trigger that can't be reached, so that players will continue to search for it.
    • There are also some official levels where it is impossible to get 100% secrets. In Ultimate Doom maps E4M3 and E4M7 due to bad map design; the former has secret sectors with torches on top of them, the latter an invulsphere that you can't reach and a door that's too thin for the secret to register. And in Doom II Maps 15 and 27 due to a peculiarity of the engine; the secrets are on teleport pads, but a teleporter activates when the player crosses the edge, which means you can never enter the sector and trigger the secret. All can be triggered by noclipping, though. It's also impossible to get 100% items on Map 27 in the original Doom 2 engine (though not in some sourceports), because there are two Computer Maps and you can only pick up one.
    • The console ports of the early Doom games, which used somewhat redesigned levels, often didn't bother redoing the secret flags, making tons and tons of non-existant secrets still count as "not found" on the secret counter. Grr.
    • There are also several instances where 100% items isn't possible due to said items not being flagged as multiplayer only in deathmatch areas. Map 6 of 'Requiem' for example has two berserker packs unobtainable in single player mode because of this
    • One of the many, many, many console versions of DOOM sometimes did this with enemies. In one level of (I believe, I could be wrong) the 3DO port had a hidden Imp in one level you could only kill by shooting into a blank wall.
  • Golden Eye 1997 for the N64 had 23 unlockable cheats, not the symmetric 24, generally assumed to be due to a missing level which would give a cheat called "line mode." This is accessible by a button press code, but has no legitimate unlock method in the final game.
    • Goldeneye also has the infamous far-off outpost inside the water behind the dam in the first stage. It sits there fully rendered not doing anything, no enemies on it, and no programmed items. It was revealed by the Goldeneye team that it was supposed to be used, but they ran out of time to find a use for it. Rumor has it this is where you were originally supposed to retrieve the bungee jumping equipment.
  • Golden Sun: The Lost Age has a cellar in Mikasalla, where you can evaporate the water. Usually this leads to treasure or a secret room, but here, you get nothing. Another is Taopo Swamp; the locals tell you it's dried up, but you can't do anything about it. Finally, in the first Golden Sun, you can't take the boat back, so all the tourists are stuck on the other side of the sea.
    • Even worse in The Lost Age is that as you sail the boat along the coast of the continents, you can see towns from the first game, but you can't reach them. They look like you should be able to visit them, but even if you use a certain glitch to get across the mountains, you can't actually enter the towns.
    • The first game also has a door just poking out of a lake. The player would assume that the lake would be drained and the door could be reached, but it never is.
  • People have not yet found the elusive Item 3 in Gravity Bone.
  • Stop 'n' Swop in Banjo-Kazooie one-upped this: You were supposed to be able to collect items in the first game to use in the second, but Rare failed to anticipate changes to undocumented N64 behavior, and the planned means of unlocking the items (power off, switch cartridges, power on) had to be abandoned. Apparently, the developers had forgotten about the N64 Controller Pak. The Xbox Live Arcade rereleases fixed this.
    • Of note is the fact that all the secret eggs and the ice key CAN be obtained in the N64 version of the original Banjo-Kazooie, by going into the sand castle in Treasure Trove Cove and inputting a VERY long code for each of the eggs/key. The codes were most likely going to be given in Banjo-Tooie.
    • Speaking of Tooie, it had its own share of oddities, both having to do with Bottles. The multiple-choice quiz sequence close to the end of the game uses different character text mugshots, with accompanying voice sounds. These mugshots were chosen randomly, but among them was an angry red mugshot that looked like Bottles and had his sound. Players tried to find this new Bottles to no avail until hacking found it to be part of a Dummied Out Counter-Op mode. The other supposed secret dealt with Bottles' house. During the endgame, a party is held there and the characters won't let you in until you finish the game. However, upon entering the file again afterward, it's obvious the party is over, but the entrance is still blocked off. This connected to the Stop 'n' Swop rumors, but hacked entries would reveal nothing had changed in the house and the continued sealing was most likely a programming oversight.
    • Banjo-Tooie also includes a text string for the title of a supposed 'Ridiculously Secret Area.' No such area has ever been found, and some hackers suspect that Rare included this as a red herring, knowing that gamers would dissect the game.
