Success Level

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Many games assign a success level to the player depending on his or her performance in the game. The success level is usually independent on whether or not the game was won or finished. In the case of winning, it indicates how good a victory was obtained. For example, was the victory near-perfect or barely enough? This is analogous for the case of losing.

Games use many different ways to assign a success level. For example, success level can be represented as a fraction or percentage of the sub-goals that where completed. When finishing a certain level the player may be informed that he eliminated 38/42 of the enemies present, or found 52% of the secrets.

The success level can also be used to indicate degree of completion. In this case, a higher degree of completion is an indicator of greater success. If a player has completed 90% of a game, it is clear that he has both performed rather well and is close to finished the game.


Strong Examples

Advance Wars (GBA)

In Advance Wars (GBA), each time a player finishes a level he is awarded a letter rank to indicate his level of success. The highest level is an S-Rank, and the player can also be awarded an A, B, C or D rank. (there may be other ranks that I am not aware of)

The player's rank is dependent on three factors: speed, technique, and power. Speed is an indicator of how many turns it took the player to finish a level. Technique measures how many units the player lost in comparison to how many he destroyed. Power, measures how many enemy units were destroyed. These three indicators, taken together, determine the rank awarded to the player.


In Doom, at the end of each level the player is shown a screen that displays his success level for that particular level. The screen displays, amongst other things, the time it took to finish the level, the fraction of secret areas found and the fraction of enemies defeated.

Super Mario World

In Super Mario World, the percent of the levels the player has defeated is displayed. It is possible to beat the game without clearing all the levels, with the minimum levels required for clearing being 11 (not counting Bowser's castle itself). Incidentally, 101% is the top end of the percent-cleared scale.

Chrono Trigger

In Chrono Trigger, there are multiple endings based on how early in the plot you defeat the final boss. The worst ending occurs when you are defeated by Lavos, the regular ending occurs when you defeat Lavos at the regular end of the game, and the best ending occurs when you either defeat Lavos at the beginning of a "New Game+" alone or when you beat the powered-up version of Lavos at the end of the Ocean Palace dungeon. There are 15 different endings possible, with each one being the equivalent of a sucess level.

Splinter Cell: Double Agent

In Splinter Cell: Double Agent, after you successfully complete a mission it assigns you a percent value displaying how stealthy you were during the course of the mission. For example, the more bodies found by enemies, alerts, or kills, the lower your percent ratings is.

Weak Example

Silent Hill

The game Silent Hill has multiple endings that are a reflection of the players success in the game. When the player reaches the end of the game, he is shown of the endings depending on a series of factors that are not necessarily evident to the player. (ie, they are not public knowledge). In fact, for many, some of the multiple endings are considered "secret" or "special" in that the player has to perform certain special tasks in order for them to be seen.

This is a weak example because while there is an implicit evaluation of the players success at the game, the player has no means of mapping that evaluation to in-game actions. In fact, the player is usually not aware of the existence of other, alternative, endings and what you have to do in order to see them.

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