10 Video Games That Secretly Get Harder Without You Realising

Not all NPCs are created equal.

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Video game difficulty can be a tricky thing. What's easy for one player can be soul-crushingly hard for another. And even when you pick your ideal difficulty at the start, that still might not be enough to save you.

See, a game can get harder for any number of reasons. From a vital resource going overlooked, to a rookie mistake early on coming back to bite you, to the devs just flat-out trolling you, the list goes on. Falling into any of these traps can lead to a game becoming way harder than it otherwise would've been.

These games all have at least one moment like that, where you were meant to do something or talk to someone, and not doing so makes the following experience significantly more difficult.

Often happening without you learning about your mistake until it's far too late, these are ten hilarious and brutal examples of games secretly punishing you for your bad decisions.

10. Not Going To The Church Of Elleh - Elden Ring

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Like any Souls game, how you start Elden Ring is vital to your chances of surviving to the end. But unlike previous Souls games, Elden Ring is a full, card-carrying open-world title, and so it's very easy to miss a lot of very important things.

One of these, is visiting Merchant Kale at the Church of Ellah.

Almost every "tips for first-time players" guide for this game will tell you to make this place one of your first stops upon starting the game.

Not only does it have a Site of Grace to rest and save your progress, but Merchant Kale's inventory includes many items that are vital to any playthrough. This includes a crafting kit, a few recipes to get you started, and a torch. These three items are lifesavers for a first-time player. And, naturally, they're incredibly easy to miss.

Like everywhere else in the game, there's nothing specific calling you to the church; you have to make the conscious decision to go there yourself. If you don't, then wherever you went instead just got a whole lot harder.

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John Tibbetts is a novelist in theory, a Whatculture contributor in practice, and a nerd all around who loves talking about movies, TV, anime, and video games more than he loves breathing. Which might be a problem in the long term, but eh, who can think that far ahead?