  • In Hitman 2, there was going to be a weapon which would have served as an alternate fiber wire on replays of the game- a rosary (crucifix!). It was taken out at the last minute, but the space for it in the weapon collection area was noticable in the final version of the game.
  • Literal example in the second Harry Potter PC game. Each level features "secrets" of any kind, but for some reason the Chamber of Secrets level announces one more secret of what you can actually find.
    • Likewise, in the X Box Chamber of Secrets game, you are told that the alohomora spell will allow you to `unlock all kinds of things'. So long as they're prize chests and not the numerous temptingly locked doors scattered throughout the game.
    • The Play Station version of the second game has some doors in Hogwarts that can't be unlocked no matter what.
  • An episode in Strong Bads Cool Game for Attractive People has one area where your metal detector will beep slowly even when you've cleared out the area.
  • Near the beginning of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Link's wounded uncle tells him "Zelda... is... your..." before passing out. Apparently, many players assumed the missing word was "sister"- since this is never brought up again over the course of the game, people have searched for some hidden sidequest that reveals their relationship. In fact, the line was intended to be "Zelda is your destiny", as stated in the manual.
    • In the same game, there are a number of cracked walls. Some can be blown open by bombs while some can be knocked down by being rammed into with the Pegasus Boots, but others aren't affected at all by either of those. Some players have wasted many hours searching for a bomb upgrade to blow these walls open. The closest thing to a bomb upgrade is the red bomb, which opens up a specific location, and is never a standard inventory item. These cracks are merely for decoration.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap gives you bonuses for finding homes in the village for two of three female travelers to your village. There is no way to get the third one a home. This was apparently an obtuse reference to the planned trilogy of "Oracle" games for the Game Boy Color, of which only two were completed.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: That Triforce-shaped engraving in your inventory doesn't get filled with anything[1], Zora's Domain never gets unfrozen (unlike every other bad effect Ganondorf causes upon the world)[2]... and the Running Man never loses.
    • There's also a hidden room inside the windmill in Kakariko Village, which you can only access with the Longshot. Since it's not obvious at all that you ever notice the room (you have to stand at a particular roof and look at the windmill to spot the entrance), you'd imagine there's some special prize waiting for you inside... But there isn't. Except a lone Cucco.
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog series has a couple of examples.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 3 lists Sandopolis, Mushroom Valley (Mushroom Hill) and Flying Battery in its level select, though you can't choose them. Like the wealth of Sonic and Knuckles tunes heard in the Sonic 3 sound test, these are merely leftovers from before Sonic and Knuckles became its own game. (For the record, Dummied Out versions of these levels do exist in the game's data - and so does Lava Reef Zone.)
    • The Scrap Brain Zone, Act 3 in the 8-bit version of the original has only 99 rings.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 had music from a Dummied Out level (specifically, Hidden Palace Zone) left in the Sound Test.
    • More than that, an article about the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog 2 printed in EGM had a brief description of all levels, including the supposedly secret Hidden Palace Zone, which they promised to give hints about in the next issue. (They didn't.) None of the other beta levels are detailed here, which is not surprising, as Hidden Palace was cut very close to the game's final release, which would explain why its music is in the sound test, as mentioned above.
  • Light Crusader: Gloves, swords, and body armors are all in separate lines in your inventory. However, after finding every possible sword and armor, you find that the "glove" line has a gap right in the middle. That set of gauntlets was never placed in the game.
  • Mega Man 7 has an empty spot in the weapon inventory menu, it cause quite a few Urban Legend of Zelda before it was proved there's nothing to fill the spot.
    • 9 also has an empty spot in the weapon inventory menu.
  • Metal Gear Solid had one leftover space on the codec menu, but there's no one to fill it.
  • Phantom 2040 brings us a few examples of this. Though due to its obscurity, maybe the secrets ARE actually that well hidden.
    • Most weapons you missed early on can be acquired in a later chapter. A few, however, simply are Lost Forever.
    • There are three multiplier items you can find in the game. One doubles the damage you do, one halves the damage you take, and a third halves your ammo consumption. The incoming damage multiplier has a stronger and incredibly well-hidden variant that reduces incoming damage to one fourth. There is no such upgrade for either of the others.
      • There is actually a second ammo multiplier, and it reduces ammo consumption to one fourth. It's hidden about as half as well as the second incoming damage multiplier, and only accessible if you return to one particular level as soon as you complete it. It's in the missile shaft in the Biot factory, under the drop-through floor.
