We all love a good trophy. They come in Olympic medal-style Bronze, Silver and Gold; or in fun numerical points if you’re an Xboxer. What matters is that you have lots of them and your friends don’t. Or that you have a particularly tricky one that fewer than 5% of the owners of the same game have.
Of course, everyone really wants to ‘max out’ a game. Platinum Trophies are the sign that you’ve really thrown yourself into the experience and drained it of (almost) everything you can possibly do. While I’ve been waiting for anything decent to come out after God of War I’m going back through some old games to clean up some Trophies and here are a few of the ones that were an absolute grind to get, but sounded simple enough going in.
Madden 18 – Tom Brady Legacy Award (Gold)
This trophy is Ultra Rare with a 0.7% of people having completed it, and requires that ‘Using a created player, coach, or owner – surpass a legacy score of 27,000.’
To put this in perspective, the silver version of this trophy (John Madden Legacy Award, 2.1%) only requires you to surpass a legacy score of 10,000.
What this trophy really is, is a testament to how deep you want to go into an NFL experience. I logged close to 100 hours on various other Madden modes, but by the time it came round to this one I was NFLed out. Legacy points rack up as you achieve various milestones in your created person’s career, with season-specific and career-long goals providing chunks here and there, and when you see them highlighted in their chunk format, you start to think that this goal is fairly simple. There’s a catch which makes itself apparent after you finish your first season though, the only way to get close to this sort of Legacy, aside being amazing at the game and playing 15 perfect seasons is to just put in the hours. After each season you get more legacy points just from playing and there’s the ability to Simulate 10 years of your franchise mode playthrough. However, you’re going to need to make sure your player has crazy high stats before you do that, so you’ll need to play a little bit just to guarantee that you level up fast enough. The sim option here makes it less grindy than some of the trophies on the list, but not doing it yourself means that you’re rolling the dice each and every time you hit that ‘simulate’ button.
Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom – God of War (Bronze)
This trophy is Ultra Rare with a 4.5% of people having completed it, and is awarded for ‘overcoming 50 skirmish challenges.’
Sounds easy enough right? However, there’s a catch. You need to overcome 50 DIFFERENT skirmish challenges, rather than just play 50 skirmishes which makes this a grind. Not only that, but the skirmishes spawn on the map randomly so the ones you need to do might not be available. This takes a lot of patience and requires you to complete almost every sidequest in the game to unlock. If I’m honest, the 4.5% completion rate here isn’t a comment on the difficulty or how ‘grindy’ this is, more the type of players JRPG fans are. 4.1% have the Platinum for Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom and this is the only trophy below 4.5%. I think this should have been a Silver, just to account for the randomness of the spawns and the annoying ‘sneaky’ factor.
World of Final Fantasy – Legendary Caretaker (Silver)
This trophy is Ultra Rare with a 2.8% of people having completed it, and is awarded once you have ‘Mastered 100 Mirage Boards.’
There are two other trophies from this game that I considered putting here: Mirage Master (3.1%) and Treasure Liberator (2.4%) but while both of those have elements of grinding, once you’ve finished the game you could follow a guide and sweep them all up in close to 8 hours. Legendary Caretaker on the other hand, requires that you level up one of (almost) every single mirage (monster) in the game. Not only does this mean that you have to capture them, unlock the transformations and any other prerequisites, but you then have to swap your main party out and instead use space for other mirages. The level cap is 99, and granted, you don’t need to max out each one to master their boards but you do need to reach roughly level 70, which is what puts this trophy on the list. The only viable method of superior end-game power-leveling requires going to a specific location which is not easily accessible. Furthermore, once there you can’t quickly return, which means that the most efficient way of getting this trophy is to already have the Mirage Master trophy and then head to the grinding spot and swap mirages out until this trophy pops – it’s easier said than done.
Gravity Rush 2 – Power Kat (Silver)
This trophy is Very Rare with a 5.7% of people having completed it, and is awarded once you have ‘Raised all of Kat’s powers to the maximum.
This trophy is what got my thinking about this article. Gravity Rush 2 is a fun and entertaining game without being stellar in any category, and to power up the protagonist you collect little red gems and spend them on powers. Much like nuts and bolts in Ratchet & Clank, gems in Spyro and rings in Sonic these are dotted everywhere on the map and as you play you think that you’ll naturally collect loads as you complete all the side missions, challenges and main story quests. There’s a limit to how many of these are easily available, and with the Gem Collector (Gold) trophy asking you to collect 60,000 of these gems you’d think that that would be the final gem-related trophy. Wrong, although somewhat misleading, you’ll actually need another 12,000 or so to max out Kat’s powers. The game provides mining missions to help you get to that number, but the amount of gems on any given mining map seems to be random, and the yield of these is tiny when compared to just how many you need.
