Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
After Symphony of the Night and its awesome Inverted Castle secret, Metroidvanias basically required an arcane optional ending — and Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is the worst pretender to the throne. The game itself is great! The problem is that unlocking the true final boss is insane. You have to level up three specific souls — powers you can randomly earn as you progress through the game.
You’ll need to level up these souls too (the Flame Demon, Succubus, and Giant Bat souls) — and you might never even get them during a playthrough! Why do you need to equip these specific souls? Because they allow you to enter the rift, enter a true final area, and battle two extra bosses. To get the best ending, you also have to beat both final bosses without losing. Losing to one automatically ends the game.
Shadow The Hedgehog
It’s no surprise this infamously absurd game also has a terribly designed true ending. Instead of challenging you with hard difficulty modes and requiring you to solve strange puzzles, Shadow The Hedgehog takes the most boring route to unlocking the true ending.
Instead of following a linear path, each level in Shadow branches off to two other levels. Eventually the paths diverge until there are tons of different endings — 10 endings in all. There’s a unique final level for every ending, but you’re still playing the first level 10 times, and the second levels at least 5 times just to see all the endings and get the real story. This is one true ending that got with boredom.
Remember the most aggravatingly hard endings to earn on the next page.