    • Even in the Golden Ending, one of the two major villains still manages to escape.
  • Despite the star symbol to denote 100% completion, Super Mario World maxing out at 96 exits had people looking for four more... just in case.
    • According to The Mushroom Kingom, the star is only in the North American release, so for Japanese players before the likes of GameFAQs, the confusion is understandable.
    • The deleted level pictured on the back of the Super Mario Bros 3 box, which isn't even Dummied Out in the ROM.
  • Near the end of Chrono Trigger, the Guru of Time tells you of things that are happening around the world in different time periods. It quickly becomes obvious that he's telling you about the sidequests you have left. The problem is, there was one statement that persisted no matter what you did, specifically "One of you is close to someone who needs help. Find this person, fast." Said quote provides this page's image.
    • Some people believe that this is a reference to Black Omen, where Queen Zeal (mother of party member Magus) can be found. If you complete this side-quest and escape after Lavos's first form instead of completing the game immediately, the Guru of Time will not tell you of that sidequest again (nor of any other sidequest, however). On the other hand, she doesn't need any help (other than a sword to the face).
      • The line in question was actually a sloppy translation, probably missing the word "Each" at the beginning. Since every side quest at this point involves one of the characters taking care of personal business, this is the most likely answer. In the DS Enhanced Remake, he says something different that clarifies that, no, he wasn't talking about another quest.
  • Pokémon Snap on the Nintendo 64 has 63 Pokémon.
    • Ekans was seen in some betas of the game.
      • Never mind that when the game came out there were 151 Pokémon plus however many Generation II Pokémon had been revealed at the time.
      • To get Charizard, you have to push Charmeleon into lava. So guess what players tried to do when they saw Vulpix standing very close to a lava pit?
  • In the Super NES and Play Station versions of Final Fantasy VI, there is one more Esper slot than there are Espers. A lot of players took this to mean there was a hidden piece of Magicite somewhere out there that they'd overlooked. In reality, the empty slot was just there to allow the player to de-equip an Esper after obtaining all of them.
  • The Journeyman Project has one more Bio-Chip slot than obtainable Bio-Chips.
    • Lampshaded at certain points: "This floor/the room behind this door was neither modeled nor rendered".
  • Conkers Bad Fur Day has a gated cave near the entrance to the Uga Buga chapter, where you pay the toll, that looks like it can be entered but never opens and the top of the windmill looks like it has a path to a pressure switch on top of it, too bad it gets destroyed before you reach it.
    • Lampshaded by Conker saying "The windmill's been destroyed! I thought for sure that was the final level!"
  • In Secret of Mana, you can find seven hidden orbs (to reach level 8) for each of the weapons lying around... except the axe and glove, which mysteriously only have six. Turns out that monsters in the Very Definitely Final Dungeon drop weapon orbs randomly, and this is the only way to get the axe and glove up to level 8. Then it does it again: Using those final dungeon random drops, it's possible to bring any weapon to level 9 (despite most of the game revolving around the number eight)... except the sword, because no monster randomly drops a Sword Orb. The ninth level sword is actually the fully-powered Mana Sword, which can only legitimately be attained by casting two different temporary buffs on an eighth level sword. (And it's the only weapon that can defeat the final boss, naturally.)
    • The buffs don't actually change the sword in the data; the ninth-level sword exists and can be obtained through a Good Bad Bug. Just not legitimately. The eighth-level sword is roughly on par with the ninth-level weapons (if the glitch is performed, the ninth-level sword is an outright Game Breaker), but it would still kinda stick out to an observant player.
    • This game could also cause a lot of frustration for players because each spell caster could only get seven kinds of magic. Which meant each of the characters had an empty slot on the spell page. Cue many Epileptic Trees and even a hoax that circulated for a while online suggesting that it was possible to reseal each seed a second time to get a ninth magic.
  • Space Station Silicon Valley has a secret trophy in each level, however you're unable to pick up the one in "Fat Bear Mountain", making it impossible to 100% the game and unlock the extra spaceship mini-game.
  • Tomb Raider 1 and 2 (and maybe later games too) each have one medikit in a location that's inaccessible (outside of bugs anyway), in the first game's case someone contacted Core and found that it was originally going to be accessible in a part of a level that was removed. The original game also has a literal example, as the very last secret in the game (stated as such from strategy guides) does not register on the counter due to a missing trigger-confirmed by people checking in an editor-which of course led to hunts for if there was something else (which was stopped after people got the tools to check the triggers in levels).