The only viable way of getting this trophy (according to the internet) is to replay Mission 19, and use a save and reload technique to forcefully spawn gems. Even using this method only gets you about 800 gems in 90 seconds, so if you’re finishing the game on 30,000 gems you’re going to need to brace yourself for a serious farm.
Digimon World: Cyber Sleuth – Legendary Medal Collector (Silver)
This trophy is Ultra Rare with a 1.4% of people having completed it, and is awarded once you have ‘Collected all Digimon Medals.’
Niche game, REALLY niche trophy. Legendary Medal Collector requires you to collect 500 different digimon medals, most of which are dropped from specific side quests or by Digimon you can encounter in the field. Sounds simple enough right? Just go to the right area, grind for a bit and get what you need to drop? Unfortunately, no. See, 300 of these medals can only be acquired by playing the gumball style machines in game, each of which drop 30 medals in no particular order. Rarity of medals is also a factor and this leaves you with a decent chance that you can spend a full day (real life) clicking on one machine and never get the 30 you need. You are entirely in the hands of the RNG gods, and it’s not like you can buy in bulk, you can only buy one at a time. Seriously, even a ‘buy ten’ would save so much time to the point where this trophy would probably be 10% rather than 1.4%. Think about how dedicated the audiences of this sort of games are – myself included. Even I don’t have this one, simply because I (occasionally) have better things to do with my life than stand next to a virtual machine and wait for the RNG to kick out the right medal.
Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below – Master at Arms (Silver)
This trophy is Ultra Rare with a 2.7% of people having completed it, and is awarded once you have ‘Obtained each and every weapon and orb’
There have been other grinds on the list that are two-parters, but this one is distinctly three and makes this much more difficult than you’d initially think. First, you need to unlock everything. Finish all the missions, sidequests and buy all the blueprints and you’re on your way. Next you need to farm enough money to actually BUY all the weapons and orbs you can from the shops. There aren’t cheap, and you need to do it for each character in the game – most of which you won’t actually use other than for this trophy. By the time you’re at this point we’re talking about dropping millions of in game gold. Finally, you have to meld some of the unique items using the correct ingredients. This means more ingredient farming in the field. Sure, this can be done hand in hand with the money farming, but either way you’re looking at the wrong side of 100 hours in a screen-clearing heroes game. This isn’t exactly known for its story and sidequests and this is a slog you won’t expect it to be going in.
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn – Destiny’s (Gold)
This trophy is Very Rare with a 11.7% of people having completed it, and is awarded once you have ‘Completed 1,000 FATEs’
I’m surprised at how many people actually have this trophy, particularly given its steep completion requirement, but then again, I forget that in the early days of the game leveling up a character meant that you HAD to grind and farm FATEs – regional pop up events for multiple players – by the time they rebooted the game into ARR I had switched accounts and there was a much faster way of leveling than knocking over four or five of these in an hour.
The grind mostly comes because you need to do 1,000. I’ve got 5 combat classes at max level and this didn’t pop for me, in fact, I’d wager I’m just over halfway. This trophy requires you to loiter around in regions without a cause and contribute to these random and often ignored events – most of which can’t be completed without another player (s). I have lots of respect for people who have this trophy.
Borderlands 2 – Challenge Accepted (Gold) / Borderlands: The Pre Sequel – Challenger (Bronze)
The bronze version of this trophy is Ultra Rare with a 0.5% of people having completed it and the gold version is Ultra Rare with 1.7% of people having completed it, and is awarded once you have ‘Completed level 1 of all challenges with a single character.’
This is a misleading trophy – Level 1 of all challenges it says; ‘easy’ thinks the average gamer, I’ll probably pick them up as I keep playing. You will, of course, grab your fair share of these challenges just for going through the game. I’d wager that between 40 and 60% of these challenges can be done without any concentrated effort put forth. You’ll get 80% from aiming to 100% all the quests and maps, regular RPG stuff. What is sneaky grindy about this is the ‘hidden’ achievements. Such as running through four different maps while holding a specific item and not getting in a vehicle. Or, killing an enemy that spawns based on RNG. I don’t know how close I am to finishing this on any of my characters, but I checked out way before I finished it. All the ‘secret’ ones are almost impossible without using a guide.
Obviously, I haven’t played every game ever released. Nor have I done relentless internet searches on this subject, but there are a few infamous trophies that are just straight-up grind fests. They are unashamedly open about it too. Perhaps some games are made with the intention of testing just how ‘hardcore’ some fans are, or maybe some are just there to push your sanity right to the brink of existence. Or maybe some are just unobtainable by design.
Regardless, I’m still going to try and get as many of these trophies as I can, but I won’t keep at it forever. Life happens. There are things in my life other than gaming – sure, it’s a 90 – 10 split in favour of gaming, but that 10% exists, and that’s what is stopping me from spending my days obsessing about these. I hope anyone who has these trophies is proud, because in my opinion these are HARD to get, and I hope to equal measure that no one feels like they MUST unlock any of these. Trust me, there ARE better things you can do with your life.