New Game Plus
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A New Game Plus (or New Game+, often abbreviated as NG+) is an unlockable video game mode available in some video games that allows the player to start a new game after they finish it at least once, where certain features in NG+ not normally available in a first playthrough are added, and where certain aspects of the finished game affect the newly started game, such as keeping in the new game items or experience gained in the first playthrough. New Game Plus is also known as "replay mode", "remorting", "challenge mode", or "New Game Ex". The genre where they are most prevalent is role-playing games.
The term was coined by the 1995 role-playing video game Chrono Trigger, but examples can be found in earlier games, such as Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei, The Legend of Zelda, and Ghosts 'n Goblins. This play mode is most often found in role-playing games, where starting a New Game Plus will usually have the player characters start the new game with the statistics and/or equipment with which they ended the last game. Key items that are related to the story are normally removed so they cannot ruin the game's progression, and are given back to the player at the time they are needed; likewise, characters that the player acquires throughout the story will also not appear until their scheduled place and time, but will get the enhanced stats from the previous playthrough.
Games with multiple endings, such as Chrono Trigger, may feature a New Game Plus mode which allows the player to explore alternate endings. Many games increase the difficulty in a New Game Plus mode, such as those in the Mega Man Battle Network series and Borderlands series. Others use the feature to advance the plot. In Astro Boy: Omega Factor, the player uses the game's Stage Select mechanism, explained in-story as a form of time travel, to avert disaster, while in Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, the player defeats three different final bosses, one in each playthrough, to access the true ending.
Some New Game Plus variations alter established gameplay. This includes unlocking new characters, such as in Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, new areas, such as in Parasite Eve, new items, such as in the Metal Gear series, and new challenges, such as in the .hack series.
Games that connect to online marketplaces may require the player to complete a New Game Plus game to obtain certain achievements, such as the "Calamity Kid" achievement in the game Bastion. Others may require additional purchases: the New Game Plus mode in BioShock is sold as downloadable content.
A slight variation of the New Game Plus is the clear game, also known as a "post-game scenario". The player may continue after the main story is completed, allowing them to see the effects of their choices upon the game world and narrative, and to complete any remaining side quests. EarthBound is an early case of the clear game, later used in major franchises such as Fallout, Pokémon, and Star Ocean.
- Kurt Kalata (March 19, 2008). "A Japanese RPG Primer: The Essential 20". Gamasutra. p. 5. Retrieved 2011-05-16.
- Lebowitz, Josiah; Klug, Chris (2012-09-10). "Case Stude: Chrono Trigger". Interactive Storytelling for Video Games. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 113612733X. Retrieved 2014-12-15.
- "Bastion Trophies". PlayStation 3 Trophies. Retrieved 2012-01-30.[permanent dead link]
- "BioShock Challenge Rooms Impressions". IGN. 2008-11-28. Retrieved 2009-08-26.