  • In Devil Survivor a Kudlak X Kresnik fusion has unique dialog (appearing only in this fusion) by the components, but has the normal fusion results for demons of their race and level. Making this stand out more is that Shiva is always made by fusing the similarly opposing Barong and Rangda.
  • Mortal Kombat Deception's Konquest mode has a ton. The most notorious is likely the Shaolin Temple at the beginning of the game, where attempted entry yields a box of text saying that only a Shaolin monk may enter.
    • Also the shuriken.
    • Even worse, the "Lightning Staff" sidequest, which leads nowhere and ends with Kung Lao proclaiming they are going to "strike down Shao Kahn", but there's nothing to do to follow up on that.
  • In Gran Turismo 2, it is impossible to get Hundred-Percent Completion, due to the planned drag racing mode that was Dummied Out of the final game.
  • In Final Fantasy IX, examining a fountain in Lindblum yields the message "There's no place to insert the medal". This appears to be a Shout-Out to Resident Evil 2, which featured a fountain that the player had to insert a medal into, but that didn't stop eager item collectors searching for both the "medal" and a place to insert it...
  • Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales includes a card game with five promotional cards. These cards were distributed wirelessly, but could also be unlocked by entering button codes. However, while all the codes were released in Japan and Europe, only one was released in America. Two and a half years after its release, nobody has found the codes for the other cards.
  • Breath of Fire I has the infamously Dummied Out bar in Nanai, as well as other stuff that is inaccessable and unfinished, although you can view parts of it by hacking the Dr Warp into your inventory.
  • Breath of Fire II has the game dropping loads of hints that Patty is actually Ryu's lost sister Yua. Before the final dungeon, she's tossed into some tall grass, never to be seen again. Some of the hints are dropped after that part. Cue players looking for a way to actually get any kind of acknowledgement from the game. There is none. No cutscene. No way to ever talk to her again.
    • There's possibly one hint in the end scene, though it's hard to determine since NPC sprites are shared with her's: right when the party is on Dragnier/Dologany, there's a same-sprite Patty very excitedly jumping around the party and (apparently, since there's no dialogue) speaking with Ryu. The GBA remake seems to reinforce the possibility it is actually her with an added ending bonus, an artbook of Patty overlooking the entrance to Infinity/Dragnier, which since it has neither TownShip nor Ryu blocking it, is located some time after the door is unsealed/she disappears in-game but before the ending.
  • A probable urban-legend college prank involves releasing three piglets (or chickens, or whatever) with the numbers "1", "2", and "4" painted on their sides. The pranked quickly find all the animals, but continue searching for the non-existent one marked "3".
  • In Flash Back, Restricted Area 1 is never accessible.
  • Duke Nukem 3D uses a sector-based engine, like Doom, and this has led to at least one instance of having more than one secret-flagged sector in the same hidden location, and confusing players trying to figure out just where to find all the secrets. Examining the map E2L2 in the BUILD editor shows that two adjacent sectors both have the secret area tag. The line they share also happens to be one used for splitting the area for shading purposes, so given how the BUILD editor handles tagging sectors which have been split (both get the tag of the parent sector), this instance is a clear oversight on the part of the developers.
  • In Lego Island, the box screenshots, included comic/instruction manual, and map all show a red car somewhere in the mountain area. Needless to say it isn't there.
  • In the Marathon levels "Colony Ship for Sale" and "Low Flying Defense Drones" there are rooms full of weapons and ammo that are inaccessable and just there to tease the player. Also, the rumored "A Good Way To Die" level. There are also many locked doors that never open; looking in a map editor reveals that there's nothing behind theme.
  • Due to a glitch in one of the dance minigames of the original Raving Rabbids, it's impossible to get One Hundred Percent Completion, despite rumors it grants a better ending.
    • Similarly, the 8th hidden figurine in Rabbids Go Home. Codes for the other 7 have been released, but nobody has been able to figure out what unlocks #8.
  • In the North American and PAL Releases of Wild Arms 4, two of the monsters were removed from the game, therefore making Hundred-Percent Completion impossible.
  • In Rage Racer, there are several blocked-off roads and tunnels that are not used by any of the courses. Rumor has it that there was a planned fifth track that was Dummied Out.
