The Great Cipher, invented by the Rossignol family, was such a difficult cipher to crack because of two important factors. First the details and use of it was lost one the Rossignols died, which meant hat cryptanalyst had to start from scratch without knowing anything about how the cipher was created besides what they assume based on what other ciphers looked like during the same time period as Louis XIV.  The other significant factor that made the Great Cipher so powerful is the fact that it was not a simple single letter substitution cipher but actually a double letter substitution with a twist: instead of substituting letters, it instead substituted syllables. This greatly complicated the cipher because there an incredibly large number of ways in which to rearrange and cipher syllables, and if there is now starting point at which to begin deciphering the Great Cipher, then it becomes infinitely harder to crack the Great Cipher as opposed to a simple single letter substitution cipher. While these things combine to make it difficult to crack the Great Cipher; the inclusion of traps, such as numbers to delete the previous syllables, made it difficult to tell whether or not a postulated key to the cipher is correct until the traps are detected and accounted for. The combination of having no information about the formation of the Great Cipher as well as the unique substitution it uses as well as traps to trick cryptanalysts all combined to make it unbroken for 200 years after it was created despite the effort of many intelligent cryptologists.