  • There are some doors that are just not meant to be opened at all in Iji.
    • Also, you can get a maximum of 60 level-up points unless you use the Null Driver, just three short of the number required to max out all your stats.
      • Not to mention the poster that is too awesome to unlock.
    • Lampshaded in one instance where using The Nuke to get accross a certain gap triggers a response from Iji that there is nothing there.
  • Dragon Warrior VII has a four character party. You lose one of the characters fairly soon. And then you stay that way for a very long time. You do eventually find another fourth party member, but not before you've unlocked many islands, killed many bosses, and probably assumed you missed something and checked a guide.
  • The North American version of Dark Cloud has a key to the Back Floor of every dungeon...except the Gallery of Time. The entrances (rugs on staircases) are perfectly intact, able to be examined, and like every other dungeon they give you clues as to what item to look for, but the actual item doesn't exist. Why? They forgot to include it when they dubbed the game into English. The Back Floor key is supposed to be a feather duster but it's not even in the game's coding, so any player unlucky enough not to read the web FAQs will wonder why the hell it never shows up.
  • Don't try to find more than six "secret" locations in Assassin's Creed 2 if you didn't buy the game from GameStop and don't use Uplay. Of course, there's nothing in the game that would tell you about that.
  • In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, Mr. Backlot's mansion consists of a hallway with doors to five rooms and the back garden (which is the only important part anyway). At each end of the hallway, there's a door blocked by a maid who says that the rest of the mansion is private and off limits. They never leave or let you through. The reason for this is probably to demonstrate that the mansion (which does look like a mansion from outside) consists of more than five rooms.
    • Also, one of the rooms contains a statue that you're not allowed to touch. The security guard who won't let you in front of it works 23 hours a day. If you go there between 5 AM and 6 AM, you can touch the statue. There is, however, no point to doing this.
    • And the truck in Vermilion Port in Pokémon Red and Blue. In a game with sparse decoration, and where almost nothing else--not even legendary species of Pokémon--has a unique overworld sprite, there is exactly one truck that, unless you get creative, you can't get to, or even see! Many people thought that it was special when, no, it does in fact do nothing.
      • Probably the most well-known Urban Legend of Zelda of all time, many players were convinced that you could catch the super-rare 151st Pokémon, Mew, if you could a) get to the truck and b) move it somehow.
      • Also in Red and Blue, two large patches of grass parallel to Route 1 are never accessible. This had many people guessing as to what could possibly appear in that grass...
    • In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, there are a total of 69 trainers that you can register in your Trainer's Eyes PokéNav feature that will battle you again after a while. Yep, 69. Not 70, 69. Really.
    • FireRed and LeafGreen, to implement a feature from Pokemon Ruby Sapphire And Emerald, have a room on one of the Islands with a box blocking a doorway. In the Japanese versions, scanning a battle card for the e-Reader would unblock the door leading to a battle with the Trainer the card is for. However, international releases of everything past Ruby and Sapphire (including their Updated Rerelease, Emerald) removed e-Reader functionality due to poor sales in North America and a lack of a European release, but oddly enough the door is still there and due to the removal of the e-Reader features it is always blocked. Interacting with it says that there's wind blowing from behind it, but that's all.
    • In Pokémon Black and White, a post-game area known as Challenger's Cave is said to have a legend associated with it of a master and student Pokemon. This seems to indicate a connection with the Musketeer Trio and Keldeo, but none of the events involving them have anything to do with Challenger's Cave, and the area has been said to be removed from the sequels thus it's unlikely there will be any follow-up on this.
  • Inverted in Tomb Raider III, where the Coastal village level has an extra secret. Each branch of the level has its own unique second secret; if you do some backtracking, you can get both, earning you 4/3 secrets. Played straight with the Cathedral Key, which itself counts as a secret, but doesn't unlock any doors.
  • Final Fantasy VII has a few of these: the 1/35 Soldiers and the Custom Sweepers items both seem to indicate they have some purpose at some point, but don't...
    • For those wondering, 1/35 is the scale of the item, not a note that there's anything significant about having 35 of them ("Collect all 12!"). They still apply, though, as they're prominently hidden, are handed out as rare prizes, and are good for absolutely nothing whatsoever. Selling for one gil a pop, they don't even make worthwhile Vendor Trash!
    • One location has an exit that can't be reached. Naturally, Wild Mass Guessing ensued over what could be beyond that exit, including a rumor that it's where you can resurrect Aeris.
  • Maniac Mansion featured a broken staircase. You could not fix it, even though you had tools and you just KNOW there would've been something awesome up there. There was also a cabinet you couldn't unlock, and lots of useless items.
    • In the same game, there is also a chainsaw that doesn't work because it's out of gasoline. So you'd figure there would be a cannister of gas to be found somewhere, wouldn't you? It's in Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders on Mars, where you can find a can of gas labeled "for chainsaws".
  • In Loom, there is a room in the first village where you are shown a certain draft. However, the game requires you to get further in the game before you can get the right notes to cast it, and because you can't return to the first island until the very end of the game (where you are basically locked in the room with the Loom in it) it is impossible to find out what this draft does. There is a possibility it would have been used in the game's cancelled sequels, but nobody knows for sure.
    • Isn't that the draft of Transcendence, which you use at the very end of the game to turn into a swan? You hear it on the Loom because Lady Cygna played it there to turn the Master Weavers into swans; it's a hint that the Loom always repeats the last draft played in its presence, which becomes important at the very end of the game.
  • Due to a few broken triggers, some secrets in Serious Sam - The Second Encounter don't exist but the secret counter still shows like they're there. It also shows up that the game's intro has one stage despite not being playable at all.
  • One door in the kitchen of The Seventh Guest never unlocks.
    • Because it would lead outside, and leaving the mansion just isn't in the cards; same reason the front door never lets you out.
  • The identity of Yan Angwa in Exit Fate is never revealed.
  • Lego Star Wars 2's different versions:
    • The Game Boy Advance version features a % completion meter that literally stops at 99%. There is no kind of victory screen or end credits rolling, but as far as anyone knows, there's nothing else.
    • A subversion for the consoles and PSP versions: in December 2006, a code was given on an old page (that if not for the help of Wayback Machine, would be Lost Forever) for Disguise 3. But there's no Disguise 2! ...Until March 2007, when Disguise 2's code was finally revealed. However, at the time, players had to donate to Comic Relief for Red Nose Day in order to find out.
  • Gwen in Guild Wars was originally this. She was a little girl who followed you around in the tutorial area, and would give you a tapestry shred marked as a quest item if you gave her enough flowers. After the tutorial, the player never saw her again, nor found a use for the tapestry, even though one could meet her dead mother in the underworld or find items of hers scattered throughout the world. This was never intended to be expanded upon, but so many players demanded closure that Gwen was eventually reintroduced. She now has more backstory than any other character in the game, most of which the player gets to experience first-hand.
  • MDK2 has one point in Stage 3 where the doctor finds a fish bowl and a lighter. he then remarks "Now some more jelly and a blowdryer. If only I could find that monkey". This makes the player assume that three items: a jar of jelly, a blowdryer, and a monkey can be found, however none of those three items exist anywhere in the game. Not in stage 3, stage 6, stage 9, or stage 10. Many people believe it may have been an outtake audio file they never removed.
  • According to the manual for LEGO Racers, every track in the game has a short-cut. This left people searching and searching for one on Knightmare-athon, only to fail. There was intended to be one there, but it was removed. There is a screenshot that shows it though, and there are still power-ups intact from where it originally was.
  • Despite what the manual says, the driving subgame of Die Hard Trilogy does not have a dump truck or 18-wheeler, nor skaters in Central Park, nor a West Side Highway level.
  • Super Smash Bros Melee had the weird situation of having 29 playable stages, and not 30. You could say there's a 30th stage, but it's the debug stage accessed via cheating.
  • Neopets, the online site, has an odd example. There is a Game called Neo Quest that you can play. In that game, there is a door that is locked. It has been 10 years since the game was released, yet no key has been found. The Neopets team that runs the site has made numerous jokes about people being unable to find it, yet these jokes cause users to believe that there is no key and/or it was forgotten.
    • There may be some truth to this, as there are numerous areas in the game (including occasional major quests) that can only be accessed by studying the game's code. It would not be beyond the Neopets design team to have coded in a key that can only be found in another section of the game, or requires a ten-digit secret code, or has a 1-in-10,000 drop rate.
  • Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life has a small building on your farm with a locked door. You're never able to open it.
    • In Harvest Moon: Magical Melody, the cover of the game's box shows a number of animals around some of the characters. All of the animals show up in the game, except for the Labrador. Also, one little girl who moves into the town constantly alludes to being frightened of something, considers herself evil and not going to heaven, and has a profile that says she has "some skeletons in her closet". It's never revealed what her deep, dark secret is.
  • Donkey Kong 64 has a number of these - the most prominent being Cranky's mention of a secret level named Great Girder Grapple, which fans have hunted for for years. (This was most likely a joke reference to the original Donkey Kong game, which is a crucial element of this game.) Another example is a barn with a number of doors in its loft, except one door that never opens. Before deciding on infinite lives, Rare intended to hide a 1-up balloon behind this door.
  • In Darksiders, a bug causes one chest to never register as opened. If the player returns to the location with an item that reveals collectibles on the map, that chest will still show up, even though it's no longer there. Doubly annoying since there are actually a few chests that are marked on map but only appear when some action is performed.
  • Despite Twisted Metal 2's manual listing Santa Claus as a pedestrian, he's nowhere to be found anywhere in the game. Sorry kids, but due to a programming oversight you'll never get to run Santa over in this game.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, for almost every item you can synthesize, you can make a stronger version by adding an extra ingredient. This includes Donald's and Goofy's Infinity Plus One Swords, but not Sora's. This is because you need to create the standard item first before you can create the stronger version, and there's only enough Orichalcum+ in the game to make the Ultima Weapon once. Teasingly, it still looks like you could create a stronger Ultima Weapon, if only you could get more ingredients...
  • The Kingdom of Loathing has the infamous sunken chest item. It's a common item, definitely, and it IS used in conjunction with other items to make a spooky pirate skeleton. However, it still does have an annoyingly alluring "use" link and the text given when it's used almost gives a hint that it should be opened, but the damn thing just will. Not. Open. The game's designers love trolling the users about it, frequently claiming it's the longest-standing undiscovered secret in the game. The worst thing is, they may be telling the truth - or eventually add a use - in which case it isn't this trope.
  • Rotating Tanya's character box in Mortal Kombat Gold reveals a question mark, but nothing is actually unlocked here. It is rumored that this was for the deleted character Belokk.
  • An old Macintosh game called Quarterstaff Tomb of Setmoth. On the overhead map, there was a hallway with a room behind it, but the map showed blank non-doored wall with a single dot. If you knocked on that wall, it sounded hollow. After going back to the game and examine game code; there is no secret room.
  • In The Tower of Druaga, there are a few floors (namely, floors 25 and 55) that don't have a secret item, not even a harmful item.
  • The yellow marble in Riven's fire marble dome puzzle does nothing but throw you off, there is no hidden sixth island.
  • There are so many plots that dead end in World of Warcraft that a list of them would double the length of the page. There are also quests and areas only available in earlier versions of the game; the plot has moved on and those quests are officially already over.
  • In Illusion of Gaia, there's a little hole next to the second dungeon's entrance, just the right size to Psycho Slide through -- but you don't get that ability until rather later in the game, and at that point, there's no way back. Using a cheat device to give Will the ability early reveals that the hole is just decoration, as solid as any other wall.
  • Persona 4 has "The Eye", which is a blinking eye that appears mysteriously at the status screen of a party member after maxing his/her Social Link. Apparently, it does nothing, but considering the heavy emphasis of the game on finding out hidden truths, this hasn't stopped the fans.
  • Mortal Kombat has one in the character select screen (in the Xbox 360 version only). The game only has a few unlockable characters, all of which become selectable in the bottom row of the character select screen when unlocked. The PlayStation 3 version got the console-specific Kratos in the bottom right corner; the Xbox 360 version gets... nothing. The space on the character select screen is always unselectable, and shows a duplicate picture of Cyber Sub-Zero, who is selectable in the bottom left corner. In an odd twist, during multiplayer matches the player on the right can only select the bottom right corner, and the player on the left can only select the bottom left corner (especially odd since these corner spots then expand to show the downloadable characters, which as a result show up mirrored in each corner...)
  • Vexx has the mysterious floating tower that appears in the background in nearly every level. Supposedly the player was supposed to be able to go there eventually (there was even an extra level shown in the trailer,) but it was cut out of the game.
  1. It's convex, anyway...
  2. Twilight Princess notwithstanding